The School Management & Sexual Harassment Committes


Q1. Whu do we need a school management committee?

The RTE Act, 2009 has come into force with effect from 1stApril, 2010 in our country which is a landmark in the history of education. The said Act assigns immense importance to School Management Committees as a part of decentralized structure to ensure the effective and regular functioning of the schools and education center, and one in which the parents will have a preponderance. Essential provisions regarding constitution and functions of SMCs have been given in section 21 and 22 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. Section 211. A school, other than a school specified in sub-clause (IV)of clause (n) of section 2, shall constitute a School Management Committee consisting of the elected representatives of local authority, parents or guardians of children admitted in such school and teachers:

Provided that at least three-fourth of members of such committee shall be parents or guardians:Provided further that proportionate representation shall be given to parents or guardians of children belonging to disadvantaged group and weaker section; Provided that fifty percent of members of such committee shall be women.2.The School Management Committee shall perform the following functions, namely:-

a) Monitoring the working of the school;

b) Preparing and recommend school development plan;

c) Monitoring the utilization of the grants received from the appropriate Government or local authority or any source; and

d) Performing such other functions as may be prescribed.Section 22

1.Every School Management Committee constituted under sub-section (l) of section 21 shall prepare a School Development Plan in such a manner as may be prescribed.

2.The School Development Plan so prepared under sub-section (1) shall be the basis for the plans and grants to be made by the appropriate Government or local authority as the case may be.It is obvious that majority of SMC members are the parents/guardians of those children who are studying in the school. Chairperson of the SMC shall also be a parent /guardian. Bank account of SMC is maintained by joint signature of chairperson and member secretary (Headmaster). Representation of the socially backward parents and elected representatives of Gram Panchayatin SMC shall play important role for effective development of a school. SMC has many functions as enrolment, retention, completion of elementary education with quality for all children residing in catchment area of school and preparation of school development plan. As per responsibility given in The RTE Act it is mandatory and important to aware SMC members regarding the roles and functions through orientations/trainings. Unless the members of the SMC (Chairperson, member secretary, local representative and other members) are aware of the main provisions of RTE, objectives, composition and their role and functions, they cannot contribute for effective development of a school and to achieve objectives of RTE provisions regarding SMC. When community and local bodies are empowered to function for the development of Elementary Education, much improvement could be seen in academic and non-academic areas. They are the ones who can assist the problems faced by schools.

Q2. What are the functions & powers designated to a school management committee?

  1. It shall have the power to supervise the activities of the school for its smooth functioning.
  2. It will work according to the specific directions given by the Society regarding admission policy. However, admissions will be made as per merit without discretion of caste/creed/religion and region.
  3. It shall look into the welfare of the teachers and employees of the school.
  4. It shall evolve both short-term and long-term programmes for the improvement of the school.
  5. It shall have the powers for making appointment of teachers and non teaching staff.
  6. It shall exercise financial powers beyond those delegated to the Principal within the budgetary provision of the school.
  7. It shall have the power to take stock of academic programmes and progress of the school without jeopardising the academic freedom of Principal.
  8. It shall guide the Principal to maintain tone and discipline in the school.
  9. It shall ensure that the norms given in the Act of the State and by the CBSE regarding terms and conditions of service and other rules governing recognition/affiliation of the school are strictly adhered to.
  10. It should ensure that the school gets furniture, science equipment, library books and other teaching aids and the requisite sports material in adequate quantity and on time.
  11. It shall exercise powers to take disciplinary action against staff.
  12. It shall have powers to sanction leave to the Head of the Institution including casual leave.
  13. It shall ensure that no financial irregularity is committed or any irregular procedure with regard to admission/examinations is adopted.
  14. It shall review & propose to the Trust / Society rates of tuition fees and other annual charges and also review the budget of the school presented by the Principal for forwarding the same to Trust / Society for approval.
  15. The Managing Committee will meet at least twice in an academic session.

