Abuse of schoolgirls across India stuns the nation

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
The incident of school girls being sexually abused in school premises has stunned the nation, where within a day there were various reports of such unfortunate incidents. The most shocking of is the one wherein the school Principal of Tilaiya Public School; S. Xavier was arrested on charges of raping a six-year-old girl in Jharkhand’s Koderma district. The next was reported case was from Kolkata, where a four-year-old girl was sexually abused inside a school, triggering angry protests on December 1, 2017 and leading to the arrest of two teachers.

The masses from the North Eastern region are yet to overcome the scandalous event where three teachers failed to find out who wrote a chit that was recovered wherein someone used inappropriate language about the alleged relations of a head teacher with a girl student. They allegedly forcibly stripped 88 girls of Class VI and VII in front of the entire school on November 23 as punishment in an Arunachal Pradesh school.
In the first instance in Jharkhand, the principal allegedly raped the girl in the school’s washroom on November 29. When she tried to shout, he offered her a chocolate. The girl informed her mother after reaching home.
The principal told reporters that he has not committed any big crime. He said he committed the crime due to tension, and termed it as “accidental”. Xavier has been charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
In the case from Kolkata the angry guardians were protesting at the high-profile GD Birla Centre For Education in south Kolkata’s Ranikuthi area since morning after the parents of the girl and doctors said she was sexually abused by a teacher and perhaps more men.
According to the lawyer for the victim’s family said the girl was lured into a toilet and sexually abused. The victim minor was shown a chocolate and lured inside a school toilet where one or more men abused her. The girl was shown pictures of four suspects. She has identified two men, one of whom is her physical education teacher.
Two physical education teachers, Abhishek Roy and Mohammad Mofijul, of the school have been arrested.
In the case from Arunachal Pradesh, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on December 1, 2017 asked for a detailed report within four weeks on the forced stripping of 88 girls in an Arunachal Pradesh school. The Commission took suo motu notice of media reports and issued a notice to the state Chief Secretary. It called for a detailed report apart from action taken against the erring teachers and steps for counselling of the victim students. It said the reported incident was indeed “inexcusable”.
All these incidents are sending a shiver down the spine of every individual, as the School is considered as the Temple of Knowledge and the Teachers as the Guardians and Gurus. In the case from Jharkhand, it is worse as the crime was committed by the Principal.
The government need to standardized the policy to operate an educational institutions, besides the norms and regulations which needs to be maintained, keeping the security and safety of the students as paramount, and more so the girl students.
Next comes the verification from the Principal to the Guard which is important. At the same time, there should be no interference from the politicians or bureaucrats or from any quarters, particularly in appointments of teachers or support staff, which in turn has exposed the innocent students, leaving them susceptible to the hands of unnoticed perverts in the institution premises itself.
The mushrooming of educational institutions, from the play school to graduation level needs to be checked as most of the institutions are money making enterprise, and not educational institution. Hence all such unfortunate incidents take place, victimizing innocent and unsuspected students, especially the girl students.


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