The Maharashtra state commission for protection of child rights (MSCPCR) said on Monday that it would suggest stricter laws to regulate the pre-school sector.
The commission was hearing the alleged sexual assault case of the six-year-old boy from a Kurla school. While the commission has asked the school to submit an affidavit on the incident within a week, the police have been asked to submit a detailed report within four days. The parents have also been asked to submit a report of the incident.
“As pre-schools are not regulated, the government has no control over them. It is the duty of the government to come up with regulations under section 11 of the Right to Education Act,” said AN Tripathi, secretary of the commission. He added that children travelling in school bus are the responsibility of the school.
During the hearing, the maternal uncle of the Kurla student said the kindergarten class teacher, who was pursuing her SYBA through distance education, did not take his sister’s complaints seriously. “My sister had told the teacher last year that the child repeatedly complained about two classmates ‘kissing and hugging’ him. But the teacher took no action,” he said.
The school principal said the parents complained only on March 19. “If the parents knew about the incidents in December itself, why did they wait so long to complain?’’ she told the commission.
The principal said most of the city’s preschools hire teachers who are educated only till Class 12. “If people can pursue a diploma in education after Class 12 and teach up to Class 7, what is wrong in hiring a Class 12-passed woman as a pre-school teacher? She was also trained in early childhood and care education programme” the principal said.