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How safe is your child in Shimla schools?

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safety of kids in shimla schools

Shimla– Recently, parents of a pre-school child, enrolled in one of the most prestigious schools of Shimla, were exposed to the lack of trained counselors despite paying hefty fees.

The socio-economic environment and lifestyle have gone through a tremendous transformation. Children are most vulnerable to mal-adapt under the influence of complexities that came with modernization. Children are now exposed to more information than previous generations did.

In this case, parents narrated a peculiar and highly sensitive problem that required trained child counselors to deal with it appropriately.

The resident family of Shimla was shocked after what the mother discovered about her son. He had hardly spent two years in the pre-school, and from the parent’s perspective, he was in safe hands considering the reputation of the school.

One day, when the child returned home from school and the mother was giving him a bath, she noticed minute scars on his private parts. On taking a careful look, it appeared as teeth marks.

On being asked about it, the child initially showed reluctance in saying anything. However, the mother was able to persuade the child to speak. The child informed that a boy from higher class takes him to the pre-nursery classroom after they are empty and touches his private parts, and even makes him drop his pants sometimes.

The child also recalled a few occasions when he was taken to the bathroom by a boy.

I wasn’t able to believe that my child was facing abuse and bullying inside the premises of such a reputed school. He is just in pre-school. When my child told me the class in which that boy was reading, I received another shock

, told the mother to Himachal Watcher.

The boy, according to the child, was in Class I. It appeared impractical that a boy at such a tender age could intentionally molest another pre-school child.

The parents talked to a classmate of their son who also admitted that an elder boy takes him somewhere during lunch break and even recalled instances where the boy slapped and bullied him.

Parents approached the Principal of the school and narrated the story. Parents demanded CCTV footage as the pre-nursery classrooms had surveillance facility. The principal did show concern.

The boy was sent for, and he admitted practicing said behavior on being inquired.

When asked from where he had learned all this, the boy bewildered everyone by mentioning the name of his elder brother, who is a Class III student in the same school. The boy said his brother does the same with him at home.

The staff and the principle blamed greater exposure to electronic devices and the internet for the situation at hand. Free mobile services like Jio 4G has made it easier for children to access inappropriate content, they said.

When asked whether the school has a specific body to deal with such sensitive matters like child abuse and bullying, the Principal said there is no such facility. He admitted that the school does not have a regular child counselor.

When inquired about activities for children regarding awareness about good touch, bad touch, the principle could refer to one such event, and that for teachers only.

Teachers agreed that these children are too small to experience any psychological impact of it.

According to Ranjana Sharma, an experienced child counselor and a Ph.D. scholar in Psychology,

All three children need the attention of a trained professional. The victim child must be observed to dig out the possible psychological impact related to abnormal behavior he was exposed to.

She also suggested that a counselor needs to make a case study of such cases to find out the root cause behind the development of such behavior. The probability that a child has learned it by being exposed to it should never be ruled out.

Children have a new set of psychological problems now. It’s far easier for children to access to variety of information, even unwanted content, today. This access is difficult to restrict, but children can be guided to channelize it.

Moreover, the academic environment in the age of cutthroat competition is extremely hectic and stressful. This psychological stress is normally neglected while considering increasing cases of drug-addiction among schoolchildren.

Child counseling is a time consuming and very subjective matter related to problems that can’t be measured with any meter. The policy makers need to keep up with the need of the hour and think about making provision of child counselor mandatory for all educational institutes,

she said.

She further insisted that its well-established fact that family background, domestic environment, and treatment of a child in that particular environment plays a pivotal role in shaping the personality and perceptions of a child.

Most schools conduct regular parent-teacher meetings, which could be used as an opportunity for interaction between parents and counselors. It will prove as a huge assistance to teachers who struggle to deal with children with problematic behavior.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

Campus Watch

Himachal Shuts Down All Educational Institutes A Week After Re-Opening 

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Himachal Pradesh Educational Institutes closed again

Shimla-A week after re-opening for regular classes, the Himachal Pradesh Government had to shut down all government and private schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics, engineering colleges and coaching institutes from 11th to 25th November 2020, for students, teaching and non-teaching staff amid alarming surge in COVID-19 cases and fatalities.

The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting held on November 10, 2020. It’s pertinent to mention that the state government had re-opened the school for the students of 9th to 12th from November 2. However, during the past few days, hundreds of teachers and several students tested positive in various schools, especially in Mandi district.

Meanwhile, the unpreparedness of the state government came to light as the largest medical facility – IGMC Shimla- ran out of space in isolation wards for COVID-19 patients. It’s packed to full capacity. Reportedly, another dedicated COVID-19 hospital – DDU Shimla- was also running out of space. The government has also failed to establish make-shift hospitals, which it had been promising for the past couple of months. However, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had been maintaining in media statements that the government was prepared for all eventualities.

Questions have also been raised over the quality of protective gear provided to health staff as several officials tested positive at a COVID-19 hospital in Mandi district.

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Nauni Varsity Session 2020-21: List of Selected Candidates for UG Courses Released

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UHF Nauni UG Course Selection list 2020-21

Solan: Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has released the college and discipline wise list of selected candidates, both for normal and self-financing seats for admission to BSc Horticulture, BSc Forestry and B Tech Biotechnology for academic session 2020-21. The list of selected candidates, college and discipline wise has been prepared on the basis of counselling proformas and the relevant reservation documents submitted by the candidates through email. 

The selected candidates have been advised to deposit the admission fee in the respective bank accounts of the colleges on any day between 9-12 November. Presently due to COVID, the concessional fee is being charged from the candidates. The candidates will have to send a copy of the bank receipt no/ screenshot of the fee deposited online on the email of the colleges mentioned in the notification. Non-deposit of the fee within the due date will result in the cancellation of the claim for admission.

The candidates are advised to go through the detailed notification uploaded on the university website. The concessional fee details, bank account numbers of respective colleges along with email address has been given in the list. In view of COVID, the classes of the students will be conducted through online mode till further orders.  

The selected candidates shall have to report to the dean of the concerned college along with original documents(list mentioned in the notification) as and when directed by the way of a notice on the university website.

 

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Himachal’s Schools/Colleges to Re-Open for Regular Classes from Today  

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Himachal's schools re-open for regular classes

Shimla-Schools in Himachal Pradesh are today re-opening for regular classes after remaining closed for over seven months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was taken to allow regular classes for the students of Class 9th to 12th  in the last meeting of the Cabinet. However, online classes would also continue. Regular classes would also be resumed in the colleges from today onwards.

The SOPs have also been issued in this regard. According to the SOPs, a written consent of parents to send their children to schools would be mandatory, and the students can opt to study online if they do not wish to attend the school physically.

Also, schools can’t enforce attendance on students. In case the number of students is more than that of the capacity of classrooms, then principals/headmasters have been given liberty to conduct classes on alternate days to maintain social distancing.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 continues to tighten grip on the state as eight deaths were reported on November 1, 2020. Over two dozen staff including Dr Janak Raj, MS, also tested positive at the IGMC Shimla. Earlier, 22 school teachers in Mandi district and Education Minister had also tested positive.

Till November 1, 2020 (9 PM), the official statistics of the state Health Department showed the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to be 22264, of which 2973. A total of 320 persons had lost their lives due to COVID-19. 

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