Are schools doing enough to keep children away from sexual abuse?


By Dr. Kouser Fathima

Last year Bangalore and one of its private schools were in news for a bad reason. A 7-year-old was molested by one of the members of the staff in the school campus.

After the initial anger and protest, the school was temporarily shutdown. There were calls for strict action against the school. The government stepped in and issued new rules making it compulsory to have CCTV cameras along with a thorough background verification of staff and female attendants in school buses.

With more than a year now after the incident, I ask— Have the rules been followed? Are school campuses and buses safe for kids now?

After the initial furore, both the public and press have forgotten the incident. Many schools have even threatened to increase the school fees to provide for additional safety measures. This despite most of them already charging exorbitant fees. Security for kids, therefore, was never part of the package.

Verification of staff should have been the responsibility of schools. With hundreds of children studying in the campus, the schools had to be vigilant.

The hectic schedule of most parents makes it difficult for them to question the school management nor do they have time to ask the kids about any unpleasant incidents in school.

Moreover, although children are unaware of impending danger, not many are warned about such perverts .

We still believe that such incidents happen only in the west and the Indian system has no room for such incidents. Sadly, we are being proved wrong repeatedly.

Let us not forget that the system is made by the people and we need to fight to change it for better. We may not see a change overnight but the least we can do is to protect our children.

NOTE: Views expressed are the author’s own. Janta Ka Reporter does not endorse any of the views, facts, incidents mentioned in this piece.