‘Don’t interact with students on phone, social media’
The guidelines have been formulated following Supreme Court instructions, confirmed Jitendra Kumar, Principal Secretary, UP Secondary Education Department.
To prevent incidents of sexual harassment as well as physical and mental exploitation of students, Uttar Pradesh government has issued a circular prohibiting teachers and staff from maintaining any contact with the pupils on social media or making phone calls and sending them e-mails.
The guidelines have been formulated following Supreme Court instructions, confirmed Jitendra Kumar, Principal Secretary, UP Secondary Education Department. The eight-page circular will be applicable to all the educational institutions, including public and private, governed by all the boards such as Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education, CBSE and the ICSE.
“Until and unless it is necessary for some school work, no teacher or employee should call or send any email to any student. No teacher or staff would maintain contact with the students on social media unless it is authorised by the concerned school,” the circular reads.
The circular also asks schools to hold special classes and interactive sessions to inform students about pros and cons of social media and its expected outcomes at least once every month. The schools have been asked to call experts, role models and parents to present their views and experiences before children in these special classes on social media. The circular has also asked school administration to ensure that neither any teacher or student use cell phones inside class rooms.
The guidelines have been marked under six heads, which includes how to ensure secured school premises, safe travel of students from home to school, ensure balanced behaviour of teachers and other educational staff and awareness and co-ordination between students.
It asks schools to install CCTV cameras at least at the main gate, outside principal’s room, in the play ground, corridor and at the place where parents wait for their children.
The circular also directs the schools to nominate one girl student in every class starting from Standard 3, as “Power Angel”. These “Power Angels” will be different from class monitor and will remain in constant touch with the the girl students of her class and inform the class teacher about any untoward incident reported by any of them. These “Power Angels” will be trained by the school principal
When inquired, Jitendra Kumar, Principal Secretary, Secondary Education Department, said, “We took the initiative to form these guidelines after Supreme Court, while hearing a PIL, directed all the states to inform it about the steps taken to control such incidents”.
On restriction on teachers and staff from mingling with students on social media, Kumar said, “Impact of social media in our life is not hidden”.
He said that there have been instances where such media content has been used to blackmail students.
Asked how the circular’s implementation in private schools will be ensured, Kumar said, “We can withdraw their recognition. In case of schools of other boards, we would write to the respective boards”.
Source:: Indian Express