CHENNAI: The tragic but horrendous death of a 6-year-old student, due to thrashing by his senior, at a private matriculation school in Tirupur on January 27, brings to the fore the absence of adult supervision at the institution, according to a fact finding report.
In the aftermath of the child’s death, four child rights organisations viz., Centre for Child Rights and Development (Chennai), Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation (Chennai), Centre for Social Education and Development (Avinashi) and Sakthi Vidiyal (Madurai) joined hands to investigate the incident and recommend measures to prevent its recurrence.
On Wednesday, while releasing the report, Suba Thenpandian, who lead the team, said the concerned private school did not meet any of the child safety norms.
“There were no teacher or any staff present when a fight erupted between the two children. Furthermore, presence of sharp edged stones near the toilet, with which the boy was beaten, reflected the gross negligence on the part of the school,” he said.
To prevent such unfortunate incidents in the future, the team has recommended that the state government commission a mandatory social audit of safety standards in all schools.
Secondly, the government should ensure all schools in the state evolve and implement a child protection policy. The team intends to forward the report to the Chief Minister and other officials in the education department after the elections.
The report was handed over to C Selvakumar, member of state commission for protection of child rights, who said that the commission would consider and act on the findings. He also stated that a first ever state child policy was on the anvil.
Broadly looking at ‘care and protection’ of children, the policy will consolidate several child welfare policies currently in place. Experts from various backgrounds have contributed to the policy and we hope to have its final draft ready in two month’s time,” Selvakumar said.