 


The Sexual Harrassment Committee (head & teachers above)

With regard to the Supreme Court Judgment and guidelines issued in 1997 to provide for the effective enforcement of the basic human right of gender equality and guarantee against sexual harassment and abuse, more particularly against sexual harassment at work places and schools, CBSE has issued circulars since 2004 to all the schools, advising them to establish a permanent cell and a committee and to develop guidelines to combat sexual harassment, violence against women and bullying at the schools.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act & Rules, 2012 deals with all manners of sexual offences, reporting mechanisms and subsequent penal consequences. Keeping this in mind, the Government of NCT Delhi hopes to tackle the issues with a set of multi-disciplinary prevention guidelines which are supported by legal provisions under the Delhi Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2009 and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act7 2012.

These guidelines serve as a method for numerous stakeholders from teachers to community welfare associations to the police to ensure that all possible steps are taken to prevent Child Abuse and empower children to "recognize symptoms of potentially abusive situations. It has further advised the schools to be proactive by developing a conducive atmosphere on the campus, where the status of woman/ girl student is respected and they are treated equally without any bias or discrimination. Keeping the above guidelines in view, Kirat Niwas School has constituted a Committee Against Sexual Harassment…

General Procedure

The Committee deals with issues relating to sexual harassment and child abuse at the Kirat Niwas School. It is applicable to all students, staff and faculty. A complaint of discrimination or  sexual harassment may be lodged by the victim or a third party. A written complaint may be addressed to the Chairman of the committee. If the complaint is made to any of the Committee members, they may forward it to the Chairman of the Committee against Sexual Harassment. Here it should be noted that according to the Supreme Court guideline Sexual harassment can be defined as "unwelcome" sexually determined behavior (whether directly or by implication) as:

  • Physical contact and advances.
  • Demand or request for sexual favors.
  • Sexually colored remarks.
  • Allow children to engage in sexually provocative games with each other.
  • Showing pornography.
  • Other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
  • Showing pornography and
  • Other unwelcome physical, verbal or non – verbal conduct by the committee.

Sexual Harrassment Notations

  • Teasing rude, unsavory remarks, innuendos and taunts,
  • Jokes causing or likely to cause awkwardness or embarrassment,
  • Gender based insults or sexist remarks,
  • Unwelcome sexual overtone in any manner such as over telephone (obnoxious telephone calls).
  • Intentionally touching or brushing against any part of the body and the like,
  • Displaying pornographic or offensive or derogatory pictures, cartoons, or sayings.
  • Forcible physical touch or molestation.
  • Physical confinement against one’s will and any other act likely to violate one’s privacy.

General Information

  • No. of members of Local Complaints Committee (6).
  • Members should be of different backgrounds.
  • More than 50% of members should be women.
  • Grievance redress process.
  • Action to be taken for sexual harassment against the guilty.
  • Dos and Don’ts about sample reports.
  • Constitution of LCC.

Kirat Niwas School will conduct workshops and peer training sessions for students, parents and teachers, twice in a year. The aim of these workshops will be:

*What constitutes abuse and exploitation?

*Manner of reporting and complaining (how and to whom) *To address the nature, cause and effect of abuse.

*To counter and deal with the consequences constructively.

*Self-disclosure and safety guidelines for potential instances ahead.

The committee will elect and appoint 5 student representatives who will play the following roles:

*Act as peer complaint mediators, with whom the students can discuss their issues.

*Participate in peer workshops and work with teachers towards a plan of action.

*Create peer facilitators within their own grades, who keep a track of any cases

*Report and observe the misbehavior of any student for possible abuse/issue.

*An annexure highlighting safety rules will be circulated and signed by each employee which makes them aware of their rights as well as duties

*The act against any form of abuse will be put up at a visible board for easy access

*The complaint protocol and manner of reporting will be written alongside and made visible through notice boards and displays

*Cases (reported)

*Time bound actions followed

*Confidentiality and equality ensured for  the  person in question *Follow up actions: punishments or otherwise *Teacher initiatives

*Redress and resolving of the cases.

The Committee will also hold timely meetings, to discuss the plan of actions, potential cases, queries and updates which will be supervised. This will ensure the functioning and progress of the implemented ideas within the school.

