Awareness on preventing sexual crimes to be imparted from next academic year

Kerala High Court. Photo: File Image

Kochi: The State Government has informed the Kerala High Court that it would launch the process of creating awareness to prevent sexual abuse of children in the school curriculum from the LP level to the Higher Secondary from next year.

The teachers will be given training during summer vacation. The students of Class 12 will be trained during July and Class 11 students during August and September. An awareness program will be held for the parents of LP School students as well. Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas made it clear that the High Court will supervise the implementation of the project.

In light of the increase in the number of POCSO cases involving teenagers, the High Court ordered on August 26, 2022, to make awareness on sexual crimes a part of the curriculum. The other day, the court also directed the chairman and convener of the committee, formed by the State Government for the purpose, to come in person to the court and inform it of the progress made in its implementation. Following this, the Director of Public Instruction (DPI) and the additional director made themselves present in the court through video conferencing.

The committee formed by the State Government earlier informed the court of the decisions it took at its meeting on February 15. However, the court summoned the officials in the wake of allegations that though former Child Rights Commission member Advocate J Sandhya was included in the committee, she was not even informed of the decision to include her.

The DPI admitted that there was a lapse in informing Adv Sandhya of the decision. The High Court also included Kerala Legal Services Authority (KELSA) and Victim Centre Project Co-ordinator Adv Parvathy Menon in the committee. The next meeting of the committee will be held on March 10. The petition will come up for hearing again on March 15.

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