First public hearing on violations
Jasleen Kaur | April 21, 2011
Even after a year of its implementation, the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act is still in its infancy. Government schools in the national capital lack facilities and both teachers and administration are insensitive to the issue.
This was revealed during a day-long public hearing organised by JOSH, a Delhi-based NGO in collaboration with the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), in Trilokpuri, a resettlement colony in East Delhi. A first of its kind in Delhi, the hearing was meant to examine cases of violation against the RTE Act.
Cases related to corruption, violation of laws, willful negligence, inefficiency and callousness of teachers and officials while implementing the Act were discussed. Many NGO representatives also mentioned the difficulties faced by the disabled children in getting admission in government schools. Rajiv Kumar from Pardarshita, an NGO operating in Delhi said even those children who were identified by the department of education are still out of school. Other problems like lack of toilets in schools, especially for girls, continue to haunt schools.
The hearing was chaired by NCPCR chairperson Shantha Sinha, National Advisory Council members Farah Naqvi and Vinod Raina and RTE national coordinator Kiran Bhatty.
Complaints registered by parents and children were read out in front of the officials and teachers and school principals.
Kiran Bhatty said, “We have held so many public hearings before but this is the first time administration responded so badly. Even after one year of its implementation, people from the department of education know so little about the act.”
The jury said there was lot of anger among children and their parents and many complaints were on the basic requirements of the act.
Vinod Raina said, “Delhi government claimed to be the first state to implement the act but it still does not have rules. Education officers were so insensitive in public. Situation is alarming.”
Some of the cases presented during the hearing shocked the jury. “There was this case where Dalit children were made to sweep the floor. We will investigate the cases further and will take it forward within the specified time,” said Bhatty.
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