Dist admin to focus on personal mentoring of students

Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil speaks at a meeting on safety of girl students held at the Zilla Panchayat Hall in Mangaluru on Monday.

The district administration will issue guidelines to all educational institutions on personal mentoring of students, Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil S said on Monday.

The step has been taken following an increase in cases of sexual atrocities on women and girl students.

The deputy commissioner was speaking at a meeting organised by the district administration to discuss safety of girl students in schools and colleges.

‘Individual attention’

“Educational institutions should give individual attention to students as part of the mentoring. A structured programme for mentoring will be facilitated by the district administration. Personal mentoring will go a long way in understanding the children and their problems,” he explained.

The deputy commissioner said the district administration will not tolerate anyone harassing students in the name of moral policing.

Earlier, Mangalore University Registrar Prof A M Khan said that the university will issue a circular to all the affiliated colleges in its jurisdiction to have a mentor or guide for every group of 30 students. “Even the need for counsellors in each college has also been stressed by the university. The Mangalore University is also planning to have a two-hour workshop for students on drug abuse, environment protection, sexual harassment and cyber crime, by inviting experts,” said the registrar.

“A mentor will have details on every aspect of a student. If the student is absent from the class for some days, a mentor can alert the parents or guardians and look into the reasons for it. Even the students can share their problems with the mentor,” said Khan.

Strengthening helpline

Participants from educational institutions urged the district administration to strengthen women’s helpline and create awareness on the same.

The deputy commissioner said that the Helpline 1077 will be strengthened by deploying dedicated staff to cater to various problems aired by callers. The helpline will be strengthened within a week, he added.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Ravish Tunga said that counselling is essential to change the mindset of students.

Stressing on the rampant drug menace in the district, he said that, out of 100 cases he receives, 10 to 12 are pertaining to drug abuse. “There is a need to reduce the demand for drugs as it will automatically stop the supply,” he suggested, adding, “Adolescents should be guided on the right path to make their future. Mental health professionals’ body in Mangaluru is ready to help the district administration.”

On banning mobile phones on the campus of educational institutions, Senthil said that the colleges could take their own decisions to instil discipline in students. He urged teachers to have a positive outlook towards children.

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