Bhuj, February 14. Over 60 girl students of the Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI) — an all-women’s college which offers undergrad and postgrad courses — in Gujarat’s Kutch district, were reportedly forced to strip by college hostel authorities to check for menstrual blood.
Darshana Dholakia, vice chancellor of the Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kutch University with which SSGI is affiliated, has constituted a committee to probe the incident. “The hostel has a rule requiring menstruating girls to dine separately from other students. However, some menstruating girls broke this rule. When the matter reached the college authorities, some of the girls (sic) voluntarily allowed a woman employee to check them. The girls have told me they apologised to the authorities for breaking hostel rules. They also told me they were not threatened and admitted it was their fault,” said Dholakia.
In-school lockers scheme
Kolkata, February 6. The West Bengal government has finalised plans to provide locker facilities in all state government primaries. The proposed lockers will ease the daily burden of 15 million students who will be able to store their books and stationery in school without having to carry them to and from home every day, said Partha Chatterjee, the state’s education minister, who clarified that aided schools won’t be provided government-funded lockers “for the time-being because of funds constraints”.
Government school principals have widely welcomed this initiative. “Although we haven’t received any official communication in this connection, the provision of in-school lockers will come as a huge relief to the students’ community statewide,” says Parimal Bhattacharya, the headmaster of Jadavpur Vidyapith, a state government school in Kolkata.
Children’s hygiene initiative
New Delhi, February 23. Twelve schools of the Guru Harkishan Public Trust based in the national capital managed by the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) which have an aggregate enrolment of 20,000 students, will soon host robots christened Pepe, to encourage students to adopt good hygiene practices.
“The robots have been developed by University of Glasgow, UK researchers in collaboration with Karnataka’s Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University,” said Manjinder Singh Sirsa, committee president, addressing the media in Delhi.
“Pepe robots which cost a modest Rs.7,000 each will be mounted on the walls above hand washing stations in wash rooms to exhort 20,000 children to wash their hands carefully,” says Sirsa.
POCSO school cells
Patna, February 23. POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) cells to hear complaints of sexual misconduct and exploitation of children, will be established statewide, says Kiran Kumari, special project officer, Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC).
Addressing a media conference in Patna, Kumari said BEPC has issued a directive to all district education officers to set up POCSO cells in schools and include senior students as members. “These cells will report to committees headed by headmasters in all schools which will investigate complaints and take necessary action, according to provisions of the POCSO Act,” she said. In the first phase, the cells will be established in secondary schools, and later replicated in primary and middle schools, she added.
Prenatal study programme
Lucknow, February 23. In a unique initiative ahead of International Women’s Day (March 8), Lucknow University is set to launch a garbha sanskaar (pre-natal education) study programme to train school dropouts and housewives to qualify as midwives.
“Our Institute of Women Studies has finalised a plan to launch three-month certificate and year-long diplomas in garbha sanskaar courses in the new academic year starting June this year,” said Durgesh Srivastava, spokesperson of Lucknow University during a media interaction. “The objective is to spread awareness about cleanliness, hygiene and nutrition for mothers and infants,” says Srivastava.
Affiliation failure fiasco
Kochi, February 24. Promoters of the purportedly CBSE-affiliated Arooja Little Star School, Thoppumpady in suburban Kochi, were arrested and booked under s. 420 of the Indian Penal Code (cheating), after 29 class X children of the school were denied permission to write their board exams. The school is allegedly not affiliated with CBSE. Police said an investigation has been launched.
According to preliminary police investigations, the Arooja Little Star management used to register its class X students in other CBSE-affiliated schools in the neighbourhood, to write the board exams. However, it failed to do so this year.
Paromita Sengupta with bureau inputs