Child rights cells to stop use of cane in schools

The Commission has set up an expert committee to frame guidelines for school managements in the context of prohibition of “physical punishment and mental harassment” in the newly-introduced Right to Education Act.

The NCPCR, along with state units, would monitor the implementation of the RTE Act. “There should be independent Child Rights Cell in every school, which will have representatives from management, teachers, students, alumni and also a child rights expert,” NCPCR chairperson Shantha Sinha told Deccan Herald.

“Complaint boxes will be kept in strategic locations inside school compounds and the cell should meet at least once in a month to look into these complaints,” she said. The boxes should be opened during the meetings of the cell, which should hear the grievances of students and parents, and ensure that no one is harassed for making the complaints. It should also ensure that adequate steps are taken to prevent corporal punishment and oversee steps taken by schools to improve basic amenities like clean toilets and provision of drinking water.

The school managements are also expected to amend their rules and change Staff Service Rules and Regulations in tune with the RTE, once guidelines are drawn up by the expert committee. During the deliberations, the committee would also define what is meant by “indiscipline”.

“The Act says no child will be detained in any class and infliction of corporal punishment is to be treated as a grave misconduct that will invite major penalties,” Sinha said. Also, manipulation or putting pressure on students to testify in favour of the school should also be treated as a misconduct and invite penalties.

The Act also stipulates that the school managements should constitute Parent-Teacher Association for every class and hold meetings at least once in two months. Attendance of parents should be made mandatory for 75 per cent of such meetings.

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