The school has been actively promoting road safety awareness drive from past 10 years. As pupils get promoted from primary level to middle level and begin to move independently on the road, we felt the need for age appropriate road safety handbook to be integrated with the school curriculum for developing awareness. The handbook has been drafted by 15 years old road safety volunteers of grade 11.
It goes without saying that the culture of road safety can be best preserved when the future stakeholders are groomed, keeping this perspective we, the road safety club volunteers took the onus of disseminating the safe mobility measures at every nook and corner.
As responsible members of the Road Safety Club of the school we made significant efforts to ensure safe arrival and dispersal of students.It was however observed that students flouted the road norms. This risky behaviour of students on the road called for some immediate action on our part.
In this regard a meeting of the volunteers was scheduled focusing on:
- The risky behaviour related to road safety.
- The group that shows the problem behaviour
- The reasons why the group shows the behaviour.
Thus, it was decided to initially test the knowledge of the students about safe road practices.
An online Quiz on road safety rules was conducted to collect the responses of the students. The target group was class VI, VII, VIII (approx. 900 students). According to statistical analysis we found that class VIII students scored below 60%.
As we have been conducting awareness drives for the past 10 years, the result revealed that the students had performed fairly well but lacked complete knowledge and awareness of the traffic rules, repercussions of not following the same and also the regulations to be followed while using a road.
In a brainstorming session it was decided by the club members to embed road safety education programmes within the school curriculum framework. The aim was to develop a road safety culture among the children with good attitudes and skills, first as pedestrians and cyclists and then when they start driving.
- To introduce students to the threats on roads
- To give knowledge about the markings on the roads
- To reinforce the knowledge about the road signs
- To inculcate road safety habits
To make students aware about the safe driving norms and common driving mistakes
Realizing the vulnerability of children on our roads, various discussions and meetings were held with the school Principal, teachers and road safety club coordinator debating the need to introduce Road Safety as a separate subject in the school curriculum. After this exercise it was decided by us to use student-centered interactive strategies along with the following topics in the curriculum:
- Introduction to Road Safety
- Know Your Roads
- Know Your Road Signs
- Road Safety Habits
- Safe Driving Norms
- Common Driving Mistakes
As per our action plan the following activities were conducted to sensitize the students along with impacting the community:
Rap Song on Road Safety:To create awareness in the community about safe road habits in an effective manner students along with their teacher composed a rap song.
Bookmark Making Activity:Bookmark making activity was conducted in the month of September,the focus was to make students aware about the various road signs. The bookmarks were distributed to the students and teachers who visited the school on the occasion of prize distribution ceremony of school’s Science Education Programme –Vaigyanika.
Table Calendar Designing Competition: A Table Calendar Designing Competition was conducted for the students of grade III-VI. The purpose was to enhance road safety culture through effective medium. Students with the help of their parents designed a calendar with the road safety theme. The calendars were displayed in an exhibition during Primary Parents Teacher Meeting.
Pamphlet Designing Competition: A pamphlet was designed by the student volunteers and was distributed to the parents during the Parent Teacher Meeting. The pamphlet conveyed the message of following traffic rules and do’s and don’ts of road safety.
Online Teaching of Curriculum: It was due to the spread of Corona Virus Pandemic that the school was closed from the last week of March 2020 i.e., before the beginning of new session. Thus, it was decided to teach the road safety curriculum through online classes being held on Microsoft Teams. To make the curriculum interactive and more effective following activities were conducted:
- Spot the Hazards: After reading the first chapter of the curriculum students were given an activity wherein, they had to spot the hazards to the pedestrians in the given picture. The activity made the students identify the dangers and consequences of risk taking and the benefits of making safe choices on the roads.
- Comic Strip Making: To promote safety on roads students had to design a comic strip, using their innovative and creative skills. To impart the important lifelong message about how to stay safe when they are on the road. Students clicked pictures of their beautiful work and mailed them on email@example.com. The best comic strip will be published in the road safety curriculum which will be distributed to 4200 students and in the community when the school will reopen after lockdown.
- Identify the Road Signs: Students were given some road signs which they had to identify. The activity helped the students learn and understand the importance of road signs. All the students enthusiastically participated in this activity.
- Story Writing: The students had to weave a story using the given a story line. The story gave a message to follow traffic rules and be safe on road.
- Compose a Jingle:In order to spread awareness about road safety rules such as traffic lights, speed limits, pedestrian rules amongst the masses, students were asked to create their own jingle, record it, and share on firstname.lastname@example.org. Selected jingles were uploaded on YouTube for creating more awareness about road safety in the community.
The curriculum is available on the school website also for easy access to all.
Milestones Achieved: To establish the success of the project another online quiz was conducted for the students.
- Wherein a positive response was observed by Class VI students. The number of students scoring 90% and above have increased.
- Similarly, for Class VII,the overall response of the students has improved.The number of students scoring 70% and above have increased from 50 to 90. The number of students scoring below 50% have come down from 99 to 16 only.
- For Class VIII, the result of Online Quiz 2 has been really encouraging and overwhelming. The number of students scoring 70% and above have really gone up from 0 to 74. The number of students scoring below 50% have gone down from 168 to only 49. The results have really motivated us to take up this Road Safety subject in coming years so that Road Safety rules and norms can be embedded more strongly in the students.
- The analysis of the performance of students of classes VI & VII indicates that being young many students were not very familiar with the technology Microsoft Forms and could not submit the quiz on time. So,in order to enhance their performance, follow up activities will be planned and conducted after summer break i.e., in the month of July.
- Once the school reopens after lockdown road safety curriculum will be distributed to all 4200 students of the school and in the community as well.