Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed the immediate suspension of teachers and the vice principal of a Delhi government school where two boys were allegedly sexually assaulted by their classmates in April this year. On Tuesday, Delhi education minister Atishi said Kejriwal directed disciplinary action against the accused for failing to report the matter to the Police.
In a letter to the Education Secretary, Atishi said, “It is Our responsibility to ensure all children are safe and secure in our schools.” “And if any such instances of child sexual abuse are brought to light, then appropriate legal action has to be taken. We have to take all possible steps to ensure that such an instance is not repeated in our schools,” she wrote.
She added that the incident should “make us reflect and take corrective measures. We must do everything to ensure children are safe and secure at all times.” Atishi added that Kejriwal has directed the Directorate of Education to ensure rigorous training of all the principals and teachers on the provisions of POCSO.
Mandatory reporting of such incidents, tools for early identification of abuse, types of abuse, the impact of abuse on children, and remedial measures enabling the capacity building of teachers to support such students are among the measures directed by the chief minister. According to Atishi, the chief minister also directed the Directorate of Education to prepare high-quality material for the reference of all teachers and principals and issue guidelines for schools to handle cases of abuse in a supportive environment for children.
The Delhi Government has set up an inquiry committee to probe into the alleged sexual assault cases of two minor boys in a government school, according to an official statement. “It is tragic that such a despicable incident allegedly happened in the summer camp organized by the school. An inquiry committee has been set up, and a thorough probe is underway on the subject. Let the due course of law take place,” said an official statement.
If any teachers or staff were aware of this issue and did not bring it to the attention of higher authorities, then stringent action will be taken against them, it added. “We can assure you all that the Delhi Government will take swift and stringent action on the matter. We want to set the standard of education in the country, which includes character development among students,” read the statement.
It further said that such culpable deeds would not be tolerated and would be dealt with due severity. Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chief Swati Maliwal had on Monday issued notices to the Delhi Police and Directorate of Education in the alleged sexual assault case.
The Delhi Commission for Women has received information of sexual assault with two minor boys in a government school in Delhi. A 13-year-old boy who studies in the 8th standard in a government school in Rohini was allegedly sexually assaulted by other students of the school,” the notice read. “He has informed me that in April 2023, he attended school during summer camp, wherein some students forcibly took him to a nearby park and sexually assaulted him for 7 days. He has alleged that the accused students also threatened him not to disclose the incident to anyone. He stated that a couple of days ago, he narrated his ordeal to two of his teachers, but they asked him not to report the matter,” it added.
DCW Maliwal further mentioned that in another case, a 12-year-old minor was also sexually assaulted by the same group of students. “Another boy, aged 12 years old, has also alleged that the same students sexually assaulted him as well. He has informed me that in April 2023, during the summer camp, he was sexually assaulted in the school toilet. He has stated that the accused students had threatened him not to disclose the incident to anyone,” the notice read.”
He has further alleged that around 16 days ago, a student again tried to sexually assault him in the toilet. He has further stated that he had narrated the incident to two of his teachers in July and August, but they had asked him not to talk about the incident to anyone,” it added. DCW has requested the Delhi Police and Directorate of Education to provide a detailed action taken report on the two matters by September 1, 2023.