SUMMARY Convention on the rights of the child

SUMMARY

 

India’s
Commitment towards Children’s Rights is also a signatory to the World
Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children. In
pursuance of the commitment made at the World Summit, the Department of Women
and Child Development under the Ministry of Human Resource Development has
formulated a National Plan of Action for Children. This conviction, expressed
as the convention on the rights entered into international law on 2 September
1990, nine months after the convention’s adoption by the United Nations General
Assembly. The Convention on the rights of the child speaks of four sets of
civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of every child. They
are: The right to Survival, right to Protection, right to Development and right
to Participation (UNICEF, 1997). Children are the future citizens of the
country. Child Rights are fundamental freedoms and the inherent rights of all
human beings below the age of 18. These rights apply to every child,
irrespective of the child’s, parent’s / legal guardian’s race, color, sex,
creed or other status.  

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A
statement of child rights is a statement of adult responsibilities. It is the
responsibility of all adults, of government and the international community, to
create and maintain the circumstances in which families themselves can protect
the rights of the child. Child rights needs to be understood by one and all,
for which the information on child rights should be made available in all
languages in the form of booklets, pamphlets, brochures, handouts etc. Several
child welfare programmes launched at different intervals highlight the priority
and importance of young child’s right to survival and development, protection
and participation, which is the responsibility of the state. Child Rights
education demands appraisal of existing level of knowledge, attitude and
practices of child rights by various sections of people and the stake holders
of child welfare and development programmes. School personnel have a vital role
in protecting children’s rights. They can make a significant and positive
impact on the lives of children through their contact with the children
formally and informally. School personnel awareness of child rights is
important in this context.

The
present study entitled “Child Rights: A study of Knowledge, Attitude and
Practices by School Personnel in Jammu” was undertaken with specified
objectives; 1)to assess among School Personnel, a) knowledge b) attitude c)
practices; 2) to compare levels of : a) knowledge b) attitude c) practices; 3) To study the
association of child rights knowledge, attitude and practices of School
Personnel with Age, Sex, Education, Duration of Service and Training Status; 4) To study the
extent of coverage of child rights in the teacher’s training programme; 5) On the basis of
the findings and training needs of the School Personnel, to develop a training
module related to child rights. One of the educational zone of Jammu, i.e.
Jammu zone were selected purposively. A sample of 500 school personnel was
selected from Jammu. A sample of 50 government and 50 private schools were
selected randomly using lottery method i.e. 50 administrative officers, 50
helpers and 150 teachers were selected from these schools. Self-devised
interview schedule was used to elicit general information and information
regarding International Convention. To study the knowledge of child rights,
rating scale devised by D. Sarada in 2000 was used. Child Rights attitude and
Practices Self-devised rating scale was used to assess the attitude and
practices of child rights among school personnel. On the basis of pretesting
data, necessary modifications were done in the Child Rights Knowledge, Attitude
and Practices scale. For the in-depth analysis, Child Rights Knowledge,
Attitude and Practices scale was divided into four areas i.e. Survival Rights,
Development Rights, Protection Rights and Participation Rights with respect to
items present in the scale. Each area was analyzed in order to conduct item
wise analysis. Frequency, percentages, mean, standard deviation, t- test and
chi- square were used to analyze the data. 

Results obtained
revealed that most of the government school personnel were in the age group of
31-40 years. Majority of the private school personnel were in the age group of
41-55 years. It was found that almost all the school personnel were female and
Post Graduate. Majority of the school personnel joined the service between
2000-2010 and had 11-15 years of services. Most of the school personnel were
having 11-16 years teaching/working experience at primary school level. Almost
all the government school personnel were having 1-3 years and private school
personnel were having above 6 years teaching/working experience at present school.
Majority of the school personnel were having knowledge of United Nations Convention on the Rights of
the Child and insignificant difference was seen. It was noted that most
of the school personnel came to know about child rights through TV/ internet
but a very few percentage was show on books, friends, newspaper/magazine as
their sources of information about child rights. The data on basic facilities
of the schools indicate that most of the private schools have separate
bathrooms, water facility and water storage facility; separate rooms for staff
were available as compared to government schools. It was observed that majority
of the private schools have regular health checkups, regular maintenance of the
building, Repair of furniture/ building, proper facility for Library, proper
electricity system, Sports equipment, Computer room, Activity room, Yoga room
and Counseling room as compared to government schools. Mid day meal facilities were
not there in private schools. Almost all the private schools organized five
time in a year interactive session with children and parents-teachers meeting
in their school but a very few percentage of government schools organized twice
in a year interactive session with children and parents-teachers meeting due to
lack of interest in children education and Busy Schedule of the Parents. Most
of the private schools reported that they form committee in their school. On
the other hand, government
schools reported that they do not form committee due to lack of
resource, lack of time and lack of staff.  Most of the government and private schools
reported that they do not formation of child rights committee for children in
their school.

