POCSO (The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act),2012 was established to safeguard children’s from crimes like sexual assault, sexual harassment, pornography also under this Act several Special Courts has been established for trial of these offences related with children.
- This act defines the children below the age of 18 years.
- POCSO Act came into force on November 14, 2012, and was especially constructed for dealing with the offences of any kind of sexual violence done with children and using them to make any kind of porn substances which hamper’s their tender age.
- It is a first comprehensive law in India which was specially created to deal the sexual abuse done with children
- It also gives the provisions for avoiding the re-victimization of the children during the judicial process.
- Physical abuse.Physical child abuse occurs when a child is purposely physically injured or put at risk of harm by another person.
- Frequent injuries or unexplained bruises, fractures, welts, burns or cuts
- Depression and anxiety and/or aggression and violence.
- Problems with relationships and socializing / distant and withdrawn.
- Wears inappropriate clothing to cover up injuries, such as a coat on warm days.
- Running away
- Sleeps in Class /appears drowsy
- Sexual abuse.Child sexual abuse is any sexual activity with a child. This can involve sexual contact, such as intentional sexual touching, oral-genital contact or intercourse. This can also involve noncontact sexual abuse of a child, such as exposing a child to sexual activity or pornography; observing or filming a child in a sexual manner; sexual harassment of a child; or prostitution of a child, including sex trafficking.
- Sleep problems and bed-wetting or soiling.
- Negative thoughts / not looking after themselves / low self esteem
- Displaying sexually inappropriate behaviour
- Anal or vaginal soreness
- Unexplained bleeding from private parts.
- Aggressive behaviour, risk taking and missing school or running away.
- Emotional abuse.Emotional child abuse means injuring a child's self-esteem or emotional well-being. It includes verbal and emotional assault — such as continually belittling or berating a child — as well as isolating, ignoring or rejecting a child.
- Possible delayed physical, emotional and mental development.
- Being unable to play or socialize well with others
- Fearful of making mistakes
- Sudden speech disorders or neurotic behaviour such as rocking
- Low self-esteem / confidence
- Crying inconsolably
Substance Abuse: Includes intake of Psychoactive /alcoholic /narcotic substance /tabacco or engage in buying or selling of any above mentioned substance.
- Aggressive bahaviour, risk taking, missing school.
- Low self-steem/ confidence
- Unable to socialize well with others
- Day dreaming ,lethargic
Neglect: Includes lack of food, medical attention, supervision, clothing etc.
The Right to Education Act, 2009 clearly states that corporal punishment could be classified as physical punishment, mental harassment, and discrimination. It is also given under this section whoever contravenes the above-mentioned provision shall be liable for disciplinary action under service rules applicable to them. It is not easy to define corporal punishment as it involves humiliation and insult which a child feels as a subject. Considering the millions of ways in which punishment is perpetrated on children in contemporary times, it is impossible to exhaust all the forms of insinuations and violence. However, following behavior have been categorically put under Anti corporal policy of the school.
The Right of children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE, 2009), clearly states that no child shall be subject to “physical punishment or mental harassment” in schools. Those officials that contravene this provision shall be liable for disciplinary action under service rules applicable to them.
It is not easy to define corporal punishment as it involves humiliation and insult which a child feels as a subject. Considering the millions of ways in which punishment is perpetrated on children in contemporary times, it is impossible to exhaust all the forms of insinuations and violence. However, following behavior have been categorically put under Anti corporal policy of the school.
Physical punishment is understood as any action that causes pain, hurt/injury and discomfort to a child, however light. Examples of physical punishment include but are not restricted to the following:
- Causing physical harm to children by hitting, kicking, scratching, pinching, biting, pulling the hair, boxing ears, smacking, slapping, and spanking or with any implement (cane, stick, shoe, chalk, dusters, belt, whip, giving electric shock etc.)
- Making children assume an uncomfortable position (standing on bench, standing against the wall in a chair-like position, standing with schoolbag on head, holding ears through legs, kneeling etc.)
- Forced ingestion of anything (for example: washing soap, mud, chalk, hot spices etc.)
- Detention in the classroom, library, toilet or any closed space in the school.
