The Andhra Pradesh government has initiated steps to make schools safer.

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By keeping an eye out for bullying and sexual harassment, the school education department of the Andhra Pradesh government has started a novel project to make schools a safer place for kids. While teachers and staff at each school are being educated on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act of 2012, a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) has been created to protect the safety and security of kids, especially females. In accordance with the POCSO Act, teachers and other staff members in every school receive training on child protection guidelines and how to avoid child sexual abuse.

“Despite the prevalence of abuse is widespread, the fundamental problem is the lack of reporting. In order for kids to speak up and report, we want to end the quiet and have these conversations with them. That will significantly reduce harassment “Commissioner of Education for Schools S Suresh Kumar remarked. According to Suresh Kumar, PTI, a new attempt to protect youngsters under the age of 18 has resulted in the development of school safety rules.

To address the issue, each school established a school safety committee, a child abuse monitoring committee, and a school complaints committee, led by the principal. The child abuse monitoring committee will include a non-member with knowledge of children’s rights among its members. “We are installing a specially made complaints box in every school so that children can voice their issues, negative experiences, etc. In the event of a complaint against a teacher or other member of staff, a covert investigation would be carried out to protect the identity of the victim complainant, “Says Suresh Kumar. Additionally, students were being encouraged to freely seek assistance when they needed it. Schools widely displayed kid safety posters along with helpline numbers.

Within 15 days, a Mandal-level committee made up of the local tehsildar and other officials would examine the complaints and suggest any required actions to the appropriate authority. Teachers and members of the school safety committee would meet regularly to discuss school safety and security-related issues and decide on the best course of action. In all schools, even those run by private management, trained teachers and eminent individuals will conduct special sessions on Good Touch-Bad Touch, unreported sexual harassment, psychological counselling, domestic harassment, and trafficking of minors for sexual exploitation.

“Every student is required to abide by the safety and security regulations set forth by the school’s principal and instructors. Senior students could converse with younger pupils on a variety of topics, including bullying and sexual harassment, under the assistance of teachers “added the Commissioner. Students may also use the complaints box to alert the administration if they see supplies of narcotics, tobacco, or other similar substances within or outside the school. “Our ultimate goal is to create a safe environment free from all forms of harassment and vices in schools. To ensure the success of this programme, we are recruiting the help of not only the instructors and staff but also the kids, parents, and other interested parties “Says Suresh Kumar.

Mayank Tewari


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