 

Results on the Child Rights Knowledge Scale indicated
that most of the school personnel were showing high knowledge regarding Child
Rights i.e. survival rights, development rights, protection rights and
participation rights. School personnel were found significantly different on
items Right to nationality, Right to Education, Right to follow
his cultural practices, Right to Information, Child without families have a
right to special protection, Right to non-discrimination, Right to protection
from illicit transfer and non-return and Right to social
security. Highly significant difference was also noted on
items Right to health and services, Right to practice his own
religion, Right to travel abroad, Right to development, Right to wear what they
want, Right to protection from use of narcotic and psychotropic drugs, Right to
peace, Right to privacy, Right to reared, Right to non-separation, Right to
prohibition of fortune and deprivation of liberty and Right to work if they
choose with
private and government school personnel.

 

Most of the private
school personnel were having moderate
attitude level towards child rights. On the other hand, in government
school personnel were having high attitude level towards child rights. Chi
square values demonstrated that school personnel were highly significantly
different on level of attitude towards child rights. t-score analysis revealed
that on survival rights, development rights, protection rights and
participation rights areas of attitude towards child rights indicating that
significant difference between government and private school personnel on
various items of attitude towards child rights i.e. Children should have the right to quality child care, Every child has a
right to legitimacy, Children should have the right to adequate clothing,
Children should have the right to express ideas or opinions in school
newspapers, even if many teachers may not agree with them, Money from taxes
should be spent to ensure that all children receive a quality education whether
they are rich or poor, Every child should be protected from sexual exploitation.
It
was also found that highly significant difference between government and
private school personnel on various items Children
should have the right to receive dental care, Every child is entitled to have
education, Children should have the right to a quality education, Children should have the right to decide
which school they will attend, Children should have the right to express their
ideas and opinions, It is the state obligation to protect children from abuse
and neglect, Children should have the right to counseling when they are having
emotional problems at school and Sale,
trafficking and abduction of children should be prevented by the state,
Children should have the right to an adequate breakfast. This indicates
that school personnel were having strongly agree attitude towards child rights.

 

Results highlighted
that on practice related to health and
development rights, in both government and private school personnel
reported that available of health services for children in their school and
also aware of these services. They provide health and hygiene facilities to
children i.e. safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and cleaned classroom
and teaching areas and highly significant difference was found between
government and private school personnel. In government schools, they do not
organize health camps for children due to lack of financial and lack of
facilities where as in private schools, they organized the health camps for
children twice in a year and significant difference was also seen. Results
indicates that in government school personnel responded that they tracked
children’s growth through observations where as in private school personnel
used health check-up method to track child’s growth and highly significant
difference was observed. Results further indicate that in both government and
private school personnel reported that they give freedom to children to express
their ideas. Results showed that
on practice related to
education rights revealed that in both government and private school personnel state
that they implement Child rights education through recreation activities, moral
education and cultural programme. Highly significant difference was found
between government and private school personnel. It was also found that they do
not implement child rights education due to lack of resources, lack of
knowledge, lack of training, overloaded curriculum and paucity of time. They
impart child rights information in curriculum areas through integrated
approach. School personnel reported that they display visual aids on child
rights like social/health and hygiene and fundamental duties. It was observed
and reported that they display only school activities on school board and
significant difference was seen. The findings of the
study on practice related to protection
rights, in private school personnel were of the view that they give
guidance service for children on academics, discipline, punctuality and
regularity, personal issues and health and hygiene. In both government and
private school personnel reported that unavailability of trained counselors
they do not provide counseling service for children. Significant difference was
seen between government and private school personnel on guidance and counseling
service. In government school personnel reported that they never form social
security committee due to lack of financial, lack of faculty and lack of
resources. On the other hand, in private school personnel stated that form
social security committee in their school might be due to maintain order and
discipline, Entry of
every strangers and visitors in the entry register.  Significant difference was also found between
government and private school personnel. In both government and private school
personnel take steps regarding discrimination/inequality i.e. equally treat
each child, and co-education delivered. Results revealed that in both
government and private school personnel take necessary measures to control
substance use in their school through observation/CCTV, never allow stranger,
counseling and drug prevention education and report immediate to the higher
authority. Finding revealed that on practice
related to participation rights, majority of the private school personnel
reported that they organized Quiz competition, Poem recitation and Fancy dress
competition activities for children participation in school/classroom. There
was significant difference between government and private school personnel. In
private school personnel organized safety and protection issues related
activities for children in their school. Most of the government and private
school personnel arranged dance, skit/drama, singing and role play activities
in their schools and also shows that significant difference between government
and private schools personnel. All the government and private school personnel
organized health and hygiene committee, sports committee, cultural committee
and discipline committee for children in their school. In both government and
private schools, majority of the school personnel reported that forced children
adopt an English language in the school. Highly significant difference between
government and private school personnel regarding children to adopt a specific
language.          

