Days after the Vibgyor High School was shut following outrage over the alleged rape of a six-year-old student by one of its staffers within its premises, the institute in Bangalore's upscale eastern suburb reopened on Monday.
The school reopened today for students of Classes 5 to 10. From Wednesday, all classes from Class 1 will commence. The decision to reopen the institute was announced on July 24 after a three-hour meeting of about 200 parents with the school management.
Bangalore has witnessed a slew of protests after the shocking incident came to light. The earlier Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar also faced the heat and was replaced by M N Reddy.
Meanwhile, a task force comprising parents, teachers and senior students has been set up to implement certain guidelines to ensure safety and security of about 3,500 students studying in the school.
Notably, the parents have submitted to the management a set of 40 guidelines, it will put in place 11 of them for reopening the school and other measures by September 12, as they involve additional resources and logistics. Earlier, they had also taken signatures from over 100,000 parents of same accord to file a written petition to the Human Resources Development ministry.
Mr. Kaushik, the father of a student studying in Vibgyor School said, “I have come just to ensure if things are fine. How much comforting the given guidelines are will be known with time. The schools have already done a few things to ensure the safety. We are looking forward to how quickly all the measures are adopted and followed.”
Mrs. Dutta who had a tough time in convincing her daughter to join the school again told ANI, “I have come here to drop my daughter and also ensure if things are in place. My daughter is in eighth standard and understands things well. We had to counsel her over few things and only then she has agreed to come back to the school.”
“It is very tough for her and us as well to make such decisions. I just hope that the measures taken don’t get over in a week or month’s time,” she added.
The immediate guidelines include installing closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in all classrooms, playrooms, restrooms, labs, library, teachers' room and at vantage points covering the entire school premises, including the playground.
The school will employ adequate women security guards after background checks and will make profiles of all those employed on contracts for non-curricular and non-academic activities.
The school has agreed to stop allowing outsiders to use its swimming pool before and after school hours. It will also maintain records of all security guards and drivers employed to operate its fleet of transport vehicles used to pick and drop students from their homes.
"The school has been told to train and sensitise the non-teaching staff on dealing with the wards to ensure their safety and security," Ramesh said.
A parents-teachers association will also be formed to oversee the implementation of the safety measures in the school.
The school's founder chairman Rustom Kerawalla was granted conditional bail on July 23 after he was arrested in Daman on July 22 and flown to city for interrogation. Kerawalla was booked for destroying evidence of the crime, giving false information to screen the offender and failing to ensure the safety of the victim.
Also read: Are we doing enough to protect our children?
With agency inputs.