THOOTHUKUDI: In the wake of repeated assaults on school teachers, calls for the enactment of a Teachers Protection Act have grown louder so as to ensure workplace safety. Tamil Nadu Primary Teachers Federation state general secretary, S Mayil, said the attack on teachers Guruvammal and Bharath was barbaric, which has instilled anger and fear among the teaching community.
"Criminal action should be initiated against those who attacked the teachers at the school campus. The respect for teachers has come down due to the indifference towards them. If a teacher beats a student, the parents could raise a complaint with the authority concerned in an appropriate manner. However, beating a teacher at the school campus is highly condemnable," he said, adding that apathy towards earlier instances has paved way for this incident. The primary teachers federation urged the state government to pass an act, similar to the one safeguarding doctors.
Echoing similar views, M Ganesh Kumar, Joint General Secretary of the government recognised aided private school managers association, told TNIE that the parents want teachers not to be strict with the students, while the government needs to ensure cent percent results. A school teacher told TNIE that a girl student had recently attacked a teacher at Srivaikuntam when she was caught cheating in an exam. "Since superiors in the department did not come to the rescue, the teacher didn't file a police complaint. Many such incidents go unnoticed," he said.
Secretary of a school management, on the request of anonymity, told TNIE that the student-teacher conflict increased after trivialisation of the profession by successive governments. "The government should stop atrocities against teachers and take corrective measures against unruly students," he said.
Education activist Prince Gajendra Babu told TNIE that the school education department should conduct a dialogue with the teachers, parents, students and civil society about attacks on school teachers to disseminate the values of teachers, who are in a position to mould a lawful citizens. A separate act would be a deterrent, but will not fulfil the larger interest of teachers, he opined.