Chennai: Tamil Nadu School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi said on Tuesday that the school students will have sexual awareness sessions for a week from next academic year onwards.
While speaking to IANS, the minister said that the state education department has taken extensive measures to prevent sexual harassment cases in schools after the DMK government had assumed office. He said that the state education department has directed all schools, private, aided, and government schools to have mandatory complaint boxes for children to lodge complaints against sexual harassment in schools.
The district education officer will depute an officer of the state education department to check the complaint boxes once every 15 days.
There were several complaints against school teachers and headmasters for having sexually assaulted schoolchildren. The arrest of Shiv Shankar Baba, the self-styled godman who founded the Sushil Hari International School, Chennai was arrested for sexually assaulting school students.
Several students of the school and former students had leveled allegations against Shiv Shankar Baba and following such incidents, the government has directed all schools in the state to install complaint boxes for students to drop complaints against any sexual harassment.
The state school education department is also in the process of focusing more on a ‘Illam Thedi Kalvi’ scheme by taking education to the doorstep, the minister said. He also said that 25.45 lakh government school students, 3.96 lakh aided school students and 60,000 private school students benefitted from the scheme.
The state education department will also invest Rs 7000 crore for development of smart classes for the next five years. The budgetary allocation for education for 2022-23 is raised to 36,895 crore which is a 7.9 per cent increase from the 2021-22 budgetary allocation of Rs 34,181 crore.
Minsiter Poyyamozhi said that the state education department is focusing more on implementing the State Education Policy (SEP) and has appointed a high-level committee of educationists and experts to formulate a SEP model.