Schools must be safe havens for children to learn. GIIS considers any threat to a child’s safety as a serious threat to the education process. Any disruption negatively affects our school and learning environment. From securing the physical school environment against violence to protecting students against cyber threats, GIIS takes school safety very seriously. As such, GIIS has put in place robust, process-driven security solutions that keep our campuses safe from anti-social personalities, terror-related risks, fire and other natural calamities while hardening our defenses against cyber threats.
School Safety Starts with a Secure Learning Environment
On Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, safety needs are some of our most basic needs as humans. We cannot achieve our fullest potential without safety and security. As educators, GIIS understands that our most basic mission is to provide a safe environment for children to learn, explore and develop. Without this safe environment, the benefits of learning and enrichment activities are stunted.
Top management takes ownership and full responsibility for security protocols, making this a measurable and tangible board function. GIIS believes that a school’s value is found not only its academic excellence and extracurricular activities but also in the security measures the school embraces. At GIIS, this starts with stringent training and verification standards for our security guards, vendors and staff. We have strong security architecture in place that we continually evaluate and improve. For our India campuses, we comply with POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) standards. Additionally, all our security and transport staff must pass a police background check.
With the threat climate constantly evolving, we can never assume what is secure today will be adequate tomorrow. We employ third-party agencies to conduct security audits, identify potential vulnerabilities, and take immediate steps to minimise these risks. We conduct regular security audits on all our campuses to ensure compliance with local security standards.
In addition to security audits, we regularly conduct drills to familiarise students with safety principles, such as what to do in the event of a fire hazard. We believe preparation is an essential component of school safety. From natural disasters to any unforeseen incident, every GIIS campus is fully prepared with updated plans in place.
Cybersecurity: Educating and Protecting Children Against Digital Threats
Today’s children are digital natives; they grow up with an innate sense of how to operate smartphones, tablets, and computers. They’ve always known a world in which the Internet exists. Unfortunately, young children know very little about the dangers of Internet usage, including viruses, online privacy, phishing, and social networking etiquette. Older children may be more Internet savvy but are still at risk for cyber crimes, including those related to social media usage. At GIIS, we believe in educating children about cyber safety from an early age. This starts with a strong foundation in safety protocols, including Internet security protection, passwords, and the importance of privacy.
As an educational institution, we keep our students abreast of the latest technological advancements such as artificial intelligence. We believe it is equally important to safeguard our students against cybercrime, cyberbullying and online fraud. Our role in helping students adopt the right social media behaviour is one part of helping them develop. If a student adopts a positive behaviour in their social interactions, that same behaviour will extend to their social media interactions. At GIIS, our educators approach social interactions the same, whether these interactions take place in the digital world via a social media site or the physical world in a GIIS classroom. We have a zero tolerance policy for bullying.
As part of the GIIS curriculum, we strive to educate our students to treat social media in a similar way to how they treat their offline social interactions. This includes the age-old wisdom of not being over-friendly with strangers, not saying things online that they wouldn’t say in person, and being careful of the information they share. Educational session on cyber security and social media sites are designed to educate our students about the dangers of “over-sharing” in today’s digital world and the implications for future academic and professional opportunities. We teach children that anything they put online must be presumed to be permanent. This includes educating students about the potential dangers of GPS and location services that can pinpoint exactly where they are, alerting potential predators. We teach students to speak up about behaviour that makes them uncomfortable and to proactively seek help from a trusted adult.
GIIS: Safety First Schools
The job of keeping children safe and teaching them to be safe is a joint responsibility shared by parent and educator. At GIIS, we take this responsibility seriously. Our process-driven approach to physical security and digital safety reflects our commitment to provide the best possible education to our students. Every child can attend school knowing their classroom is a safe, supportive learning environment where they will grow into responsible citizens and future leaders.