Education

CBSE Orders Psychometric Test of All School Staff Following Gurugram Student Murder

Psychometric tests are designed to measure a candidate’s suitability for a role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude.

Schools affiliated to the CBSE have around ten lakh employees, spread over 26 countries. Credit: PTI

Schools affiliated to the CBSE have around ten lakh employees, spread over 26 countries. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Wednesday ordered 19,500 affiliated schools to put all its staff through a psychometric evaluation.

In a reply to a Supreme Court query in the aftermath of the murder of a child in a Gurugram school by a bus conductor, the CBSE announced that the onus of safety of students on campus lies solely with school authorities.

According to a report in the Times of India, the board sent a circular on ‘safety of children’ to its affiliated schools, giving them two months to complete psychometric evaluation of all staff – teachers, non-teaching employees, sweepers, bus drivers and conductors included.

Psychometric tests are designed to measure a candidate’s suitability for a role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude.

The circular, issued by CBSE deputy secretary Jaiprakash Chaturvedi, said, “They must get the police verification and psychometric evaluation done for all the staff employed. Such verification and evaluation for non-teaching staff such as bus drivers, conductors, peon and other support staff may be done very carefully and in a detailed manner.”

“It is reiterated that all schools affiliated with the CBSE are directed to strictly adhere to all the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the board from time to time. Any violation/lapses with regard to the safety and well-being of children on campus would invite appropriate action, including the disaffiliation of the school… “, there circular went on to add.

Schools affiliated to the CBSE have around ten lakh employees, spread over 26 countries, including around 1,100 Kendriya Vidyalayas, 600 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, 2,700 schools run or aided by state governments and 14,900 private schools.

The principal of a Navodaya Vidyalaya in Meghalaya told the Telegraph that police verification of all staff was already mandatory at the time of recruitment but the psychometric test was new.

“The psychometric test of the staff is a new measure. There may be a problem in getting trained professionals. The chief district medical officer is a member of the school management committee. We can take it up with him,” the principal said.

The Telegraph also spoke to a Delhi-based clinical psychologist Ripan Sippy, who welcomed the CBSE’s directive. “It is a good thing. But it is a huge task and a time-taking process. Evaluation of one person should take half an hour to one hour. The process may take six months to one year,” he said.

He also pointed that schools located in remote areas will be difficult to evaluate.

A principal of a Delhi-based school told the Telegraph that teachers already employed should not be expected to go through the tests. “We interact with the teachers for several years. We know them well. To make them go through such tests is a bit too much,” the principal said.

The CBSE circular went on to say that the access to school building by outsiders should be controlled, visitors monitored and staff should be provided training and development to address their responsibilities to protect children from any form of abuse.

Schools have been asked to constitute separate panels like the internal complaints committee on sexual harassment. The circular stated that the details of these committees, along with contact details, should be displayed prominently on school notice board and on the school website.