Safety Norms for Schools: CCTV on Premises, Character Certificate for Staff
The Maharashtra School Education department recently issued guidelines for schools and junior colleges, mandating certain safety measures in students' interest.

A circular issued by the department said that every school and junior college should install CCTV cameras.

Attendance should be marked thrice a day, and if a student is found missing, parents should be informed immediately through a text message, the circular said.

No student should be punished in such a way that he or she would suffer a mental or physical trauma, it said.

The guidelines also restrict entry of unidentified persons on the school premises.

Character certificate from police would be mandatory for recruitment as teachers or other staff at educational institutions.

Washrooms for boys and girls should be separate and at a suitable distance from each other, and there should be a woman attendant at the girls' washroom, the guidelines say.

The woman attendant on school bus should not leave the bus until the last girl is dropped, the guidelines add.

The guidelines will apply to state board schools as well as those affiliated to CBSE, ICSE and international boards.

They would come into effect from the coming academic year.

Education minister Vinod Tawde said while the state government can not interfere in the curriculum of international boards, students' safety comes under the state's purview.

"Students are from Maharashtra, so all these schools should also follow these norms. If any school fails, the education department will lodge a police case," he said.