Gujarat teachers asked to come clean on sexual offence cases
All primary, secondary and higher secondary school teachers and staff members will have to submit a notarised affidavit declaring that they are not involved in any sexual offence case.Updated: Oct 12, 2018 23:58 IST
Gujarat school teachers will from now on have to file an affidavit declaring that they do not have any sexual offence case registered against them, the state government announced on Friday.
According to the direction of the state education department, all primary, secondary and higher secondary school teachers and staff members will have to submit a notarised affidavit declaring that they are not involved in any sexual offence case. The order covers aided and self-financed schools also.
The move comes after a few rapes involving minors were reported from Surat this year, including an 11-year-old who was raped and murdered in March and two five-year-olds who were violated last month, according to police.
Although many teachers have not welcomed the move, the education department maintained it was a step towards making the school environment more secure. No rape-related cases have recently been reported from any school nor have school teachers been held as accused, officials familiar with the matter said.
A teacher said on the condition of anonymity, “We are being asked to fill up the form as if we are criminals. Teacher-student relations are very sacred and they should be kept like that.”
Parents of school students have welcomed the move. “Just like election candidates have to declare their personal details so that we know about their background, it will be good to know that teachers have a clean background,” said Smita Nair, the mother of 14-year-old girl.
In August 2017, on a PIL seeking to boost safety of schoolchildren, the Supreme Court had issued orders to step up security measures in schools. Some of the measures suggested were installing closed-circuit television cameras in schools, collecting the background information of teachers and other staff and making school buildings secure. The education department then began a drive to ensure the court orders were followed by schools.
On Friday, Porbandar became the latest district in Gujarat to start collecting data on school teachers.
“In August 2017, in connection with a PIL, the Supreme Court had issued directives to strengthen safety measures in schools,” said Gujarat primary education board director, Nutan Raval. She said that apart from CCTV camera installation, collecting background information on teachers and other staff was a part of the court order.
First Published: Oct 12, 2018 23:31 IST