CHENNAI: In the wake of a teacher being assaulted by her own student, the teaching community and Education department officials seek not only more teeth to handle violent-prone students but also demand an increase in the number of mobile counselling vans to guide the adolescents to channelise their energies.
At present, for every two districts there is only one Mobile Counselling Van which has a doctor, counsellor, and a nurse to handle unruly and problematic students mostly adolescents. “This cannot cater to all the government schools. As of now, the Chief Educational Officer of every district, on receiving a request from the School Heads on the need for counselling to the unruly students, would divert the vans accordingly. How can we cover all the schools with a single team?,” wondered an official from the education department, requesting anonymity.
Sources said Tiruvallur district alone has 305 State-run High and Higher Secondary Schools with a strength of about 2 lakh students in the adolescent stage from Class VIII - Class XII. Ponneri Educational district alone has jurisdiction over 136 government schools with a strength of nearly 1 lakh adolescent students. The counsellor could gain confidence of the students only when he/she meets them in successive sessions at least once a week.
There are five blocks in Ponneri Educational district. If one team/van is allotted to this district, the team can go on a routine of covering a block each week. Thus, meeting the students who require assistance at least once a week would help the students overcome the issues and concentrate on studies.
Meanwhile, officials also expressed their helplessness with restrictions in terms of handling troublesome ones. “We need some sort of disciplinary mechanism to handle them, especially by the female teachers teaching in higher secondary co-ed schools. We do not want to mete out Corporal Punishment, but some mechanism to streamline and regulate the students in class would help not just the safety of the teachers but also the future of the students by identifying and reforming them before they take to violence”, said an official from education department.