Muscat: Close on the heels of the kidnapping incidents reported recently, Indian School Muscat (ISM) has decided to take proactive safety measures by installing CCTVs in and around its campus.
The decision was made at an emergency meeting convened by the ISM management committee on March 10 to discuss security issues.
According to a source, "the decision was actually made some weeks ago, taking all security issues into consideration. But it was decided to expedite the installation of the CCTV cameras not only inside the school but also on the periphery of the campus. It was also decided that once such cameras were installed, strict monitoring of the camera recordings would also be necessary."
The source added, "Five firms dealing with CCTVs have been shortlisted. These five companies made a presentation at ISM after responding to an enquiry for quotations to install CCTVs in the school. The order will be placed this week after a company is selected. The installation is likely to be completed within 45 days."
Further to enhancing security and awareness, several new measures are being worked out besides the installation of CCTVs.
Sources noted that a draft proposal for a new transport management system is also being formulated to ensure a safe and convenient transport system.
The school has already sent out survey forms for parents to fill out and to get their feedback on how to improve the transport system.
The constant complaints against the poorly managed private transportation system that parents depend on have prompted the school management to make a decision in this regard.
The decision to install CCTVs was made following an incident where a seventh-grade girl student from ISM was kidnapped by two men on a bus. The girl, however, managed to escape and reach her parents with the help of an Omani driving instructor.
Since that incident, parents have been urging school authorities to improve the security in and around the school to avoid untoward incidents. "The decision to install CCTVs is a welcome step and proves that ISM always gives priority to security concerns," said a parent, on hearing the decision.
ISM is the largest co-educational institution in the Gulf, with more than 8,500 students.
"The challenge for a school with so many students is huge. Parents and schools should join hands to ensure the smooth running of the school. I am sure the decision will be welcomed," the parent added.
Muscat residents, especially expatriates, have been shocked by the two incidents of kidnapping reported in the capital in a span of two weeks. An Indian School Darsait Grade-10 student was recently abducted from his family's car while his parents were shopping in a hypermarket in Wadi Kabir. The teenager, who went missing on March 8, was found in the early hours of March 10, with his hands and legs tied.