Safety concerns at school
Though we say that the school is a home away from home but the responsibilities of a school are more than that of the house. The reasons are many, like the handling of so many children and the added responsibility of looking after their physical safety. Children are prone to many physical threats which can start the moment leave home for school; the burden of their physical security lies with the parents till the child has not entered the school bus or the school premises. But the moment a child is handed over to the school authorities the responsibility shifts to them.
Hazards begin to arise from the school bus itself in the form of fighting children in the van, or sudden accidents, or physical abuse the school authorities have to keep a matron or an ayah to control the activities inside the bus.
Once inside the walls of the school, a child can fall victim to bullying, which can cause both physical and emotional injury and teachers have to be very strict in this case. Apart from these the more common safety problems are children falling and hurting themselves while playing, it would be better if we put all these risk factors in a table and discuss them.
Let’s start with medical problems —sometimes children fall sick in school and either faint or start vomiting there should be an arrangement of at least a doctor or a trained nurse who can handle this kind of situations and there should be a sickroom where the child can be made to rest.
Accidents may happen while playing, which may range from a bruised leg to a fractured limb or heaven forbid something worse like a head injury. In this case, too immediate medical help to be given.
Apart from these, there can be problems like a natural disaster, e.g. an earthquake; then there can be accidents in the lab or a fire breakout, accidents may even happen when some repair work of the school is being undertaken.
Taking children out on excursions increases the responsibilities of the school. Residential schools or schools which provide food to its students have another sword hanging over their heads that of keeping a check on the quality of food and that is not an easy job.
Another significant risk factor in these troubled times is related to terrorist activities, slogan shouting and peace disrupting followers and goons of political rivals and even children of modern times who may open fire anytime causing grave injuries to staff and students alike. Thus, this home away from home has to handle more responsibilities than a house does.