Order against frisking students for mobile phones in schools: Kerala edu dept to tread with caution

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Thiruvananthapuram: According to senior officials of Kerala Education Department, it has not yet finalised how to go about implementing Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR)'s order against frisking students for mobile phones in schools. Practical difficulties on various fronts pose a challenge and the order will not be implemented in haste, they opined. The plan is to look into the specifics of the order and if a policy level intervention is required, then the matter will be sent for the consideration of the state government.

KSCPCR had directed authorities to stop frisking students to check on them for mobile phones in schools saying it amounts to hurting their "self-respect" and "dignity". The panel ordered that gadgets can be carried to educational institutions with the permission of parents for certain special needs. While children are not allowed to use mobile phones at school, they can carry them with the permission of their parents if they have certain special needs. "School authorities should make arrangements to keep the phones off after class hours have ended," the order stated.

At present, the use of mobile phones is banned in state schools. All orders and circulars issued by the department are in that direction. As a result, school authorities are confused about imbibing the changes put forth by the new order. Many school representatives believe that ban on frisking and permitting students to carry mobile phones may evoke issues including misconduct and misuse.

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