SHILLONG, Nov 23: The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) has observed that a prestigious school of the state like Pine Mount has lost its name due to poor administration.
According to sources in the Education department, the Commission observed that there is lack of understanding and co-ordination between the principal of the school and the teachers.
“The boarding is in shambles, children have been deprived of their basic needs like clean, safe water, clean environment and nutritious food,” according to Commission observation.
The SCPCR made these observations after visiting the school on October 1, this year after allegations of boarding section of the school being in poor condition, child rights being violated, abuse of power by the matrons-in-charge, living standards were unhygienic and not up-to the standard and a particular child staying in the boarding was undergoing emotional discrimination.
The Commission has sent the report of their visit to the state Education department.
During the inspection made by the members of the SCPCR, it was found out that the school/boarding premises being old buildings are in a dilapidated condition.
The Principal of the school said that she time and again reminded the government, but till now no action has been taken.
The SCPCR stated that on inquiry it was found out that the school has no counselor, nor a visiting doctor to the boarding and no nurses to look after the boarder.
“This is a serious lapse from the school authority which should have taken top priority, which are mandatory requirements,” the SCPCR stated.
During inspection the members of the SCPCR said that the premises of the boarding was found to be damp, the bedroom of the senior girls were crammed and clothes were found to be hanging everywhere in the bathroom, which according to the Commission was unhygienic.
The dining room has also been converted as study-room for the children which according to the SCPCR is not child-friendly at all.
Meanwhile, on the allegations of boarder of the school undergoing emotional discrimination, the matrons repeatedly voiced out that she continuously wets in bed, soils the ground while watching television, steal things from other children and tears up books. According to the SCPCR, even the Principal of the School said that this particular child is creating a lot of problem. When the Commission enquired about the schools responsibility of giving treatment to the child, the Principal said that the father has been informed and that she is on medication.
The Commission intervened pointing out that the child must have serious psychological and emotional problems since she has been separated from her mother.
The Chairperson of the Commission suggested for providing psychological treatment to the child and also to keep her at the government shelter home, temporarily for counseling to which the Principal readily agreed.
On October 8, the teachers of the school had also approached the Commission after having heard that the SCPCR visited the school and handed over a copy of their representation addressed to the Principal of the school, appealing to her to address numerous problems and violation of the basic rights of the children in the boarding sections.
The teachers voiced out all the grievances related to the school, the deplorable conditions of the entire premises, with congested class-rooms, run-down lad, no proper sanitation provision and no water supply in the children toilet.
As per the report of the SCPCR submitted to the Education department on October to, the Commission again paid a visit to the school and found out that the toilets of the KG students, just next to the classrooms were emitting strong urine smell with no system of pouring water as the drums kept in the toilets were out of reach of the small girls and no “ayahs” were seen on duty.
On interaction with boarders they expressed their dismay on the way the hostel is been running lately.
The quality of the food is not up to the standard, children are not getting fruits regularly which is also part of their diet.
Moreover, an inspection of the senior girl’s bedroom which houses 17 children, the bds were cramped up, there was no proper ventilation and as pointed out by the boarders, parts of the ceiling were damaged and would leak during rainy season.
The school authorities expressed difficulties when it came to maintenance of the school as was stated that being a government school, the decision lise with it and that time and again they addressed their grievances to the department concerned.