All schools in Kerala should have internal complaints committee: Women's panel to Education Dept

The Kerala Women's Commission (KWC) on Friday recommended to the state Education Department that it ensure that all schools constitute an Internal Complaints Committee when the new academic year begins.
The Kerala Women's Commission (KWC)
The Kerala Women's Commission (KWC)

Thiruvananthapuram | The Kerala Women's Commission (KWC) on Friday recommended to the state Education Department that it ensure that all schools constitute an Internal Complaints Committee when the new academic year begins.

The recommendation was handed over to state General Education Minister V Sivankutty by KWC Chairperson P Satheedevi and its member Indira Raveendran, a statement issued by the commission said.

An Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) is a grievance redressal mechanism to prevent sexual harassment of women at the workplace -- as provided under the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act -- and the KWC observed that such a system was not in place in many schools, according to the complaints it received from teachers across the state.

In its statement, the commission said that where the committee has been formed, it has neither properly held meetings nor put in place a system to resolve the complaints it has received.

The KWC, therefore, recommended that necessary action be taken against all schools that have not yet formed such a committee.

It also suggested that a female official of the Education Department be appointed at the district level to monitor whether the ICC meets regularly.

Besides that, the Commission also recommended that the formation and functioning of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) in all schools be in accordance with the guidelines issued by the government, the statement said.

The KWC said it has noticed that the formation and functioning of PTAs in many schools in the state were not in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the state government.

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