Separate buses for schoolboys and schoolgirls, overcoats for girls, ban on mobile phones on campuses and restricted interaction of girls and boys — these are the steps the Puducherry government has decided on to enforce to prevent harassment of girl students.
The measures came after a meeting between Education Minister T. Thiagarajan and principals in the wake of the rape of a 17-year-old student by two men on Tuesday.
By reducing contact between boys and girls, it was possible to prevent basic misbehaviour and it would also reduce “temptation,” said an Education Department official.
Instead of ‘dupatta,’ a student should wear an overcoat. Squads would be formed to check use of mobile phones by students, Secretary of Education G. Ragesh Chandra told The Hindu. These guidelines were for both private and government schools and a similar meeting with college principals would be held next week, he said.
During the meeting, the principals emphasised need for greater interaction of parents and teachers, advanced intimation to parents if special classes were conducted and maintenance of a record of the mobile phones of parents and guardians so that they could be informed if their wards were not present.
The move for separate buses came after several principals voiced concern that “when boys and girls travel together, they often did not get off the bus even when their stop arrived,” Mr. Chandra said.
“Many principals also observed that boys and girls sat inside the bus even before classes were over for the day, as the buses are parked on school premises. By having separate buses, these activities could be prevented.”
The measures drew flak from academicians and activists.