Following several cases of sexual harassment reported against teachers in the city, the government had issued detailed guidelines on conducting online classes, including asking the school management to record all virtual sessions.
In addition, the School Education Department also decided to monitor messages on WhatsApp groups created by teachers in government and government-aided institutions to connect Class 9-12 students. A senior official from the School Education Department said the government decided to give online assignments to the students with one teacher in charge of coordinating with 10 students. “The assignment on WhatsApp groups would be useful for the students and unwanted forward messages or pictures should be avoided,” he added.
Stating that all district education officers were told to instruct headmasters to monitor the WhatsApp group created by teachers, he said, “The headmasters will also be included in the group so they could instruct both students and teachers not to use the platform for irrelevant messages, photos or videos, especially during this pandemic situation.” However, the official also said that if a student was found posting irrelevant information on the group, he/she will not be removed from the group. “Instead the headmaster or the teacher would personally call him and advise him on avoiding such unwanted information.”
After a former student of a top school in the city shared an Instagram post on sexual harassment by a higher secondary teacher, several school students from across the city have come forward with similar complaints. While a teacher has been arrested, inquiry is on against a few others.