Make schools safe for children

In yet another incident of sexual assault, a minor boy was allegedly sexually assaulted by a monk at the Arunachal Pali Vidyapith (APV) in Chowkham in Namsai district. As per report, the monk has been arrested by the police. The incident came to light after the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (APSCPCR) while condemning the incident sought the status report of the case from the Namsai SP. This is not the first time that such an incident of sexual assault on a minor has been reported from a school in the state.

In recent times, many such incidents have been reported from various parts of the state. Both boys and girls are becoming targets of sexual predators. This is very worrisome. If the schools are not safe, how will children get education in a safe environment? The state government needs to intervene and work out a plan to keep schools safe and secure for the children, whether they are government or private schools. As suggested by the APSCPCR, police verification of the staff should be made compulsory. Also, the DDSEs should regularly conduct meetings with school representatives and get updated about the measures taken to keep the schools safe and secure. CCTVs should be compulsorily installed in all the schools. The increasing incidences of sexual assaults on minors inside school campuses should not be taken lightly. Civil society bodies, the education department, the district administrations, parents, etc, should join hands and work out a plan to make schools safe for children.