Children’s rights violated in TS govt schools, students subject to assaults and abuse

Many government school students come from marginalised sections and are victims of abuse and are forced to work as domestic help

HYDERABAD: The lesson on child rights, one of the most important topics included in the Class 5 Environmental Studies (EVS) textbook, is not taught in the classrooms to those who would benefit the most — the students.

Even as teachers claim that they have finished the syllabus and started revision exercises, they have ignored the last chapter of the EVS subject, which carries a weightage of 50 marks in the summative assessments II.

Many government school students come from marginalised sections and are victims of abuse and are forced to work as domestic help.

“We ignore the less important chapters and only teach the important ones. We do not teach all the lessons from the textbook because it will be tough for students to grasp,” said a primary teacher in a government school here. She added that teachers do not feel the need to explain children’s rights as “it is a less important subject.”

Some Class 5 students, when asked about the child rights chapter, said it was never taught to them. Some teachers said that they have not yet completed the syllabus and have time till March and the could take up the lesson.

It is mentioned in the textbook that children have the right to parental protection, right to be protected from sexual abuse, right to play, right to express feelings and right against physical economic exploitation.

Yet, four to five students pointed out that they were victims of one abuse or the other.

“We are hit by teachers for not being able to write or read on a regular basis. At home, we are hit for expressing our opinion. We prefer to stay quiet to avoid physical torture,” said a Class 5 student.

Another student added that she is not allowed to play outdoors for reasons beyond her understanding. Some students pointed out about a sexual abuse case in the school some months back.

One student said that she was forced to do household chores all by herself, like taking care of her and the house by cooking, washing clothes and taking care of her younger siblings, failing which she was beaten by her father.

In a strange reaction, a teacher said that they were not trained to teach such subjects and only knew to control students through violence as they are unable to manage a huge class strength.

“When has a teacher ever spoken about child’s rights in any school? Even parents are unaware of those rights,” added another teacher.

The chapter talks about how children cannot be hit for performing poorly in academics but the same is being practiced in the government schools, said many teachers and students. A headmaster was seen hitting a student with a belt in one of the government schools, which was also witnessed by this reporter.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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