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24 School Teachers Train themselves as Child Protectors

CHILDLINE India Foundation » CIF Events » 24 School Teachers Train themselves as Child Protectors

- Tabassum Pangarkar, Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Programme, CHILDLINE

Mumbai; 5th and 6th October, 2013: CHIDLINE India Foundation (CIF) conducted a two day ‘Child Sexual Abuse Awareness’ Training Workshop exclusively for School Teachers. The training for School Teachers was held for the first time with the purpose of making ‘Personal Safety Education Program’ (PSEP) an integral part of the regular school curriculum. All the teachers had participated in the workshop to take forward ‘Personal Safety Education’ with their children.

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At Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) International House, Mumbai Central a total of 24 School teachers from 14 schools across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane had gathered to empower themselves with the in-depth knowledge of Child Rights in India, various components and effects of Child Sexual Abuse and Laws protecting Children.

Since January 2011, CHILDLINE has been running the Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Programme (CSAAP) in schools around Mumbai. Till date CSAAP has sensitized over 2, 60, 000 children from 400 Schools about Safe Touch, Unsafe Touch and Personal Safety Rules. Over the course of time, CIF realized empowering children about ‘Personal Safety’ should not be just a one-time event; but must be an ongoing process throughout their growth.

The workshop began with a session on how CHILDLINE 1098 functions across the country currently servicing yearly 4.5 million calls, and was conducted by Mr. Kiran More a CHILDLINE Project Officer at the Committed Communities Development Trust (CCDT). Nishit Kumar, Head Communication & Strategic Initiatives, CIF an expert in Child Protection, conducted the next session about Child Protection and Child Rights in India. Later the major part of the first day of the workshop was based on understanding the issue of CSA and handling disclosures of CSA Cases.

Ms. Suchismita Bose, Director of The Foundation briefed about what is child sexual abuse, its impact, who are the abusers, physical and psychological signs shown by children who are facing abuse and how to handle first disclosure. This information was given to teachers to prepare them to screen children who are facing abuse and to provide them with the basic skills to reach out to them. During this session few teachers shared the cases from their own school. They explained about the difficulties they faced while handling such cases.

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Teachers participate in an interactive session

After the sessions, participating teachers interacted with the trainers. Teachers were keen to get guidance as to how to go about the se cases. Teachers also shared that these sessions are very important for them as rise in the statistics of CSA cases in India is alarming and it is crucial for every teacher to know how to handle the cases. Many teachers requested such CSA awareness sessions for parents as well.

Second day of the workshop began with current scenario of Laws protecting children in India. Mr Nishit Kumar briefed the participating teachers about the new Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, (POCSO) in detail and what is their role as a care giver. Teachers had many questions related to POCSO law and were very happy with the fact that this law in its true sense will encourage parents and care givers to register complaints. They later requested for study material about POCSO so that they could learn more about the intricate details mentioned. Taking this forward, CIF is in the process of publishing a Booklet on POCSO as a reference material. CSAAP team promised the teachers that the Booklet we will be provided to every participating school, hospital, police station etc.

The latter half of the 2nd day of the workshop focused on communication skills which are required to deliver the story. Kavyal Sedani, Trainer and Therapist in Rise Above covered the importance of body language, words and voice modulation in any kind of communication. Few participants who were also the Principal’s of various schools had difficulty in unlearning few behaviors because as a Principal they were expected to behave in a certain manner. Kavyal explained that, “teachers are required to play multiple roles with children. Particularly for CSA Awareness sessions children need more of a friend than an authoritative figure.”

Participating teachers were from all age groups. Also they were from BMC schools, Private Schools, Convent Schools, ICSE, CBSC, International schools as well. All of them were very committed to the cause, eager to learn and had many questions about the issue. For the CSAAP team this training programme happened to be a two way learning as teachers also had their rich experiences to share.

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Vidya Reddy (right), Director, Tulir - Centre for the Prevention and Healing of Child Sexual Abuse spoke about POCSO

The fact that schools are willingly sending their teachers for the CSAAP workshops shows their growing concern. Schools and teachers are taking this one step ahead towards making the school environment child friendly. All participating teachers enjoyed the workshop and expressed that in spite of being a teacher they were not aware of many facts such as child psychology and different modes of communicating with children on sensitive issues. It was also shared by teachers that this workshop has helped them to unlearn few practices and behavior while dealing with children.

With the end of this Teacher Training Workshop we have over 14 schools with 24 teachers as Child Protectors helping us to protect children. All the participating teachers have placed their trust in us and we are happy that we lived up to our promise of enriching them. We strive to reach out to every child in every school across Mumbai!

Teachers who participated in the training workshop »

Sr. no.

Name of the teacher

Name of the school

1

Nandita Bhat

Harmony International School (ICSE)

2

Beena Thampi

Harmony Public School (SSC)

3

Anju Salaria 

Harmony International School (ICSE)

4

Geeta Singh

Harmony Public School (SSC)

5

Priya Sinha

Lok Puram

6

Veena Gundawar

Lok Puram

7

Sabita Carvalho

Learner's Academy

8

Candice Kawade

Learner's Academy

9

Mona J. Saveri

Christ Church School

10

Valencia Leblond

Christ Church School

11

Sabahat Jemkar

Mahapragya School

12

Maruti Pal

Mahapragya School

13

Uma Divekar

Bhavan's A H Wadia School

14

Pratiksha Shah

The B.J.P.C. Institution

15

Sujatha Gunjnoor

KES Shree Mumbadevi Vidya Mandir

16

Elina Rodrigues

KES Shree Mumbadevi Vidya Mandir

17

Savvy Mendance

C.E.S's MICHAEL High School

18

Rosaline Chokar

C.E.S's MICHAEL High School

19

Ira Rane

Bhavan's A H Wadia School

20

Shehnaz Shaikh

Anjuman Islam BSK English medium

21

Veronica Dandare

St Anthony's Girls High School

22

Jaswindar Kaur

Greenlawns High School

23

Biji Tushar

Vivek Vidyalay

24

Pravin Cyril

Vivek Vidyalay

 

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