Day after threat hoax, schools focus on exigency preparations in Delhi | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Day after threat hoax, schools focus on exigency preparations in Delhi

May 03, 2024 02:11 AM IST

Keeping students, especially the younger ones, calm in such a situation is challenging but paramount, authorities said.

A day after a bomb threat triggered chaos across schools in Delhi and alarmed several thousand students, institutions in the national capital on Thursday worked to claw back confidence among panic-stricken children and parents, with regular classes taking a break to make way for safety drills and group counselling sessions.

The threat hoax only marginally impacted attendence at schools and in fact remained robust in most , and Thursday saw a sea of students on Delhi roads, as usual. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
The threat hoax only marginally impacted attendence at schools and in fact remained robust in most , and Thursday saw a sea of students on Delhi roads, as usual. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

Still, attendances were impacted only marginally in most schools, said principals, with turnouts between 85% and 90% in all schools that HT spoke to on Thursday.

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Wednesday’s unprecedented large-scale evacuations have underlined the importance of exercises to prepare for emergencies or natural disasters, said Sudha Acharya, principal of ITL Public School in Dwarka.

“We felt it necessary to inform students how to reach a safe place in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. Teachers in each class informed the children how to reach the ground from their class,” she said.

Keeping students, especially the younger ones, calm in such a situation is challenging but paramount, she said.

“We told them that they should not run but be calm in such a situation,” said Acharya.

The school also roped in senior students to speak to their juniors.

ALSO READ | Bomb scare in Delhi-NCR schools: Waking nightmare for parents!

“Today, we are here to talk about panic and chaos. In such a situation, you should not panic at all because you may hurt yourself. Instead of running outside classes, you should listen to your teachers,” a senior student told her juniors.

Several schools also updated their emergency exit signages across their campuses, as others repeated instructions over public announcement systems.

Annie Koshi, principal of Birla Vidya Niketan school in Pushp Vihar, said the institution is now putting in place an evacuation plan specifically for such situations.

“We will now plan how to handle a situation like this where we are faced with a rush of parents. We have three gates and will now work out how to hand over children to their parents and from which gate,” she said.

Manisha Sharma, principal of Venkateshwara International School, said that even as schools undertook confidence-building measures, it was important to share age-appropriate information about Wednesday’s events.

ALSO READ | Schools reopen in Delhi-NCR amid tight security day after bomb threat mails

“We counselled and communicated with children depending on their age. So, teachers spoke to children from Class 2 differently from the ones in Class 5. The senior students obviously understood what happened, but the younger ones had to be gently informed about the evacuation drills in case something like this ever happens again,” she said.

However, despite concerns, attendance remained robust in most schools.

“There was about 85% attendance on average in the school,” said Acharya, stressing that the turnout was lower than usual, but now by significantly much.

Koshi concurred.

“There was a slight dip in junior classes but not in senior ones. In junior sections, the impact was about 5% to 10%,” she said.

In fact, some schools that did not receive the hoax threat saw their attendance dip relatively sharply.

Alka Kapur, principal of Modern Public School in Shalimar Bagh said their senior classes were significantly less populated than on regular days

“Compared to other days, Thursday’s attendance in the senior wing was notably lower, with just around 70% of students present,” she said.

Delhi Police also tightened security around the targeted schools as a safety precaution.

“This was a confidence-building measure from our end. We wanted to ensure all the children and their families felt safe at schools. There is nothing to worry about. We are working day and night to ensure everyone’s safety,” said a police officer.

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