Against the backdrop of increasing incidents of sexual abuse in schools, the Human Resource Development (HRD) minister of the state, Vinod Tawde expressed the need to sensitise school management and teaching staff. In his first visit to the city, Tawde interacted with reporters at a press conference in Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU).
“Increasing sexual crimes in schools is a matter of grave concern. However, the problem is not only restricted to the education department, but also needs to be tackled from the law and order perspective,” said the HRD minister.
This reporter highlighted mid-day’s report of a similar case in City International School in Wanawadi last year, for which no action has been taken against the school authorities by the education department, while the PMC report has been gathering dust for the last six months.
However, Tawde simply replied, “If the school management is not taking such complaints seriously, then it is important to sensitise these institutes.” He added that his department would also try to incorporate an efficient system that would provide an easy access to both students and teachers to lodge any incident of misbehaviour.
Asked if the government would bring pre-primary education under the jurisdiction of his department, he replied that the decision would be finalised after reviewing the report prepared by former Minister of State Fauzia Khan. Talking about the lack of sanitation facilities in many schools of the state, Tawde said, “At least 90 per cent schools have toilets. The main issue, however, is the availability of water, especially in drought-prone areas.”