In view of sexual assault incident at a Vasco school, the Ponda administration convened a meeting with teachers and heads of various educational institutions from Ponda taluka on Monday to sensitise them on various aspects to ensure safety of students.
The meeting was aimed at improving safety of students in the schools and to guide teachers on safety measures to be undertaken by them. About 500 teachers attended the meeting at A J De Almeida School.
Deputy Collector Ponda Johnson Fernandes, Ponda DySP Dinraj Govekar, Ponda PI C L Patil, Collem PI Jivba Dalvi and Adv Emidio Pinho of the SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) addressed the meeting.
“The Vasco child sexual assault case is an eye opener. There are incidents where child abuse goes unnoticed, leading to mental imbalance of the child. Children are future pillars of the nation and we should provide them a safe environment,” said DySP Govekar.
Govekar urged teachers to be more extra cautious to prevent any untoward incident in the school and suggested some preventive measures that can be taken by the school authorities. “In majority of the cases, the accused is known to the victim. Sometimes we take things lightly and it should not be the case,” he added.
“Preventive measures like constructing a compound wall, fencing and if possible CCTV cameras can be installed in the school campuses. Institutions must maintain register for visitors and no child should be allowed to go with a stranger without the consent of parents or guardians,” he added.
“Schools need to conduct proper verification of drivers and conductors of school buses. During recess, a lady attendant should be present near the girls’ lavatory,” suggested DySP Govekar.
PI Patil said strict action will be taken against bikers who hover in an around the school premises and urged teachers to inform the police.
He also guided teachers what precautionary measures to be adopted if any incident is reported in the school.
Adv Pinho briefed teachers on the child rights protection laws and urged educational institutes not to allow strangers, or even parents/guardians, in the school premises except for a certain time which can be decided by school authorities.
Pinho also advocated a need for an interaction between police and students.
Teachers brought to the notice of the deputy collector and police the problems faced due to kiosks near the schools and the need for police patrolling near the schools. [H]