 

After overall analysis
of the results, association of Child
Rights knowledge, Attitude and Practices of school personnel with
independent variables. It was concluded that there was
highly significant association between Age, educational qualification, Duration
of service, In-Service participation in training course, Attended child rights
training course and Child Rights Knowledge of school personnel.  There was
highly significant association between Age, educational qualification and
attitude towards child rights of school personnel. Significant association between
duration of service and attitude of child rights among school personnel.
Insignificant association between knowledge, attitude of child rights and sex
of the school personnel. Result also indicates that there was highly
significant association between Age, Sex, Educational qualification, Duration
of service, Training status and on area of Practices
related to health and development rights, Education rights
Protection rights and participation rights among Administrative officers and
teachers. There was highly significant association between duration of service
and various items of practices of child rights among helpers.

 

      Result was found that on Training
Status of the Respondents, majority of the government and private school
personnel have not received any training courses before joining the school.
Significant difference between government and private school personnel
regarding participation in training courses before joining the school. Most of
the government school personnel have attended in service training courses.
School personnel have participated in micro and macro teaching, subject
knowledge, induction level training and basic knowledge skills training. They
have attended 15 days, one week, 1-3 month and 3-6 month training courses. They
have participated training course organized by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, State
Institutes of Education, Rastriya Madhimik Shiksha Abhiyan and District
Institute of Education and Training and highly significant difference between
government and private schools personnel regarding in-service training courses.
Almost all the administrative officers, teachers and helpers have not attended
child rights training course during their service. Majority of the government
and private school personnel have interested in receiving child rights training
and highly significant difference between government and private school
personnel.

 

            On
the basis of research findings, a training
module related to child rights was developed. It was found during study that
the school personnel training programme did not cover child rights component. The
study further affirms that there is a great need to educate the school
personnel on child rights by including this topic in their training programme.
Therefore, training module was developed on the basis of two days training
programme to meet the objectives. This training module consists of a three sub-training module.
Each of these sub-module attempts to address the current needs of the school
personnel in institute, this module clearly outlines the training sessions with
interactive learning activities. Sub-Module one depicts the understanding of rights
of the child and describe how children and childhood are understood,
Children’s needs and rights, rights based approach.
Sub-Module two- type of rights (54
articles) shows that how schools can create a greater awareness and
understanding of UN
Convention on the rights of the child, 54 articles, committee on Rights
of the Child
and OP3
CRC communication amongst
the school community. Sub-Module third- Implement children’s rights in
practice illustrates that how to promote
and create awareness of child rights in schools, special laws,
Government schemes /Programmes for the welfare of children based on Child
Rights.

 

Hence it is imperative
for every school personnel to be aware of the many prevailing social evils
which impact adversely on the development of children, and also of the legal
provisions which exist and which can help in safeguarding the interests of the
child and thus contribute to the promotion of rights of our children. To sum
up, it can be concluded from the findings of the present study that overall
school personnel were having high level of knowledge and attitude towards child
rights on various areas i.e. Survival rights, Development rights, Protection
rights and Participation rights. On the part of Practices of child rights, Children’s rights education is the teaching and practice of children’s rights in
schools and educational institutions, as informed by and consistent with the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
When fully implemented, a children’s rights education program consists of both
a curriculum to teach children their child rights, and framework to operate the
school in a manner that respects children’s rights.

