Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » News » Tips to make schools safe for kids

Child Safety

Tips to make schools safe for kids

Awareness session for teachers, counsellors

Jhinuk Mazumdar | Published 05.02.24, 05:57 AM
Representational image

Representational image

File picture

• Identify signs of abuse in a child

• Keep the doors of the school terrace closed or ensure those are inaccessible to students


• Members of a school’s child safety committee should meet students to get familiar with them

• Do not speak to a child in a secluded place

Measures such as these were discussed by 50-odd teachers and counsellors from 22 schools at a session on child safety and how to keep the school environment safe for students.

The session on Saturday, organised by The Teachers’ Centre at Frank Anthony Public School, addressed safety concerns from various angles — abuse to infrastructural — so a child is safe on the campus.

“The idea is to create an awareness of the law and make schools and teachers realise that prevention is better than cure. If the teachers or the school authorities are on their guard and are aware of the law, instead of being ignorant, undesirable incidents can be avoided,” said Ian Myers, president, The Progressive Educational Techniques Society, popularly known as The Teachers’ Centre.

Myers, principal of Frank Anthony Public School, said conversation about child safety is an ongoing process that needs to be revised and reviewed.

“In each of our staff meetings, we dedicate some time to discussing child safety,” said Myers.

Saturday’s session was primarily conducted by Preeti Mathew, senior manager, technical resource centre, Rainbow Homes, an NGO.

She was accompanied by two of her colleagues — Satya Pillai and Shubada Sathe.

Teachers have to be alert and aware of the signs and symptoms to understand whether a child is uncomfortable in school or is feeling threatened for some reason.

“Not all children would open up, so teachers should be able to recognise a child’s discomfort,” said Mathew.

She said that an “intense change in behaviour of a child”, from being dull to over reactive, or a dip in performance can be the warning signs.

“It is not enough to have a child protection committee in school. The committee should interact with the children to create a familiarity about themselves,” said Mathew.

Some schools shared the process they follow on their campuses.

Among the schools that sent representatives to the session were Calcutta International School, Birla High School, Birla High School Mukundapur, Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Indus Valley World School, Kankuramasat Welfare Society (Daimond Harbour) and Sir Syed Ahmed English Medium School.

“While some schools have a well documented policy, some don’t. Session such as this would help them draft a policy or review and upgrade their policies,” said Wendy Leyland, head of programme and logistics, Teachers’ Centre.

School counsellor Subhasree Mukherjee said the session gave her more clarity.

Psychotherapist Farishta Dastur Mukerji said that while child safety policies
are there, the session focussed on proper implementation of child protection policies.

“So many schools attended the event. The participating schools could learn from
one another and reflect on how they could do better in the field,” said Dastur Mukerji.

Last updated on 05.02.24, 05:57 AM

More from My Kolkata