Mental harassment is understood as any non-physical treatment that is detrimental to the academic and psychological well-being of a child. It includes but is not restricted to the following:
- Sarcasm that hurts or lowers the child’s dignity; Calling names and scolding using humiliating adjectives, intimidation;
- Using derogatory remarks for the child, including pinning of slogans;
- Ridiculing the child with regard to her background or status or parental occupation or caste;
- Ridiculing the child with regard to her health status or that of the family – especially HIV/AID Sand tuberculosis;
- Belittling a child in the classroom due to his/her inability to meet the teacher’s expectations of academic achievement;
- Punishing or disciplining a child not recognising that most children who perform poorly in academics are actually children with special needs. Such children could have conditions like learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mild developmental delay etc.
- Using punitive measures to correct a child and even labeling him/her as difficult; such as a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who may not only fare poorly in academics, but also pose a problem in management of classroom behaviors;
- ‘Shaming’ the child to motivate the child to improve his performance.
- Ridiculing a child with developmental problems such as learning difficulty or a speech disorder, such as, stammering or speech articulation disorder.
Discrimination is understood as prejudiced views and behavior towards any child because of her/his caste/gender, occupation or region and non-payment of fees or for being a student admitted under the25% reservation to disadvantaged groups or weaker sections of society under the RTE, 2009. It can be latent; manifest; open or subtle. It includes but is not restricted to the following:
- Bringing social attitudes and prejudices of the community into the school by using belittling remarks against a specific social group or gender or ability/disability;
- Assigning different duties and seating in schools based on caste, community or gender prejudices for example, cleaning of toilets assigned by caste; task of making tea assigned by gender); admission through 25% reserved seats under the RTE; or non-payment of any prescribed fees;
- Commenting on academic ability based on caste or community prejudices.
- Denying a facility like library books or uniforms or sports facilities to a child or group of children based on caste, community, religion or gender.
Training, Awareness And Education
An awareness and training provides an opportunity for teachers to –
- Be sensitized to value, respect and listen to children;
- Learn age appropriate techniques of positive disciplining with students;
- Understand individual differences and treat each child as a unique individual considering inclusion and building self esteem.
- Explore their own sexual and abuse-related issues and opinions;
- Determine and build upon their knowledge of the symptoms of abuse;
- Understand their legal and ethical responsibilities as teachers;
- Understand sexuality and gender education where the thrust is on inculcation of respect for another person especially that of the other gender.
This training requires regular workshops/presentations for teachers on related concerns are conducted by the School Counselor and other experts from NGOs, Mental Health Professionals, Educationists or Law Enforcing agencies.
Code Of Conduct
Inappropriate/Offensive behavior for staff and employees
- Hit or otherwise physically assault a child.
- Use language that will mentally or emotionally abuse the child.
- Act in any way that intends to embarrass shame, humiliate or degrade a child.
- Show discrimination of race, culture, age, gender, disability, religion, sexuality, political persuasion or any other status.
- Develop a sexual relation with a child.
- Kiss, hug, fondle, rub or touch a child in an inappropriate or culturally insensitive way.
- Initiate physical contact unless initiated by the child (e.g. holding hands).
- Suggest inappropriate behavior or relations of any kind.
- Allow children to engage in sexually provocative games with each other.
- Stand aside when they see inappropriate actions inflicted by children on other children because it is frequent and commonplace.
Bullying is behaviour by an individual, repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual or group. It can be in the physical, verbal, emotional or cyber domain. It is any act or gesture (written, verbal, graphic, or physical) that is reasonably perceived as being dehumanizing, intimidating, hostile, humiliating and threatening and likely to evoke fear of physical harm or emotional distress.
Bullying undermines and dilutes the quality of education. Research shows that bullying can have short and long-term effects on the physical and mental well-being of pupils, on engagement with school, on self-confidence and on the ability to pursue ambitions and interests. Therefore, the policy aims to create an environment where students can grow and flourish without fear.
The following types of bullying behaviour are included in this non-exhaustive definition
- Deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
- Identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying,
- Bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.
- Hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum
- Where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying
An anti-bullying policy should always endeavor to complement a school’s policy on behavior and discipline. There is also a need to regularly reinforce and review the policy so that newcomers to the school understand the school’s stance on bullying and so that existing pupils and parents are reminded that bullying, in whatever form, will never be tolerated.
The objectives of anti bullying policy are:
- To foster an environment of mutual trust and respect through emotional literacy of all students.
- Constant supervision of school premises through teachers and CCTV’s to prevent any untoward incident.
- Students are made to understand what constitutes bullying and its consequences.
- Staff members and students are aware of rules and consequences for engaging in/and supporting bullying.
- To promote positive habits of self-respect, self-discipline and responsibility among all its members.
- To prohibit vulgar, offensive, sectarian or other aggressive behavior or language by any of its members.
