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State education director assures action against Wanawadi school

Move comes day after mid-day’s report on laxity in acting against a school whose bus attendant allegedly raped a Std IV student in October 2013

Taking cognisance of mid-day’s cover story yesterday about how an inquiry report on derecognising Wanawadi-based City International School has been gathering dust with the deputy director of education (Pune), Rajendra Godhne, for the past six months, state education director (primary) Mahaveer Mane issued clear instructions to Godhne to send him a report on the matter within one day.

midday report
mid-day’s report yesterday

Mane said that soon after receiving the report, he would forward it to the state education secretary Ashwini Bhide with a recommendation of taking strict action against the school. “I will personally look into the matter. In such a serious and sensitive case, necessary action should be taken against the school as per law,” Mane said after his telephonic
conversation with Godhne in which he made it clear that he wanted the report compiled by a five-member committee inquiry committee of the PMC education board right away.

Immediate action
mid-day’s report mentioned how the panel’s report makes scathing remarks against the school’s conduct in dealing with the rape case of a former 11-year-old Std IV student by a bus attendant. The report also makes various recommendations suggesting action against the school, but these continue to remain on paper even six months after its submission.

“After going through the report, I will immediately forward it to the state education secretary with a recommendation of taking necessary action against the school,” Mane said, adding, “If the department acts sternly against one school, it will deter other institutions from behaving similarly, and ensure they act on complaints of child abuse in keeping with the norms and guidelines.”

Asked if the school would also get disaffiliated from CBSE, as per the report’s suggestion, he said, “Education Secretary Ashwini Bhide can write to the CBSE in this regard. While sending the inquiry report to her, I will mention this point as well.”
Meanwhile, soon after receiving Mane’s call, Godhne instructed his subordinates to produce the report.

“As per our record, we had sent back the report to the PMC education board and asked them to make some clarifications before resubmitting it. In the current situation, we are immediately going to follow up with the board and produce the report before the education director,” said Balasaheb Owhal, assistant education director.

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