Teacher, take a survey of your classroom.
- Is there anything in the classroom environment which may hurt the students physically?
- Where are the sharp objects stored? Are they out of reach of the students?
- Can the students move around freely without tripping over any surface or object?
- Is the furniture safely secured, with no danger of toppling over? Are the edges sharp or rounded. Are they arranged with ample room for the students to move around?
- Are electrical appliances stored safely? Is their use monitored by an adult? (Children may use these at home but teachers must always supervise their use at school). How about the plug points?
- Is electrical wiring out of the students’ reach? Make sure there are no frayed wires hanging around.
- How about cleaning supplies? Even if they are not kept in the classroom, I’ve noticed cleaning liquids kept in easily accessible common rooms in some schools. They must be under lock and key, especially in primary schools.
- Remember a fire broke out in a school in Tamil Nadu, some years back? The kids were trapped because there wasn’t sufficient room for them to escape. I know we don’t have this contingency built into our curriculum. But working out fire safety plans and exits would be wonderful for our children. As they grow older, they can transfer this skill (walking out calmly instead of rushing out) to other situations and avoid ‘stampedes.’
- Are the supplies put away neatly in their own place? This will keep the room clear of obstacles. An organized room not only ensures safety, it reduces distractions for the easily distracted student.
- Is there a First Aid kit in each classroom? In our hot country, contagious diseases spread too easily. Quick access to cleaning and disinfecting wounds helps stem the spread of infection.
- Do you have an emergency plan in place if a student gets hurt at school? Who contacts the parents? Who contacts the hospital? Which hospital is the nearest to your school? Do you have medical information on the child—allergies, special adaptations, etc?