BEd students to learn Child Rights and Protection in their curriculum-

In a pioneering move, Tamil Nadu Teacher Education University (TNTEU) has included Child Rights and Protection – The Role of Teachers as a core paper in the BEd curriculum across 635 colleges in the state.

The syllabus for the subject was prepared in collaboration with UNICEF and Thozhamai, an NGO advocating for child rights. In the long term, the subject is expected to help create a child-friendly environment in schools and aid teachers in being equipped to handle children in a sensitive manner, stated a report in The New Indian Express.

The higher education department, in March 2023, approved the inclusion of Child Rights and Protection in the curriculum. Subsequently, Thozhamai developed a comprehensive syllabus and guidebook that will help BEd instructors teach the subject. Notably, this initiative is the first of its kind in South Asia.

“We have been advocating for the inclusion of child right in every fabric of the state’s policy, for the past five years. The framework for the syllabus was prepared by consulting academicians, child-friendly teacher networks and child rights activists. It covers crucial topics pertinent to child rights and protection, including online safety of children,” said Devaneyan, Director of Thozhamai.

Furthermore, training programmes are being planned for BEd instructors who train about 50,000 BEd students every year. The students will be introduced to the subject in their second semester, from January 2024, replacing the subject Understanding disciplines and subjects.

Child Rights and Protection – The Role of Teachers will have five units: concept of child rights; violence against children; policies, laws and institutions; child-friendly schools and role of teachers in the promotion of child protection and enhancing children’s participation.

The syllabus also includes case studies on child marriage, physical violence, child sexual abuse, children in conflict with law and school dropouts. Notably, during the course of teaching the subject, the instructors will be put in touch with the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and other civil society organisations for various theoretical and practical endeavours.

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