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Thursday, December 05, 2019

At PTM across SDMC schools: From dengue to POCSO, parents get a crash course on kids’ safety

Held every month or so, MCD officials said the meeting helps parents, many of whom are migrants from other states, get a better understanding of their child’s studies.

New Delhi | Published: July 29, 2019 2:12:49 am
At a school in Police Colony, Hauz Khas, Sunday. (Express Photo: Abhinav Saha)

Precautions to be taken against dengue, differentiating between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ touch, awareness about the POCSO Act — these and several other issues were taken up at the mega Parent Teacher Meeting (PTM) organised by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation across its 581 schools on Sunday. Held every month or so, MCD officials said the meeting helps parents, many of whom are migrants from other states, get a better understanding of their child’s studies.

At the SDMC Primary School in Saket G-Block, several parents, predominantly mothers, were made to update Aadhaar details of their child and were imparted awareness about seasonal vector-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya. Domestic Breeding Checker officials of the MCD were stationed at the entrance to illustrate, using a cup of water, how live larvae can spread in clean water such as those in coolers and indoor potted plants.

The principal of the school of over 600 students, Sunita Malik, also talked to parents about the POCSO Act and how to perform CPR. “We told them to tell their children not to take chocolates or toffee from unknown persons, to differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ touch, and to talk to teachers or parents if something happens. We also showed them how to perform CPR…,” said Malik.

However, attendance at the PTM was low, with many parents coming in late and missing the principal’s talk. The area councillor was also not present.

Nissar Khan, whose daughter Alia studies in Class III, said, “I wanted to know about the activities of my child and the tests. They talked about discipline as well. These PTMs are held once a month.”

Munni Devi (30), whose son Mukesh studies in Class V, said: “They didn’t tell me anything about the POCSO Act or schemes. I just went and met the teacher.”

At the Hauz Khas police colony primary school, principal Asha Ekka said: “PTMs have increased since 2016. Now, we have one every month or so. They are quite important for children whose studies were interrupted for some reason, such as the family migrating or an illness. Some of them even have behavioural problems… Parents want to fill this gap in education and want to understand how to do so.”

Many parents came specifically to ask teachers on ways to improve marks of their children in computer learning.

At the Saket primary school, a lab has been set up with the help of an international computer firm. “These children don’t have computers at home; this is the only place they can learn,” said principal Malik. She added, “A lot has improved over the past few years. The quality of learning in students, as well as enrollment, has gone up a lot. We now have CCTVs, scholarships and computers…. We even have solar panels to generate electricity.”

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