Safeguarding of 5 to 8 years old children in primary school premise in Kaligonj
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Children are delicate in nature. When a child is born in a family, she/he entirely relies on a human support that is his/her mother or caregiver. Children need special care, support and a safe environment which supposed to be positive and stimulating for children’s physical, mental, social and emotional development. Home is the safest and secure place for children. However, when children enter in the social environment, school is the place where children spend most of their time after home. Therefore, Children look for the same safety, security and care in the school as home through teachers, peers and friends. This study focused on that situation. Especially, this study discussed and focused on the knowledge, perception, practices of the schools, teachers, and parents regarding children’s safeguarding issues in the school premise. This study was qualitative in nature and was guided by the explorative approach. Children’s safeguarding is a verse area to explore, consequently children maltreatment is selected to study on as one of the common factors of children’s safeguarding. The population of this study was primary school teachers and parents from a rural area of Kaligonj under Gazipur district. Two Primary school teachers including Head teachers and the 6 parents of the children aged 5 to 8 years were sampled purposively as research participants. Two data collection methods were used in order to achieve the objectives; i) Focus Group Discussion (FGD), ii) In-depth-interview (IDI). After collecting data, it was managed using content analysis method. Results from the analysis revealed that most of the teachers and parents expressed the need of a safe and secure environment for their children’s holistic development. Though they feel the inevitability of safety and security for their children in the school where children will learn and play freely without fear but still they keep emphasizing on to ensure children’s education only, children safeguarding issues are quite left out from their attention. They have a minimum knowledge and practices regarding these issues. Moreover, schools haven’t developed / implemented or arranged any sort of child safeguarding policy or plan, training or seminar for schools teachers or parents. As a result many teachers do not have enough knowledge how to work on safety and security issues in the school. All of the participants stated only physical punishment in the question of child maltreatment in the school. The other kinds of abuses are remote from their observation and attention. Nevertheless, they are experiencing this sort of matters in their daily experiences. Some of the teachers had only a “Half day program “on children safeguarding issues but haven’t taken any necessary steps after program. So the results of this study suggests that GoB and the schools as well should focused on this issue, should take necessary steps to ensure children’s safety and security in the school premise.