A fool-proof mechanism is being evolved for total safety

The abduction and murder of two students of a private school here have brought to the fore the issue of safe transportation of children.

The School Education Department and school managements being two important stakeholders have begun evolving a fool-proof mechanism to transport children.

N. Anandhi, Chief Education Officer, said the Department would soon convene a meeting of representatives of schools and parents to discuss the issue and evolve guidelines for the safe transport of children.

She explained that the onus was more on the school managements to ensure safe transport of children and that her Department could only support their move.

R. Elango, Inspector of Matriculation Schools, said he was meeting the representatives of the Academic Council of Coimbatore Matriculation Schools to discuss the measures the school managements should initiate to prevent the recurrence of such a crime.

The important issue was verifying the antecedents of the drivers who ferry children.

In this regard, the school managements and drivers or vehicle contractors should put their heads together to ensure that only good, recognised drivers transport students.

Photo identity cards for such drivers could be one way, he suggested, and added that a complete picture would evolve in the meeting of principals, scheduled next week.

Mr. Elango also said that parents too had a role to play in making sure that their wards were safely transported to and from school.

The officer would also meet parents' representatives next week to get their feedback.

On what the school managements could do, R. Visalakshi, president, Federation of Associations of Private Schools, said the school heads would soon meet to ensure that drivers who transported the children were known to both the managements and parents and that they carried identity cards.

In the mornings, it was parents' responsibility and in the evening the schools would make sure that the students boarded only the correct vehicles.

Ms. Visalakshi said most schools had attendance monitoring mechanism, wherein parents of the absentee children would be notified through SMS. Schools that did not have such a mechanism would be encouraged to install the same.

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