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Hyderabad: Parents voice safety concerns | Published: 13th September 2017 | Posted Date: Wednesday 13th September 2017 06:09 PM

School will also appoint external safety audit agencies to ensure these things are not an eye-wash.

Hyderabad: After the Delhi Public School in Noida introduced the Radio Fre-quency Identification (RFID) card, with a special chip embedded for live tracking of kids, parents in Hyderabad want schools in the city to adopt this technology. 

The incident of a young school boy having his throat slit in the washroom of his own school in Gurgaon has parents very worried about the safety and security of their children within the school premises and in school buses.

Delhi Public School, Noida, released a circular on August 24, 2017, informing parents that an identification card has been issued to students with a special tracking chip embedded in it. The system will take 15 days to become functional and parents will get SMS alerts whenever their child gets on and off the school bus.

Though the use of th-ese identification cards is a new concept in Indian schools, schools in the US have been using them for many years. Schools in the state of Texas began implanting these chips in student identification cards in 2004. A preschool in California started using these chips in students’ clothing in 2010. Several cases of violence reported in schools in the US has impelled parents to be willing to pay extra to the schools for providing this technology. 

Hridesh Gupta, a parent from Nallagandla, said, “It’s a really good initiative. I would en-courage every school in Hyderabad to adopt such technology. I don’t mind paying the small amount which provides security for my children. In fact, I have requested my kid's school management to see if they can adopt such technology. I also checked with many other parents in the school and everyone agreed to adopt this technology.”

He says he is really scared for his child and suggests that Parent Teacher Associations can review the security and other arrangements periodically. 

“Some schools are least bothered about security. The state government is not listening to parents and is just waiting for such incidents to happen.”

Ashish Naredi, member of the Hyderabad Parents Associations, said, “It’s a welcome step by the school to enhance safety and security. However, we hope that this does not become another excuse for extracting exorbitant charges from the parents. Safety and security is the first requirement and it needs to be ensured by the school.”

 He says a school must guarantee the safety of its children.    

“RFID cards are available at Rs 10 -25, which is a very economic solution as SMS costs just 10 paise. Even if the schools charge the parents, the cost is nominal.”

Vikrant Varshney, a member of the India wide Parents’ Association, said that the safety of the student is the responsibility of the school management, which must adhere to existing safety rules, whether for fire preparedness or to ensure children are not harassed. 

“This can either be handled through a process or a system or a combination of process and system. The school management should feel that it is accountable for the safety and security of the students on the campus or bus,” he said.

Narsimha Reddy, principal of the Hyderabad Public School, Ramanthpur, said that insta-lling the chips in student identity cards is possible “but I feel this is too much intrusion into the privacy of the child. We must educate the children and students should become smarter to avoid and fight it out in such situations if necessary. We are teaching this using cartoon films.” 




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