School Protection Group (SPG), a project conceived by the city police to enlist students in law and order maintenance, has lost steam. The number of schools which took up the project in the previous academic year was found to be very few.

Though there are over 200 schools, including government and aided, functioning in the city, only fewer than 25 came up to form the collective with the participation of a select group of students, parents, teachers, merchants, and drivers.

Voluntary team

The directive of the police was to form the SPG as a voluntary team in as many institutions as possible to ensure traffic safety and equip students to exchange confidential information with the police upon noticing unlawful activities in their location.

During the formation, Station House Officers of the local police stations concerned had been asked to act as the convener of the group to be chaired by head of the institution. But, plans faced a setback with the lukewarm response of school managements.

The heads of educational institutions, supposed to chair the SPG, too maintained silence in most schools.

Similar initiative

“The Students Police Cadet (SPC) project is already functional in our school and that was sufficient to meet the requirements projected by the police department as part of SPG,” said a teacher of a city school.

He explained that the purpose of the Student Police Cadet too was the same and the school was not interested in taking up two similar projects.

Some teachers said that similar teams were now operational in educational institutions under the headship of the Excise Department to keep tabs on anti-social elements on school premises and other unlawful activities involving students.

“The Excise Department got several clues from such groups. That would be sufficient to meet the requirements of the police too. I

Complaint boxes

“In addition to this, there are complaint boxes for students to give their suggestions or observations,” they argue.

On the other hand, Station House Officers said a majority of teachers was yet to be convinced about the intention of the project as it was a voluntary scheme.

Remedial measure

They said a process to improve the participation was under way and slowly it would catch up in schools like the Student Police Cadet project from the next academic year.

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