Rules in states don't define EWS and disadvantaged groups; have no proper grievance redressal system
Jasleen Kaur | April 27, 2012
Even after two year of implementation of the Right to Education act, some states are yet to make rules. And those who have made rules, are not in uniformity with the model rules prepared by the centre.
Andhra Pradesh’s and Arunachal Pradesh’s state rules fail to mention that children can be admitted anytime in an academic year as the acts says. The RTE act has done away with exams up to class 8 but calls for continuous comprehensive evaluation. This is not reflected in the rules of Andhra Pradesh. Instead, children have been grouped into two categories depending on those who secure high marks and ones with least marks.
The Model Rules, 2009 on the right to education act were formulated by the ministry of HRD to operationalise the Act. These rules provided a broad framework which states could use while devising their own state rules on RTE. But the national commission for protection of child rights (NCPCR) has found that many states have not formed rules in accordance with the model rules.
School management committee (SMC) is one of the important elements in the act. The committee, comprising parents, teacher and students, has the responsibility to make the school development plan.
In many states, there is a clear violation on this front. Like in Andhra, rules want the parents of children who secured highest marks and least marks to be candidates for school management committee.
Madhya Pradesh’s rules say mother and father of each child who secured highest percentage in the annual examination of the preceding academic session will be members of SMCs.
Under the RTE act, children from economically weaker and disadvantaged section have the right to education. But rules of some states like Tamil Nadu fail to define them. Assam also has not specified the EWS and disadvantaged groups. And nowhere in the rules does it specifically say that 25% seats have to be reserved for children from EWS in private schools, as required under the act.
In Rajasthan, rules say that class-wise names of children from economically weaker section in private schools will be displayed.
In Madhya Pradesh, the government had to calculate the per child expenditure within three months after the commencement of the act but the per child expenditure still remains pending.
In Maharashtra, rules include only blind children under disadvantaged section. Other disabilities have been left out.
In Orissa, rules do not specify what appropriate and safe arrangements will be made to ensure children with disabilities attend school.
The model rules do not include mechanisms of grievance redressal and the NCPCR is working on formulating them. But states must ensure their RTE rules include all aspects of grievance redressal, including the method of lodging complaints, specific authorities from the state machinery to be approached for complaints and timeline for grievance redressal. Most states fail to do so.
In some states like Manipur and Sikkim, grievance redressal system only addresses concerns of teachers and not the children. In West Bengal, teacher’s accountability to SMC has not been established.
In Delhi, which is yet to notify its rules, the grievance redressal mechanism has not been defined. Delhi commission for protection of child rights have set up a helpline to receive complaints but there is no institutionalised mechanism to resolve these complaints.
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