Published: 10th June 2019
Social Justice Department to strengthen School Protection Groups in Kozhikode
The role of the SPGs is to handle juvenile offences and stop unlawful activities taking place in the vicinity of schools
In a bid to curb substance abuse issues among children and to involve the general public in handling problems of students, the Our Responsibility to Children (ORC) project under the Social Justice Department, Kerala is planning to strengthen the School Protection Groups (SPGs) functioning in schools in Kozhikode.
The role of the SPGs is to handle juvenile offences and stop unlawful activities taking place in the vicinity of schools.The SPGS consist of ward members, school students, parents, teachers, people’s representatives, auto drivers, merchants’ association members and are headed by Station House Officers and school principals.
“In a recent meeting held with school authorities and parents in Kozhikode, we received several complaints regarding sales of pan masala in shops close to schools,”said ORC district programme officer Prabitha T P. “Hence we will direct the SPGs to monitor the sale of such substance as well as sales of tobacco and alcoholic beverages,” she said. The programme officer added that the SPG members are bound to report to the Police or Child Welfare Committee if they come across any such issue.
As part of strengthening the SPGs, steps will be taken to ensure that all the 25 schools in which ORC programmes are being implemented have active SPG team.“This year we have extended the project to Government Vocational Higher Secondary school Payyanakkal also,” she said. ORC members will conduct routine school visits to assess the work of each school. Workshops and training will also be carried out for the SPG members.
The SPGs will also gather information on students who go away from schools during the working hours as well as take notice of persons who befriend students, outside the school campuses. Traffic issues and travelling difficulties faced by students will also be addressed.
Unlike in the previous years where counselling and motivational classes were conducted for class X students towards the end of their academic year, this year the classes are expected to commence at the beginning of the academic year. Special counselling will also be given to students who require individual attention.