Published: 23rd February 2020
75,000 Bihar schools to have POCSO cell by March, student representative in committee
Kiran Kumari, special project officer, Bihar Education Project Council Act said that a school committee will be headed by a principal and a senior teacher, a male and a female student and a clerk
In a landmark decision, the Bihar government has decided to establish POCSO cells in all 75,000 schools from March. Better still, a male and female student will also be on the panel as well, which is also a first since such committees usually comprise of adults.
The cell will hear complaints from students about inappropriate touching, sexual misconduct, exploitation at home or school. Kiran Kumari, special project officer, Bihar Education Project Council Act said that a school committee will be headed by a principal and a senior teacher, a male and a female student and a clerk. The officer said that a student can either submit the complaint to the committee or put it in the box allotted for it without or without revealing their identity.
"The committee in every school will have to forward the complaint to the nearest police station and if it falls under the POCSO Act, a case will be registered. The committee will find out the identity of the complainant at the time of filing a complaint. But the identities will be confidential," she explained.
The POCSO cells in the schools will start functioning from March 1 and from April, the district education office will start to monitor it. It will initially be formed in the first pahse in secondary schools and will follow in primary and middle schools thereafter. Teachers will also receive special training to handle the internet safely. POCSO committees at senior secondary level would be linked to Unnayan Bihar for online and centralised monitoring, the officer also said.