Chandigarh schools to educate students on filing complaints of sexual offences
In response to a petition seeking security of students in the city schools, district education officer (DEO) Rajinder Kaur directed all UT schools to follow instructions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
The heads of schools were also asked to sensitise the students about such acts.
In order to increase the reach of commission and monitor any or all instances of sexual offences against children in an expeditious manner, an online POCSO e-button has been created by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
It enables the child to register- her/his complaint by visiting the commission’s website (www.ncpcr.gov.in) and click on the POCSO e-button.
According to the NCPCR, child sexual offence (CSA) is a sensitive matter, which often goes unreported under a stigma and lack of awareness.
The direction further states that online registration of grievances pertaining to sexual offence committed against the child should be eased.
Chandigarh schools have witnessed a couple of sexual harassment cases in the schools in past four-five years.
On February 9, 2017, few students had filed a petition seeking security in the school premises following which, the UT education department released the directions.
In 2015, a local court had awarded five-year rigorous imprisonment (RI) to two teachers of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Dadu Majra, for molesting girl students.
Another incident was reported in 2015 when a school bus conductor was held for molesting a five-year-old girl, a student of LKG class of Stepping Stones Senior Secondary School, Sector 38-A.
Advisory for schools
It should be ensures that a child protection plan or policy is in place, which lays down a clear reporting and response mechanism.
It’s advisable to stay careful about the child protection laws and related guidelines besides child protection referral agencies.
An appropriate training on child protection to understand different types of child abuse should be undertaken.
The principal or school in-charge may be designated as a lead person responsible for child protection issues or another staff member may be assigned the responsibility.