- The school has a clear commitment to promoting equity in general and gender equity in particular in all aspects of its functioning.
- The school has the capacity to change in response to pupils’ needs.
- The school identifies aspects of curriculum through which positive and lasting influences can be exerted towards forming pupils’ attitudes and values.
Introduction: The Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 mandates free and compulsory elementary education to all children including CWSN. This act provides a legal framework that entitles all children between the ages of 6-14 years free and compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education. An education system that includes all students, and welcomes and supports them to learn, whoever they are and whatever their abilities or requirements. This means making sure that teaching and the curriculum, school buildings, classrooms, play areas, transport and toilets are appropriate for all children at all levels. Inclusive education means all children learn together in the same schools.
- It improves learning for all children – both those with and without disabilities.
- It promotes understanding, reduces prejudice and strengthens social integration.
- It ensures that children with disabilities are equipped to work and contribute economically and socially to their communities.
The major objectives of the Scheme are:
- Provision of quality education and enhancing learning outcomes of students
- Bridging Social and Gender Gaps in School Education
- Ensuring equity and inclusion at all levels of school education
- Ensuring minimum standards in schooling provisions
- Promoting Vocationalist of education
- Support States in implementation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexually defined behaviour which can range from misbehaviour of an irritating nature to the most serious forms such as sexual abuse and assault, including rape.
The Sexual Harassment of Women (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 defines sexual harassment to include any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour (whether directly or by implication) namely:
Examples of sexually harassing behaviour include:
- unwelcome touching;
- staring or leering;
- suggestive comments or jokes;
- sexually explicit pictures or posters;
- unwanted invitations to go out on dates;
- requests for sex;
- intrusive questions about a person's private life or body;
- unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person;
- insults or taunts based on sex;
- sexually explicit physical contact; and
- Sexually explicit emails or SMS text messages.
- Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
Sexual harassment at the workplace is any unwelcome sexually defined behaviour which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive working environment.
Cybersafety is the safe and responsible use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). NetSafe's approach to cybersafety is founded on:
- Maintaining a positive approach about the many benefits brought by technologies
- Encouraging the public to identify the risks associated with ICT
- Putting in place strategies to minimise and manage risks
- Recognising the importance of effective teaching and learning programmes.
- Cyber safety is the safe and responsible use of information and communication technologies, such as the internet, social media, online games, smart phones, tablets and other connected devices.
- Cyber safety education provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe in online environments. It involves acknowledging the benefits and opportunities offered by the online world, while understanding the risks and avoiding potential harms.
- Cyber safety is everyone’s responsibility. Young people, parents, families, teachers, school leaders, government and tech companies – we all play a role in creating a safer online world.
Schools are primarily responsible for keeping systems/ computers/ network devices to work smoothly and securely. It is very important to keep the information as much as to secure the system and network devices in the organization. Schools play a key role in promoting internet safety.
TIPS FOR CYBER SAFETY- DOs & DON’Ts
|1. Use encrypted websites and apps||1. Not having a look at the privacy policies of the apps before starting to use it.|
|2. Create unique and strong passwords:
|2. Creating simple and hackable passwords|
|3. Think before you click||3. Never click on suspicious links that are sent by strangers and do not reply to messages from unknown sources.|
|4. Be careful about what you share||4. Posting the picture of the driving license after passing the test, or a snap of the boarding pass when going for a trip or sharing details about credit cards may land you in trouble.|
|5. Secure your social media||5. Not checking on the privacy settings on the account to ensure what data is being shared and with whom.|
|6. Use a VPN||6. Not using VPN can help hackers who are waiting to steal passwords or other sensitive information.|
|7. Be watchful about phishing scams||7. Never ever share personal data without double checking the source of an email.|
|8. Lock up and shut down||8. Not keeping the devices protected with a password or thumb scan and logging out and shutting down after use, especially when leaving it alone.|
|9. Check out terms and conditions||9. Not thinking twice before signing up on an app that accesses sensitive information that may cause a future risk.|
|10. Do not use unsecured Wi-Fi sources||10. Not using mobile data or using Wi-Fi only when it is protected, or when we are very sure about the source.|
|11. Safeguard the personal information||11. Sharing email ids, passwords etc with others can allow them to impersonate on wrong grounds. For instance, even sharing a Netflix account with a friend that is not trustworthy can land kids in trouble.|
|12. Always have a recovery plan||12. Not talking with parents or teachers regarding what to do next if a data breach has occurred. (Keep a back up plan ready to overcome such possible scenarios.)