Overall, findings suggest a need to heighten awareness of
children’s rights and needs, which can improve attitudes towards the treatment
of children. They concluded that efforts to heighten awareness and attitudes
towards children’s rights are needed across society and in key sectors to
enhance children’s lived experience. Therefore, school
personnel knowledge on Child Rights needs to be improved. Though they possess a
favourable attitude towards child rights, in practices especially with regard
to Survival rights, Development rights, Protection rights and Participation
rights, they are not implemented. Unless Child rights are practiced, mere
knowledge and attitudes are not of any value.

 

 

 

 

 

SUGGESTIONS
AND RECOMMENDATIONS BASED ON THE STUDY

 

SUGGESTIONS

     
Orientation meeting: All
schools may be asked to organize an orientation meeting of staff and parents of
children at the beginning of the academic session. The participants of the
meetings may include local NGO, Block Education Officer and District Education
Officer also. The participants shall be sensitized on the ‘rights of children’
to respect, care, health, and an education free from fear. The parents’ opinion
should be actively sought.

     
Suggestion Box: Every
school shall have a suggestion box which is accessible to everyone- students,
teachers, parents and school staff. This box should be opened regularly.

     
Redressal
Mechanism:  In cases of child abuse  a committee 
constituting a 3-member enquiry team of which 2 are women and one should
be from an NGO not working in that school should  conduct investigation and submit report
within 15 days, in which the team can recommend that the accused be warned, or
suspended, or dismissed. In all cases the accused person shall be asked not to
discharge his/her duties pending enquiry.

     
Social Audit: A
community social audit of the school will increase awareness amongst the
community about the school practices, regularity of teacher attendance and
teaching, condition of school amenities, etc. Knowledge being the first step
towards action, this will also build ownership amongst the community for the
school.

     
Capacity development of students:    Children’s Club,  Children’s
Movements and Networks, Children’s Councils, 
Children’s Parliament must be established in every school to
provide children with an opportunity to learn about their rights and
responsibilities, develop mediation skills and participate in the function of
the school.

     
Co-curricular
and extra-curricular activities: For the co-curricular,
extra-curricular, annual day celebration, sports day and other events every
student should be given chance to participate.

     
Basic Infrastructure of the Schools:
There
can be no compromise on providing basic amenities to the students like clean
and separate toilets for boys and girls, soaps in the toilets,  health centre, periodic health checkups,
outdoor safe play area, first aid box, adequate seating arrangement in the
class rooms and child friendly policies.

     
A counselor is a must in every school: To
tackle mischievous or unruly behaviour, students should be sent to the school
counselor rather than giving them any type of punishment that would adversely
affect their psyche. Schools need to create an amiable atmosphere where
students would feel conformable.

     
Provision
in School Textbooks:
A
precise statement on the ‘rights of the child’ along with the provision of a
Child Help Line Service should be printed on the first page of every textbook
that children use from Class IV onwards, so that it is easily accessible to any
child. Social Science and Language textbooks can have a chapter devoted to the
issue with available information on redressal mechanisms.

     
Pre-service Courses of Teacher
Education: These would include courses offered by
DIETs and CTEs, University Departments offering Bachelor’s Degree in Teacher
Education, other certificate and diploma courses, including private
institutions.

·        
 In-service Teacher Education: All
in-service programmes need to have a dedicated focus on issues of child rights,
discipline and corporal punishment. Need to create forums for teachers to
discuss issues related with discipline and the difficulties teachers face in
dealing with diverse and unpredictable behaviour patterns.

     
Notice Board: A
notice-board in every school must display the names and contact details of the
PTA members, BDO and DEO. PTAs to be encouraged to act immediately on
complaints by children before further injury is caused.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

     
To enhance the knowledge of School
personnel regarding Child Rights and other issues related to children.
Government and Non-Government agencies conduct to awareness generation
programme

     
Sensitization workshops should be
conducted for in service School personnel.

     
Child rights education should be made a
part of the school curriculum, because a good number of school personnel are
available to teach them with a knowledge base.

     
School 
personnel can be mobilization parents, children and other members of
society  for the awareness of rights of
children

     
Another study on similar aspects can be
carried on other groups of society who are directly or indirectly deal with
children.

 

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