'Smart Cities Of No Use If There's No Safety In Schools': Manish Sisodia

Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said 'Schools have started thinking no one can take action against them'

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'Smart Cities Of No Use If There's No Safety In Schools': Manish Sisodia

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Manish Sisodia said every person entering a school should undergo police verification.

New Delhi:  Amid outrage over the murder of a 7-year-old at Ryan International School in Gurgaon, Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia today said education was the duty of the government and it was a "mistake" to "trust private schools". It was time schools were made accountable, Mr Sisodia told NDTV today.

"Schools have started thinking that no one can take action against them," said Mr Sisodia. "They do not fear the authorities, rules, regulations... they think 'children of big politicians, top police officers study in our schools, hence no one can touch us'."

"We made a mistake by trusting private schools... This has resulted in poor quality of education in government schools," he said. Having smart cities, he said, is of no use when these "basic issues are not being sorted out".

Yesterday, Mr Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio, had announced a series of tough measures, which includes mandatory police verification of every staff member of every school and the use of functional CCTV cameras at various spots on the school premises.

The minister said the news of the murder of 7-year-old Pradyuman Thakur came as a shock to him. "I got scared when I first heard about this... It could have been my child," the minister told NDTV.

The body of the Class 2 student was found outside the toilet of Ryan International School on Friday, his throat had been slit. The police say he was killed by a conductor of the school bus, who initially tried to assault him sexually and murdered him when he resisted. The family has questioned the police version of events and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

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A Special Investigation Team has found the school had serious lapses in its security system.

A report from the team said many of the CCTV cameras installed in the school campus were not functioning. There were no separate toilets for school bus conductors and drivers, which meant they shared the students' toilet, which compromised security. The school, the team also said, had hired staff without proper background checks and police verification.

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