A day after six girls studying in a municipal school in Mongolpuri M-block accused a male teacher, Ram Ratan, of allegedly molesting them, MCD’s Education Director Indira Yadav issued orders not only suspending the accused, but also directing that all male teachers — including the principal — be transferred out of the school.
Ram Ratan has been arrested and the MCD too has initiated an inquiry against him. “Investigations carried out by the department reveal that Ram Ratan gave physical punishment to the students. The students objected to the manner of punishment and reported the matter to the police,” the MCD said in a statement.
MCD Education Committee Chairman Prithvi Raj Sawhney said that the Corporation has adopted a policy wherein only female teachers are allowed to teach at its all-girls’ school. Of the 1,800 schools run by the MCD, 618 are all-girls’ schools.
“We take such incidents (of molestation) very seriously and would like to ensure that as far as possible, no male teachers should be deployed at girls’ schools. However, since we do not have enough female teachers and implementing such a policy in toto is not feasible, we sometimes allow male teachers in girls schools,” he said.
The MCD’s Education Department in January this year had come up with the controversial policy on keeping the male teachers away from girl students, citing growing instances of sexual harassment and molestation in MCD schools.
The policy had then drawn severe criticism from the male teachers who felt that such an order insinuates that all male teachers are characterless and that they cannot be trusted to teach girls.
Women councillors want a ladies’ corner in Town Hall
With the MCD having record number of women councillors this term, 34.5 per cent as against the 33 per cent seats reserved for them, the Corporation might have to make special room for them. Councillor Rekha Gupta on Tuesday wrote to Mayor Arti Mehra asking for allotment of a separate room for women councillors, where they can discuss their problems.