The Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights initiated a dialogue and conversation with academic institutions in collaboration with the Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) on April 19, 2023, at DHE.
The motive was to discuss how the education system and policies, and programmes for the protection of children could be strengthened.
Prasad Lolayekar, Director of Higher Education, thanked the Commission for the collaboration and expressed confidence in the support by academic institutions. The meeting focused on how the contemporary issues in child protection could be integrated into the syllabus and practicums, providing opportunities for students to research Goa-centric child protection issues.
This would help in the generation of evidence and a body of knowledge in the context of Goa for policy. It would also allow for effective programming on children's rights and how academic institutions could engage with the Commission and other child protection bodies in a partnership project for mutual benefits.
Peter F Borges, Chairperson Goa SCPCR
Addressing the participants, Chairperson Peter F Borges said, “The protection of children is a growing concern today. A family, community, state and citizen must ensure a preventive measure to safeguard the rights of children.”
He said that amidst the surge in crimes against children in the state, it has come to the fore that child protection in Goa is heavily compromised, with several gaps in the system not being addressed for a long time.
Furthermore, there are no evidence-based programming and innovations to address contemporary issues related to children.
The care and protection of children in vulnerable conditions are found to be mere display, tokenism and lack accountability.
Peter F Borges called upon the academic institutions preparing professionals to work in the social space, to upgrade the syllabus and provide exposure to students to the contemporary child issues during formation.
He further said that all disciplines also should be instilling volunteerism and values of social responsibility in the students.