August 18, 2011 12:12:56 am
The escape of 53 students from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in Gurdaspur a couple of days ago has made the authorities sit up and take notice. Though the students who took shelter in a gurdwara have returned,the officers feel there was a need to control their aggression.
Claiming that the pupils were not maltreated,officers at JNVs regional office here said that it all started with an inter-class tiff that escalated to such a degree that the teachers had to tell students that their parents would be summoned and apprised of their behaviour. Scared of their parents,they got together and escaped. When the local tehsildar and the DSP went to bring them back,the students took an assurance that their parents will not be informed, said Suresh K Sharma,Deputy Commissioner,JNV,Northern Region.
Principal Renu Sharma said one of the Class XI boys,who was a habitual troublemaker,engaged in a fight with Class X boys. Groups of the two classes clashed,and when the teachers got the wind of it,they ran away to beat the rap. We have been holding meetings with students and I will also prepare a case history of each and involve parents in drafting corrective measures, she said,adding that this mob mentality was a cause of concern.
In the past too,several cases of students running away from Navodya Vidyalayas in Punjab have been reported. Claiming that the recent incident was a cause of worry as Gurdaspur schools was a top ranker in the state,Sharma said they were now looking for corrective measures.
Adding that the problem in Punjab schools was high degree of aggression among students,he said: We have started sending yoga and meditation experts to schools and have also tied up with an NGO,Sixth Sense,that counsels and motivates them. The members of the NGO solve their problems and also take their feedback. These courses have been conducted in Tarn Taran and Muktsar and the next session will be held in Fatehgarh Sahib. These will be organised in the entire state.
The regional centre looks after Jawahar Navodya Vidyalayas in Jammu and Kashmir,Chandigarh,Punjab,Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
The deputy commissioner said that besides aggression,the problem that was peculiar to Punjab was complete disconnect between parents and teachers. After a student is admitted,they never ask about his well-being and academic progress,while in other states,especially Himachal,parents regularly inquire about their wards performance. Besides in Punjab,parents do not take steps to discipline a misbehaving child, he said.
Asked about chinks in the school security,he said there were two watchmen,but as the campus was spread over 30 acres there may have been an oversight. However,sources said the school has a barbed wire fence,which makes it easy for students to escape.
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