Shadows cast on role of 'shadow teacher'

Shadows cast on role of 'shadow teacher'

The case of sexual abuse of the six-year-old girl in Vibgyor High, in Marathahalli, and the absen­ce of her ‘shadow teacher’ on the day of the incident has thrown light the role of a shadow teacher.

According to Vibgyor High school staff, there are around 20-25 students who have such shadow teachers. These ‘special education providers’ sit outside the classroom and help the teacher manage children when­ever required. The tea­c­h­ers are hired by the paren­ts and school only gives them permission to allow them. The school management is not responsible for the shadow teachers.

However, the Education department does not approve of the term ‘shadow teacher.’ They say the term does not seem correct.

“On that day, due to some reasons, the shadow teacher could have been absent. But ideally she should be present with the child all through. Also if she is a teacher, she should be professionally qualified, with proper training. But the department is not aware of any such information,” an official said. The department officials also question the basis of understanding between the school and the parents having a shadow teacher. Adding to this police sources said that the shadow teacher was, in fact, the girl’s attendant.

“Everybody around the girl, except her parents, have been investigated and are being questioned. They include the maids, attendant, teachers and everybody else. The possibility of there being some involvement of the shadow teacher cannot be not ignored as she was absent on that day,” a source in the police said.

The police has also taken help of all those associated with the child in counselling her, to get information about the accused. During some of the sessions, the help of the shadow teacher was also sought as she was said to be close to the child. But that does not give her a clean chit. No parameter is being ignored, the police sources said.