Is transferring male teachers from girls’ schools a solution to sexual harassment cases?

It is a disgrace to the male teacher’s community by issuing the strange orders by the Punjab Government that henceforth no male teacher will teach in government girl’s schools. Punjab could well be the first state in the India where there would be no male teachers in girl schools
There is a great resentment among the various teachers unions on adopting the unique way of handling of sexual harassment cases by shifting of male teachers from the girl schools gradually. It is difficult to say as to whether it is a political decision to benefit the teachers close to the ruling SAD-BJP Government as thousands of teachers would be involved in this process.
There are about one lakh teachers in the government schools of the state, and of these, 60 per cent are men and the rest women. The final examinations are just days away, and transfer of the teachers now will affect the studies of the students as the new teacher will not know about the child in the class and vice versa.
It is not understood as to why the actions have not been initiated against the errant teachers involved in sexual harassment or the issue has been diverted by taking the decision of shifting the male teachers. Either the teachers involved in sexual harassment cases were closely related with the ruling party leaders or the number of cases were too much so as may not bring a bad name to the mismanagement of Punjab’s education department.
When the issue was discussed with various teachers, unions, educationists and NGOs, the points on surface were;
Merely transferring the male teachers would not suffice as with hundred per cent female staff in girls schools, it would not be free from security from point of view. Moreover, there are number of multifarious duties which female teachers will not be in a position to pull on like looking after the development projects of the schools, visiting other schools as part of inspection committees, managing the local programmes, local purchases etc. as their mobility is limited.
An old timer educationist was of the view that barring a very few cases of sexual harassment, the girls are more safe atleast for five-six hours under the supervision of male teachers in the school.
I don’t think that this decision of the government would help in their aim. Whatever may be motive behind taking the decision of shifting of male teachers from girl schools – positively or intentionally, efforts would have been made to educate people about sexual harassment apart from taking strict action against the male teachers indulging in such social evil to leave a message for others. The education needs to be given right from the primary level.
Frankly speaking, the transferring of male teachers from girls schools is not going to help the government at all as if anyone wants to take advantage of any girl student, they can follow her after the school hours. Thus, the decision of the government does not look to a right decision and has been taken to do a favour to the male teachers by providing them protection against the false allegations of sexual harassment.
Enforcing the orders on male teachers who have good standing services, it will lead to various other complications like losing of good teachers. It would have been more appropriate to enforce code of conduct in the institutions to protect the girls being sexually harassed.
In nut-shell, the decision of the government to transfer male teachers from girl schools needs to be reviewed in the light of the above.
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