Complaint box at schools to ensure children's safety

Complaint box at schools to ensure children's safety

85 pc of schools in Mysuru to implement new rule by this weekend

In the wake of atrocities on students in schools, the Education department has come up with an initiative ‘complaint box,’ to ensure children’s safety. The Education department has directed all the schools, including aided and unaided, to place a complaint box in the school premises.

Students have been asked to drop a complaint in the box if they come across any kind of harassment. The box will be opened once in three days by the head of the institution.

The department has asked all the schools to constitute a committee comprising school head, one male and one female teacher and a member from Child Welfare Committee (CWC).

Students can drop complaints regarding their issues with teachers or any staff member in the school. The move is aimed at instilling self-confidence among children. The authorities will provide counselling to the students and conduct investigation. An awareness programme among students will be conducted, said Deputy Director for Public Instruction (DDPI) H R Basappa.

Sometimes, students are afraid to complain against school authorities and so, they need not mention the names and even if a student mentions names, it will be kept a secret, he added.

“The district has 3,600 institutions, including aided and unaided schools, and 85 per cent of them are set to implement the new rule by this weekend. We will achieve 100 per cent success. The respective board education officers (BEOs) are assigned to monitor the initiative,” the DDPI added.

Welcoming the move, child rights activists said the initiative was good but need a few modifications. The department should include a School Development and Monitoring Committee (SDMC) member, a parent and a student-friendly teacher in the committee.
The chances of manipulation are high if the head of the institution is appointed as chief of the committee. “No head wants to highlight one’s school for bad reasons,” said Rural Literacy and Health Programme (RLHP) Director Saraswathi.

“RLHP, which is working for the welfare of destitute children, is also working with ‘Child Line 1098’ and has received many complaints from schoolchildren about various atrocities in schools. Though corporal punishment is banned, many schools and teachers still follow it. So, Children Club Forum should be formed at each school. The club would be more effective than the complaint box and the authorities should educate the children about ‘good touch and bad touch’ and allow them to discuss about other safety measures,” she added.

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