Karnataka to come out with child protection policy

Karnataka to come out with child protection policy

In the wake of repeated incidents of sexual violence against children in schools, the Karnataka cabinet today decided to come out with child protection policy for safer schools in the state.

"With an intention to provide safety to children in schools, the cabinet has given its approval for child protection policy for safe schools in Karnataka," Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters here after a cabinet meeting.

He said the policy will be applicable to all schools whether it is government, aided or non-aided and those that comes under CBSE, ICSE and other boards, including international schools.

Stating that the guidelines and rules with respect to the policy will be issued to schools, Jayachandra said "it speaks about the responsibility of schools managements, teachers and parents; it speaks about setting up of children protection committee."

He said the policy defines the role and responsibility of the school headmaster/principal with regard to safety of the children. It speaks on the appointment of school safety officers and members to the child protection committee, along with convening regular meetings of the committee and review among other.

To a query, he said, "what we will be issuing is only policy guidelines, in case of non-implementation or improper implementation of the policy we will have to come out with government order or a law, which we will do as and when required in the days to come."

Five incidents of alleged sexual assaults of minor girls in schools here in as many months have led to growing public outrage and concern over safety of girls in schools.

In the latest incident early this week, a three-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted twice in the premises of a private school here, leading to the arrest of a school attendant.

It happened weeks after the sexual assault of a six-year-old girl in a school by a Hindi teacher who was arrested. In another incident in October, an office assistant in a school here was arrested for sexual assault of a three-and-a-half-year old girl.

An eight-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by her 63-year-old teacher inside her school premises over a period of time with the offence coming to light in early August, barely a month after the alleged rape of a six-year-old girl at 'Vibgyor High' school here.

Police have issued safety guidelines for schools, which in many cases have been found to be observing them in the breach.

Giving details about the other decisions, Jayachandra said the cabinet has also decided to bring an amendment to relevant rules to make provisions for the collection of road user's fee for state highways.

He also said it has been decided to recommend to central government on including Golla, Kadu golla and Adavi golla communities in the ST category.

Jayachandra said the cabinet has cleared the guidelines framed by the sub-committee for issuing land approvals, adding this will determine at what value or what criteria had to be followed while giving lands, whether it is for industries or educational or public welfare or religious institutions.

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