Schools must teach kids gender sensitivity

Schools must teach kids gender sensitivity

Teachers working in government and private schools have been given the responsibility of inculcating gender sensitivity among students

Starting from the coming academic year, the onus will be on schools to sensitise children about sexual exploitation, teach them techniques of detecting such moves and inculcate gender sensitivity.

Teachers working in government and private schools have been given the responsibility of inculcating gender sensitivity among students, according to a fresh set of guidelines specified by the government.

Teachers ought to create awareness among students about sexual assault and about good touch and bad touch and must be aware of reporting any such cases and the formalities to be followed.

Students will have to be educated about the Pocso Act, sexual exploitation of children, misuse of objects and behaviour with classmates.

Schools must have a comprehensive reporting methodology to help teaching and non-teaching staff report incidents of sexual harassment if any by anyone associated with the school. They must also ensure that the child is immediately kept away from the one against whom the complaint has been registered.

Teachers are also expected to create a conducive atmosphere for children to share their experiences. To begin with, teachers have been asked to gain the confidence of students.

It has been recommended that schools keep a record of any mental illness that the child is suffering from and have on board a full-time counsellor. Each school must have one teacher who plays the role of an in-house counsellor and sees a doctor when needed. 

Following reports of addiction to games and pornography, the government has decided to curb the use of the internet and have schools oversee activities students participate in when in school. 

Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Association of Managements of Private Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) said, “There is a simple way schools can adopt to explain sex education. USECO (United Socio-Economic Cultural Organisation) has a 98-page guideline which can help teachers explain these concepts even to a five-year-old.

“It is necessary for orders like these to specify what methods are to be employed to teach children gender sensitivity. Also, having psychologists in every school would be impossible as there are very few professionals in the city,” he said.