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July 11, 2020

Strict anti-harassment laws to be enforced in schools: Murad Raas

Lahore

A
APP
July 11, 2020

LAHORE:Punjab Education Minister Dr Murad Raas Friday said the provincial government first time in the history of Punjab would soon implement the strict anti-harassment laws for the protection of female students and teachers in schools.

Talking to a private news channel, the minister said the government would soon introduce new legislation for private schools, which would cover the issues such as harassment and bullying at the schools and under which the schools and all those involved would face severe punishment, including closure of schools, fines and imprisonment for those involved.

Dr Murad Raas said the government would include anti-harassment laws to the private schools and teachers’ license acts. He said the harassment bill was given to Law Department and after its amendments they would present it in the Punjab Assembly for its final approval which hopefully to be implemented soon.

He also stressed on the awareness of students on anti-harassment laws as a written complaint of the incident is required, without which, action cannot be taken against the culprits. The minister said in public schools they already have the system of councils but students were facing problems due to lack of this facility in private schools, adding that after LGS harassment incident, Punjab government also decided to make functional a private education council where students and their parents can easily discussed the issues.

The Pakistan Education Council (PEC) has set up an email group for the safety of students in educational institutions. Students would be able to report abuse and harassment to the administration, he underlined.

He said PEC would entertain the complaints filed by students via email. Replying to a question about reopening of schools, he said government would take decision wisely as they would not compromise on the health of teachers and students.

The minister said the strict SOPs were being framed so that government should be fully prepared to deal with the health hazards of COVID-19 pandemic when the schools were reopened in near future.