Home Dehradun Private schools of Pachhwa Doon stage protest against Child Rights Commission

Private schools of Pachhwa Doon stage protest against Child Rights Commission

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Many irregularities found, Commission justified in conducting inspection: Dr Geeta Khanna

By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 6 May: Some private schools from Pachhwa Doon, including residential ones, have through a press release accused Chairperson of the State Child Rights Protection Commission, Dr Geeta Dawar Khanna, of conducting a surprise inspection and of making certain unsubstantiated allegations against them in public.

On the other hand, speaking to Garhwal Post, Dr Geeta Dawar Khanna said that the State Commission is well within its rights to conduct surprise inspections. During these inspections, several irregularities were found.

It may be recalled that private educational institutions of Pachhwa Doon staged a protest against the Chairperson of the Commission for conducting a surprise inspection in the private educational institutions of the city area. A large number of those related to these institutions held a protest at the Sahodaya School Complex in Pachhwa Doon. The President of the organisation, Somdutt Tyagi, claimed that the Chairperson arrived at these schools for sudden inspection and, because of this the school management could not even accord a proper protocol to the Chairperson. He also claimed that more than a hundred employees had reached the school campuses with the Commission and that this created confusion among students, parents and teachers.

Tyagi further claimed that the Chairperson levelled allegations against one school and made them public without due investigation. He claimed that something was found written on a piece of paper in the complaint box of the school which the Chairperson read out in public. Tyagi alleged that action of the Chairperson seems to indicate that the entire campaign against the school was carried out with malicious intent. He also claimed the action of the Commission has tarnished the image of the school and demanded that private educational institutions should not be treated like criminals.

On the other hand, speaking to Garhwal Post, Chairperson Dr Geeta Khanna asserted that the Commission is a constitutional body and the chairperson has constitutional authority. The commission is well within its rights to conduct surprise inspections with an intention to verify the complaints received. She said that certain private schools are targeting her without any genuine ground. She said that several irregularities were found during the inspection conducted by her. Many mandatory requirements under the law have not been fulfilled by the schools concerned in Pachhwa Doon. For example, committees required under POCSO Act have not been set up by these schools.

She added that a school teacher in a school (St Mary’s Convent Senior Secondary School) there was accused by a student of sexual harassment but the school did not take any action against the teacher for an entire five years. During the inspection, the school could not produce any document of any action initiated by the school in this regard. The complaint box also contained very old complaints and they had not even read by the school. The complaint regarding allegation of sexual harassment against a teacher is dated 2019 and the school kept sitting on the complaint without taking any action, which is shocking. She also expressed shock that the school education department also remained callous. She has asked the Police to register a case regarding the 2019 complaint. In all, 20 complaints were found in the complaint box.

Some other measures required to protect rights of the children have not been taken. Many of the schools are not even fulfilling requirements required by the Education Department. Many of the schools are located on lands which are agricultural and they have not even got the land use changed. Some are arbitrarily sharply increasing school and transport fees every year. Many of the students are not even briefed about national songs like Vande Mataram or traditional Indian values and ethos.

She also asserted that during the inspection, school authorities were not able to furnish documents regarding many legal requirements and it is due to the fact that they could not respond to the queries made by the Commission that they are making an issue out of the surprise inspection.