Child protection in education refers to the principles and policies adopted by the school to protect the rights of the children to avoid them from getting abused while availing education. This has become a prime focus in the education field because many grave incidents of child abuse have occurred which has made the children afraid from attending school or have even taken their lives. Various government-run policies have been formed for protecting children while getting an education so that their life is properly safeguarded. The lack of potential measures in protecting children during education creates a psychological pressure in the minds of children making them prone to adopting mental disorder.
In 2016, it is seen that in the UK nearly 58,000 children attending education through various platforms are getting abused and in dire need of protection to safeguard their lives for a better future. In most cases, the children are abused at school by the teachers as well as their peers. For instance, in one of the cases in the UK, a student was thrashed and beaten by his peers at school because he was of black origin. It is estimated that in every ten seconds in the US a child abuse is reported to occur mainly at the educational institution. Moreover, it is estimated that 3.6 million children face child abuse in the US. Thus, to avoid such incident child protection is required to be the prime focus in education for developing better life prospect for the students.
There are various ways which can be adopted to ensure child protection in education which is as follows:
- Effective implementation of education policies and framework
The first step towards ensuring child protection in education is the implementation of effective child protection policies and framework by the educational institutions. The framework is required to be made in accordance with the legislative information provided by the government in relation to child protection. Moreover, the educational institutions require setting effective rules for the way to provide education to the teachers as well as the administrative staffs who deals with the student to behave properly so that the children's rights are appropriately protected. The institutions need to adopt the policy of “spare the rod” while educating the children to provide them protection from physical abuse experienced during their learning process. Proper leadership is required to be maintained in a successful and sustainable implementation of the policies and framework for child protection in education. Moreover, a proper screening process is required to be mentioned within the child protection framework while recruiting education staffs in the institution for providing education to the children. This is because the process will ensure that the recruited educational staffs are not previously involved in any form of child abuse or harm thus ensuring protection to the children.
- Proper training of educational staff
In the education field, the teachers are the ones who have direct access to the children most of the times. Moreover, the children are seen to spend most of their time at various educational institutions while interacting with the teachers. Thus, to effectively provide protection to the children in the educational field it is required to provide proper knowledge through training to the teachers. This is because the teachers are always directly linked with the children and thus are able to identify the proper signs and symptoms of abuse faced by the children. Moreover, the training will also help them to report the abuse at the right time and to the right individuals so that effective and timely action can be taken for proper protection to the children. The educational staff required to be trained to make them student-friendly so that they can manage the students without abusing them. This is because many instances have been seen where the students are abused by the teachers within the educational institution resulting in loss of child protection. The teachers need to be student-friendly so that the children can also report to them about any form of abuse faced within the institution so that effective protection can be applied. The training is to be done with the help of social service providers who are trained in providing effective child protection. This is needed so that the information provided in the training sessions is authentic and serve to fulfill the purpose for which it is framed.
Educating children through campaigns
In order to implement proper child protection in education, the children along with their peers are to be provided lesson at school to manage themselves and be alerted to report any form of an abusive situation faced by them. Thus, the development of campaigns to educate the children regarding safety management is required to protect children from abuse helping in executing effective child protection. This is because the children are provided a lesson in this campaign regarding personal safety skills to effectively act to gain protection while studying from any unlawful activities. The safety campaigns also help to provide lessons to the peers, those may be involved in the harmful activity, to refrain from abuse thus ensuring the protection of the children in education. Many researchers have reported that after peers, those are involved in disrupting the child protection are provided effective education through the campaigns, they are seen to act positively in treating the children fairly. The campaigns also help to create an effective child protection environment as it provides a lesson to control the risk factors which are mainly involved in hindering the situation of child protection in education.
The child protection in education is also able to be controlled by organising effective monitoring and reviewing policies by the educational institutions. This is because the monitoring and reviewing services help to inform whether the implemented policies and regulation by the institutions are effectively maintained or not to provide protection to the children. Moreover, it helps to identify what are aspects which are required to be added in the policies so that a holistic protective environment of education can be created for the children to provide them successful protection from abuse by the teachers or peers. The monitoring also helps to take immediate protective actions against any wrong occurring to create hindrance in child protection.
- Create a Child protection committee
The formation of a child protection committee in educational institution helps to create effective results in protecting children from any form of harm or abuse. This is because the committee executes effective policy maintenance within the institution along with keeping a close view of the teaching ways of the professionals so that no legislations are violated. Moreover, the committee also executes weekly survey and interview with the children so that issues resulting in harm and abuse causing hindrance in child protection within the education can be appropriately identified. The committee also frames better strategies for controlling child protection in education to create a risk-free environment for the children to study.
Many children are seen to feel shy to report against violation of their protection due to the fear of getting more intensely abused as a result of their identity revealed. Thus, creating online forums for reporting any form of harm to the children helps in providing complaint against the abuse. This assists to take immediate action and helps in creating a protective environment for the children. In case the children are unable to report, they can also take help from their parents in reporting in the forum of a non-protective situation in education.
- Collaboration and Consultation
The consultation and collaboration with the educational staff, children and their parents help in maintaining a protective environment in education. This is because the obligation involved in an educational environment is effectively understood and policies are farmed through collaborative participation. The collaborations are to be formed by providing information through newsletters, information evenings, notice board and others to the parents of the children. Moreover, discussion groups are created which results in providing ideas regarding the way innovative and protective policies can be framed for the children.
In order to maintain the effective child protecting the environment in education, proper, timely reporting services are needed to be maintained to inform about abuse of violation of rights. This is because with timely reporting the seriousness of the issues can be effectively acknowledged and proper steps can be taken to ensure immediate protection to the child.
The parents of the children are required to be involved in assisting to create a protective environment for them while pursuing studies in the educational field. This is because children are more intricately involved with the parents in their growing years. Thus, it is easy for the parents to know whether their child is facing abuse or harm while pursuing education. The identification leads to protect the children because effective policies and framework are then used for the child to award them a protective environment in education. Moreover, in homeschooling, it is seen that the parents are involved in the abusive treatment of the child leading them to face a non-protective environment in education. Thus, to resolve this, the parents need to attend the local child protection program so that they can adopt effective qualities and use the lessons in educating their children during homeschooling thus helping to protect the child from getting abused.
Apart from performing the following strategies, it is the key responsibility of the teachers to ensure protection for children by developing a non-discriminatory environment in education. This means that the children with disability are to be treated at par with the normal child while providing education. Moreover, the teachers must educate the children that they are a unified race of people so that the peers respect their friends from other communities resulting in creating a protective environment for the children. The teacher also needs to be patient while teaching the children so that no abusive environment is built thus ensuring to provide protection in education.