CRM turning effective in addressing girls’ problems

Kathmandu, February 23

Complaint Response Mechanism introduced at public schools has significantly helped address problems of girl students.

Department of Education had issued Grievance Redress Procedures to address the problems of students at schools. Girls become victims of bullying, teasing and sexual assault while heading for school or returning home from school. Keeping this in mind, DoE introduced CRM at government schools across the country.

Basanta Koirala, deputy director at Department of Education, said DoE, “After inspection, we found that nearly 10 schools are using suggestion boxes to help girl students communicate their problems to teachers.

“After installing complaint box at schools, girls have started dropping their complaints without hesitation and fear,” said Ram Prasad Yadav, principal of Shree Nepal Rastriya Primary School, Gardaul.

He said, “Most of the complaints are related to child marriage, menstruation problems, discrimination between son and daughter, school infrastructure, sanitation and teachers’ behavior with students in classroom.”

Out of 103 complaints received in eight schools, around one-third were related to school facilities and teasing. Around one in 10 complaints were about unavailability of sanitary pads, poor education quality, bullying, lack of sports materials, and behaviour of teachers with students. While some complaints were related to bullying, there were very few complaints about sexual harassment.

Ranjita Sharma, a student of Grade VIII at  Shree Nepal Rastriya Primary School, Gardaul, said girls were teased and harassed by boys during school hours or after school,  but they kept quiet due to fear. She also said that drop out rate was quite high due to the practice of early marriage in the area. Talking to THT, she said, “Many girls quit studies as they get married at the age of 14 to 15 years.”