Monday, 18 June 2012

Better school security

THE Education Ministry will standardise the security level of schools registered with it to provide
a safer environment for students.

Under the initiative, all government and government-aided schools would have to manage six standard safety-related measures in the next few months, said ministry deputy director-general (education operation sector) Sufaat Tumin.

The measures are students’ safety during school activities, school security guards, school infrastructure, social ills, security during crises and disasters, and safety in the face of threats.

“Schools must pass an evaluation (by the ministry) to be labelled as safe,” he told the New Straits Times.
There will also be collaborations with parent-teacher associations (PTAs), principals, police, Welfare Department and People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) in hot spots or areas with potential threats to students’ safety.

Sufaat said: “In these areas, volunteers will patrol or monitor school areas during peak hours.”
He said schools that could afford closed- circuit television (CCTV) systems would be encouraged to install them with the support of PTAs and security companies.

On employing guards, he said the ministry had come up with a proposal to widen their job scope to become school crossing guards or traffic wardens.

The proposal, which will take effect in January,has been discussed with the Transport Ministry, Housing and Local Government Ministry, Road Safety Department, Public Works Department and  police.
A total of 3,140 of the more than 10,000 schools need guards.

Various groups praised the decision to step up safety measures in schools, including by installing CCTV.
Parent Action Group for Education (Page) Kuala Lumpur coordinator Ruhana Hashim said police had stepped up rounds in Sri Hartamas and Bukit Damansara following the kidnap of student Nayati Shamelin Moodliar, 12, on April 27.

"We welcome the move by the government to put more guards in schools."
DNS Security Sdn Bhd assistant manager S. Nadarajah said schools could create student tags, similar to staff tags, containing students' names, photos and contact details.
"Guards must be trained not to let strangers into schools."

He added that school buses should be allowed to pick up students inside schools.
National Parent-Teacher Association Collaborative Council president Associate Professor Datuk Mohd Ali Hasan said Rela members should meet school authorities on the latter's security plans, and offer help.

Eagle Eye Security Sdn Bhd executive director Noell Kailas said urban schools faced a greater threat of vandalism.

Eagle Eye advises schools on installing CCTV to improve safety.-NST


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