Published: 18th November 2021
TN Education Minister: Child safety and sexual abuse awareness programmes in all schools soon
This comes shortly on the heels of the arrest of a school principal in Coimbatore after a teen girl died by suicide due to repeated sexual assault by a teacher in the school
Tamil Nadu Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi on Wednesday said that child safety and sexual abuse awareness programmes would be conducted in all schools across the state. He said that the awareness programs would be kickstarted on November 19, which is World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse.
This comes shortly on the heels of the arrest of a school principal in Coimbatore after a teen girl died by suicide due to repeated sexual assault by a teacher in the school. Speaking to reporters in an event in Ponmalaipatti on Wednesday, Poyyamozhi was asked about the steps being taken by the government to tackle sexual abuse in schools. "We take such cases very seriously. Child safety awareness programmes will be conducted regularly in schools. We will be launching it on Friday in a school in Chennai. We have already been spreading awareness about POCSO. However, we realise that the awareness is lesser in private schools. We are taking efforts to ensure that no children go through abuse. Once schools are opened fully, full-fledged awareness programmes will be conducted on a regular basis," said Poyyamozhi.
He was also asked about the maintenance of schools which were battered in the rain. "We are getting complaints about some schools which are in a bad shape. Education department officers are conducting inspections in schools where the buildings are weak. We will submit their reports to the PWD and get clearance for demolition or repairing works of such buildings," added Poyyamozhi.
He also said that transfer counseling for government school teachers would be announced soon. He said that the procedure for the same is being drafted and would be released soon. He said that genuine reasons like health, children, the health of parents would be considered. The announcement should be out after getting CM's consent for the draft. He was also asked about school on Saturdays being a burden on teachers. "We have always had school on Saturdays for syllabus coverage. Since we've started schools only a month back, we have to conduct classes on Saturday to complete the portion," he added.
He received petitions from over a hundred of people in Ponmalaipatti on Wednesday. He assured them that their petitions would be forwarded to the respective departments and discussed at the review meeting at the Collectorate on November 20.