Schools Should Raise Awareness On Child Abuse: Assocham

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Kolkata: The Assocham Education Council (AEC) has stressed the importance of raising “child abuse” awareness in schools, involving students, their parents and staff members. The council, in a report, requested the Centre as well as the state governments to ensure that schools become “abuse-free zones”.

In the wake of the recent sexual abuse cases reported from schools across the country, the AEC decided to present its recommendations to HRD ministry for the creation of a “safe and healthy environment” for students, Tamal Mukherjee, the chairman of the council, said at a press meet in Kolkata on Wednesday.

The organisation advocated the formation of a child welfare committee in schools, consisting of principal, trustees, parents, teachers and psychologists, to carry out the awareness programmes. The AEC also asked the teaching and non-teaching staff of the institutions to sign a “child abuse prevention” pledge.

“As playschools are mushrooming in nooks and corners of the country, there ought to be guidelines for monitoring safety measures. This is necessary for making schools abuse-free zones,” Mukherjee said. According to Mukherjee, just one per cent of the total schools in West Bengal have CCTV surveillance facilities – a “situation that needs to be changed” at the earliest.

“Now that the report – ‘Pehle Pre-school Initiative Recommendations’ – has been submitted to MHRD, we are planning to frame certain guidelines in this regard, in association with the ministry.”

An education meet has been organised tomorrow in the city, where the issue of improving education standards in eastern India would be discussed in details, the council chairman said. The meet would also deliberate on the recommendations made to the Centre for providing an environment “conducive” to schoolchildren.

Vice chancellors of well-known universities, principals of colleges and private institutes would be attend the event tomorrow, following which a resolution would be presented to all stakeholders in the education sector, detailing the minutes of the meeting, Mukherjee added.

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