PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AGAINST SEXUAL OFFENCES (POCSO) COMMITTEE
We as a school aim to provide a high standard of child centred education in a safe supportive learning environment, where values and ethos are promoted.
All children have an equal right to access education in an environment that is safe, protective and conducive to the overall development. The challenges of gender inequality, eve teasing and sexual abuse in school environment call for increased awareness and creating synergy among parents, teachers and schools. In order to ensure strict compliance of the Protection of child from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012, CBSE has taken several initiatives and actions for creating awareness about sexual exploitation among the school children.
Keeping that in mind we have formulated a POCSO committee who will be looking after the safety and security of children.
A Child Abuse Monitoring Committee (CAMC), consisting of the following members is constituted under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 for the academic session 2023-24.
|NAME OF MEMBER
|MS. SUMAN ADLAKHA
|HOS & SENIOR SECONDARY COORDINATOR
|MS. SARIKA SINGHAL
|MR. YASHPAL SINGH
|MS. SHWETA SETHI
The objectives of the Committee are:
- Prevent discrimination and sexual harassment against students, by promoting gender sensitivity among students.
- Deal with cases of discrimination and sexual harassment, in a time bound manner, aiming at ensuring support services to the victimized and termination of the harassment.
- Recommend appropriate punitive action against the guilty party to the Chairperson.
PROCEDURE FOR APPROACHING COMMITTEE
The Committee deals with issues relating to sexual harassment at the St. Columbo Public School. It is applicable to all students. 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 Convener of the Committee. If the complaint is made to any of the Committee members, they may forward it to the Convener of the Committee against Sexual Harassment. Here it should be noted that according to the guideline Sexual harassment can be defined as "unwelcome" sexually determined behaviour.
(WHETHER DIRECTLY OR BY IMPLICATION) AS:
- Physical contact and advances.
- Demand or request for sexual favours.
- Sexually coloured remarks.
- Showing pornography.
- Other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
THE FOLLOWING IS ALSO SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND IS COVERED BY THE COMMITTEE:
- Unsavoury remarks,
- Jokes causing or likely to cause awkwardness or embarrassment,
- Innuendos and taunts,
- Gender based insults or sexist remarks,
- Unwelcome sexual overtone in any manner such as over telephone (obnoxious telephone calls) and the like,
- Touching or brushing against any part of the body and the like,
- Displaying pornographic or other offensive or derogatory pictures, cartoons, pamphlets or sayings, Forcible physical touch or molestation and Physical confinement against one's will and any other act likely to violate one's privacy.
PROCEDURE FOLLOWED TO IMPLEMENT IT
1) TEACHERS WORKSHOPS
Gender Sensitization workshop is being conducted on a regular basis where Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) act is discussed. The teachers are trained to attend to adolescence related issues. They are primarily made aware to notice the behaviour pattern of children. This particularly includes close monitoring of academic performance and psychological behaviour, categorically in cases of sudden decline in performance, lack of interest, depression, aloofness etc. The teachers are educated on how to counsel a child if they notice such behaviour pattern. They are also well trained to talk to parents on the subject of child sexual abuse from time to time.
2) STUDENTS WORKSHOPS
In order to provide a safe, protective and conducive environment to our children for their overall development, we keep conducting workshops wherein children are taught to differentiate between good touch and bad touch. They are encouraged not to hide things and to report inappropriate behaviour to their teacher.
3) There is also a provision of COMPLAINT BOX in the School, where children can drop their complaints though we have not received any complaints so far.
4) SELF DEFENSE TRAINING PROGRAMME
Special activities like WUSHU classes are regularly held in school which not only give self-defence training but also boost their confidence.
5) CCTV CAMERAS
The entire School premises and every Class room is under CCTV surveillance which is personally monitored by the Head of the Institution.
6) SCHOOL COUNSELLOR
Regular visits to each class are done by the School Counsellor to interact with the students and train them regarding difference between good and bad touch.
Significant overall measures
- Adequate water purifiers are in place, providing sufficient drinking water to the students.
- Fire extinguishers are periodically serviced and placed at strategic points. Grade D staff and some teachers have been trained to use these.
- Inspection of electrical equipment, doors, window panes, wiring is done on a periodic basis.
- Major maintenance work is taken up during the school holidays.
- The infirmary is well equipped and is under the care of a trained nurse.
- Staff Verification Statement - Declaration Form seeking information on any criminal offence is mandatory.
- Staff selection system incorporates character reference letters.
- The school through its Head has developed a Code of Protective behaviour in consultation with the Professional Ethics Commission.
- Protection Officers have been appointed for the different departments. They ensure that all protective measures for safeguarding children and young people are in place.
- There is a mandatory revisit of Code of protective behaviour every year during the staff orientation programme.
- Staff sign and receive the revised code every year.
- All individuals of the school abide by the code. Staff members are not to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade the child when correcting them.
- Coarse and abusive language are not used.
- Hitting or smacking is not done by any member of the staff.
- Photographs and videos of personal nature or which can be offensive are not shown to the students.
- Holding, kissing or cuddling or any behaviour reflecting abuse is not practiced.
- Parents have been issued notices to check on the safety of their children while availing private or public transport to school.
- No staff member is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during duty hours. Unauthorized communication with the parents or students by any staff member through the use of internet or social media is not done.
- Students are made aware of the ill use of the internet or social media through assemblies and value education classes.
- Codes of responsible behaviour are signed by the parents, teachers and students when the students participate in excursions, picnics, tournaments or such activities taking place outside the school.
- Teachers are trained to conduct Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). CSE classes are conducted with the students of all classes once a month to create awareness.(eg. Good touch, bad touch).
- Parents of all students have been met over a period of time to sensitize them on this issue.
- Specific discipline codes are displayed in classrooms and around the campus.
- Police verification for all group D staff, vendors and contractors has been initialized.
- Teachers are on duty daily before school hours and during the break to supervise the movement of the students.
- Staff meetings are held periodically to sensitize the staff members on aspects of security.
- Names of Protection Officers of the school are mentioned in the school’s website for students, parents or teachers to report any act of abuse – sexual or otherwise.
- A Professional Ethics Commission is in place whose objective is to assist the Society Protection officer in his task of Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults in the school as per the policy guidelines.
- A Society Protection Officer is in Place to oversee the Protection Systems in our school. The SPO has been delegated the responsibility and authority to act in all matters relating to safeguarding the children and vulnerable adults.
- There is mandatory reporting of all Concerns or Allegations, of inappropriate behaviour.
- An independent Inquiry system is in place, through the Professional Ethics Commission.
- While responding to a complaint of abuse it is ensured that proper process of law are neither interfered with nor hindered and the rights of both the Complainant and Accused are protected.
- The designated Protection Officers on campus ensure that all protective measures for safeguarding children and young people are in place and implemented through regular meetings.
- The Protection officers report all matters of abuse to the SPO and an independent inquiry is done.