SECTION I - FUNDAMENTALS OF CHILD PROTECTION

A Child Protection Policy is a statement of intent that demonstrates the commitment to safeguarding children from harm and makes clear to all in an institution and who come into contact with it what is required in relation to the protection of children, and that child abuse in any form is unacceptable. Though the main purpose of the policy is to protect children from all forms of harm and create an enabling environment, it is also a tool to enhance the commitment of the organization to provide a child friendly environment through sensitizing persons associated and enforcing this policy. Child abuse means any form of maltreatment inflicted on a child including physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse.

  • Unexplained burns, cuts, bruises or welts in the shape of an object
  • Bite marks
  • Anti-social, violent and/or abrasive behavior
  • Problems in school
  • Fear of adults
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Self-destructive or suicidal behavior
  • Depression or poor self-image
  • Nightmares and bedwetting
  • Drastic changes in appetite
  • Over compliance or excessive aggression
  • Fear of a particular person
  • Withdrawal, secretiveness or depression
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Eating disorders

Article 23

Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child's active participation in the community.

Article 28

Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention.

Article 34

Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.

  1. The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity;
  2. The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices;
  3. The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.

Legal framework for Child Protection in India

  1. The Constitution of India.
  2. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
  3. The Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and The  Delhi Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Rules, 2009.
  4. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

SECTION II

Appropriate Standards of Behavior for Staff & Employees Adults should:

  • Provide an enabling environment for children's personal, physical, social, emotional, moral and intellectual development.
  • Encourage and respect other employee's and children's voices and views.
  • Be inclusive and involve all children without selection or exclusion on the basis  of gender, disability, ethnicity, religion or any other status.
  • Be aware of the potential for peer abuse (eg: children bullying, discriminating  against, victimizing or abusing children).
  • Develop special measures/supervision to protect younger and especially vulnerable children from peer and adult abuse.
  • Be aware of high risk peer situations (eg: unsupervised mixing of older and  younger children and possibility of discrimination against minors).
  • Avoid placing oneself in a compromising or vulnerable situation when meeting with children.
  • Meet with a child in a public, central location whenever possible.
  • Immediately report the circumstances of any situation which occurs which may  be subject to misinterpretation.
  • Make oneself aware and educated on the laws, rules and guidelines related to   child protection as amended from time to time.

Inappropriate/Offensive behavior for staff and employees:

  • Hit or otherwise physically assault a child.
  • Turn out a child from the residential facility.
  • Use language that will mentally or emotionally abuse.
  • 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.
  • Do things of a personal nature that a child could do for him/herself, including dressing, bathing and grooming.
  • Initiate physical contact unless initiated by the child (eg: 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.

Behavior protocols for volunteers & staff members:

  • Should not give cash or any kind of gifts directly to the children, but always channelize  the same through officials.
  • Should not collect photos, videos, or stories of children and/or upload the same on  blogs or any social networking sites without prior permission from the authority.
  • Should not ask personal details of the child without a certain reason and if known, then not to divulge it to others.
  • Should not enter without accompanying staff to girls or boys residential facilities without prior permission from authority.
  • Should not ask any child to meet alone outside campus.

Complaint Mechanism:

  • Children in institutional care or their representatives can make individual requests  or complaints to the director / management of the institution.
  • In case of complaints against professional staff such as nurses or teachers, among others, working with and for children, a complaint can be made to the monitoring committee.
  • The Committee will appoint a person responsible for attending to all complaints brought before it in a time bound and confidential manner.

SECTION III - Disciplinary Action

The disciplinary action will be commensurate with the nature of the violation (students).

Warning Written apology

Bond of good behavior

Debarring entry into hostel /campus Suspension for specific period of time Withholding results

Debarring from exams

Debarring from contesting elections

Debarring from holding leadership posts or membership of Committees

Expulsion

Denial of admission

Any other relevant mechanism

The disciplinary action will be commensurate with the nature of the violation (employees)

  • W a r n i n g
  • Written apology
  • Bond of good behavior
  • Adverse remark in the Confidential Report
  • Debarring from supervisory duties.
  • Denial of membership of statutory bodies
  • Denial of re –employment
  • Stopping of increments /promotion
  • Reverting , demotion
  • Suspension
  • Dismissal
  • Any other relevant