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?
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…
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:
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
*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.
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.
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.
Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
Appropriate Standards of Behavior for Staff & Employees Adults should:
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
Denial of admission
Any other relevant mechanism