Punjab to introduce child protection curriculum in schools

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Punjab government decided on Sunday to introduce child protection curriculum in all schools of the province.

The decision was taken on January 13 by a 20-member committee, headed by Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shehbaz Sharif, during a meeting on safeguarding children, after riots erupted in Kasur over the rape and killing of a seven-year-old girl in Kasur. Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah was the convener of the committee.

The committee also made proposals regarding forming a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) database and improve the child protection laws to safeguard the future of children in the province. Recommendations of the committee would also be submitted to the Punjab CM by January 16.

The terms of reference of the committee included replication of AMBER alert system in Punjab and developing a standard operating procedure to immediately locate and recover missing children, and to make the society children-friendly.

Moreover, the committee will also “intelligently use ICT to protect children in streets, parks, schools and in other public places”, “review existing laws and criminal investigation procedures apropos child abduction and child abuse”, and “propose revisions in school curriculum to educate children in dealing with strangers and self-protection.”

The Punjab Government Spokesperson Malik Ahmad Khan on Saturday had said that child abuse awareness will be taught in the school syllabus, adding that there is no other choice than to make the subject a part of the syllabus.

“We have no other choice than to include it [child abuse] in syllabus. We have to remove taboos on the issue. We will also hold dialogue with the people who oppose this move,” he had said while speaking on Geo News programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath Friday night.

He had also assured that the issue will become a part of the curriculum, adding that such high level of incidents is reported due to “lack of basic education” on the matter.

“Government is responsible to take steps for protection of children,” he had remarked.

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