With reports of sexual harassment at workplaces and even educational institutes increasing, it has become crucial for organisations to have sexual harassment policies in place. In line with this, the Paro College of Education has committed to zero tolerance against sexual harassment. The college introduced a Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy in November last year and is implementing it from this year.
The Paro College of Education has more than 1,500 teacher trainees among which more than half are women. The college also has over 100 teaching and non-teaching staff.
Although there are no reports so far, the sheer number of people and a lack of proper awareness could pose a risky environment.
“This could happen any time now. We are all aware that there are an increasing number of cases reported very often. Any time we might confront such abuses so to avoid it we have come up with this policy,” said Kezang Sherab (PhD), Research Dean of the college.
He added having a policy in the institute is also expected to have benefits in the long run.
“These students, as they are familiarised with this policy in the college, we are hopeful that in the long run they will try and implement these in their schools, offices and working spaces later. It is especially important for teachers as teachers are often looked upon as role models for our future youth,” added the Research Dean.
Sexual harassment cases are usually unnoticed or not reported, as the victims are unsure of where to report or seek assistance from. The policy provides information on how to go about if such an incident takes place.
A committee consisting of faculty, supporting staff and student body will also be formed and everyone will be educated and familiarised with the policy.
As per the policy, an investigation will be carried out in two phases and if found guilty, the offenders will face appropriate disciplinary actions.
Namgay Wangchuk, Paro