Karnataka’s Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL) has issued a circular reminding all government, private, aided and unaided schools in the state to create awareness about the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act) and the Karnataka State Child Protection Policy, 2016, stated a report in The New Indian Express.
The circular added that standard operating procedure (SOP) and guidelines that have been issued by the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) need to be compulsorily followed by the school administration.
The circular issued on January 8, 2024, directed that all stakeholders including parents, teachers and the concerned officials make appropriate awareness campaigns about the acts and implement the policies. The government has proposed an Open House programme according to the directions of the POCSO Act awareness committee and the Block Education Officers (BEOs) have been informed about the same to keep checking from time to time.
Schools can talk about child protection policy during prayer time, free periods, during teaching hours as per the requirement and parent-teacher meetings (PTMs). Students can be also be engaged through cultural activities, celebration of national festivals, and community-oriented school programmes in the premises of the institutions, informed the department.
The circular also mentions that police officials should also engage in healthy discussions about the laws related to children by visiting schools, stated The New Indian Express report.
“It is compulsory in all schools to create awareness with the help of police. When officials from the Police department visit schools, they should be sensitised to talk to children and Special Juvenile personnel should hold awareness campaigns so students don’t fear it. Sexual exploitation, harassment and other atrocities against children need to be discussed in child-friendly language. Police and schools, should have it as part of their calendars and conduct training regularly,” said Nagasimha Rao, Director, Child Rights Trust.