As the number of sexual harassment cases has increased in schools recently, the government on Thursday announced that a “Student Safety Advisory Committee” has to be set up in each school to monitor children safety.
Speaking on the grants to his department, School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi in the Assembly said a control room will be set up at DPI with a toll-free hotline and private email facility to receive complaints specifically pertaining to sexual harassment and violence at schools.
Pointing out that the state has issued protective guidelines on “students’ safety and protection from sexual violence, the Minister said “an orientation module will be prepared for use by schools to raise awareness about Posco Act among all stakeholders and to improve safety in schools.
He also said that a self-audit module has also been formulated which has to be filled up by schools. “Safety boxes have to be placed on school premises for the convenience of students to lodge their complaints and for feedback,” he said adding “Child abuse prevention week should be observed in all schools every year from November 15 to 22.
Poyyamozhi also said that an around the clock toll-free helpline with a five-seat capacity has been set up in the DPI campus. “This is a single point contact for students, teachers and parents across the state to get their grievances redressed,” he said adding “so far, around 3.5 lakh calls have been received on this helpline.” On the other welfare measures, the Minister told the House that in 2021-22 his department is planning to provide Hi-tech labs for 1,784 government middle schools with an outlay of Rs 114 crore.
The Minister also said that the government would be spending Rs 20.76 crore this year for establishing smart classrooms in 865 government higher secondary schools.
He said that the Teachers Recruitment Board has planned to conduct Tamil Nadu Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) for the year 2021 before the end of the current academic year.