National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) jointly with South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) conducted social audit on the RTE Act in Bangalore. The social audit exercise held in 47 schools of 5 wards in Bangalore city namely KR Puram, Shivaji Nagar, Vasantha Nagar, Pulikeshi Nagar and Chamaraj Pet. Schools selected for this exercise were government schools, aided schools and BBMP schools. Private schools have not selected because Government of Karnataka is not notified its state rules during the process was taking place. The major findings of the concurrent monitoring and actions initiated by the team are as follows.
- All Aided and BBMP schools have building whereas majority of the government schools are running in old buildings which are not all weather structures and there is no proper ventilation.
- All BBMP schools (except GKTMS, Clevelend Town) have neither drinking water facility nor usable toilets whereas all aided and government schools have water connection along with the well maintained toilets. But there are no separate toilets for girls in few government schools and girl children using teachers’ toilets or nearby public toilets. Situation of the toilets in schools is at good condition after the intervention. Hafeezia School, Shivaji Nagar – BBMP, Tasker Town, Vasanth Nagar
- Majority of the schools have no playground at all.
- There is no separate room for the library in all 47 schools. The library books kept in locked cupboard and kept in HMs room. Since it is kept in HMs room no child is ready to enter the HMs room and read freely.
- All the children entitled to get incentives such as note book and uniforms have received a set. But uniform being distributed was not as per the child’s size.
- A total of 2335 children from 47 schools are eligible to receive SC/ST scholarships have not applied, because it is mandatory to submit caste certificate during the time of applying for the scholarship.
- Availing of caste certificates is the major challenge to the parents as they are unable to meet the demands of the officials and agents helping them in getting the caste certificate and pay amounts higher than the value of the scholarship.
- The main problem for parents is spending at least 3-4 days in getting caste certificate as it is impossible to avail a certificate in a day’s time and the parents who live on daily wages do not want to lose 3-4 days wages for a scholarship of just Rs 250.
- An allegation made on the officials by the parents was that availing of caste certificate consumes 3-4 days of wages along with at least Rs. 500 – Rs. 1000 of bribe. Renewing of caste certificate for every five years (it is changed recently) is unscientific and unnecessary process despite caste is never been changed at all.
- There is lack of awareness amongst people about the presence of Nemmadi Kendra’s, the number of centres is very less and it is very difficult for people to access the same in Bangalore. Hence people are facing towards agents to get the same by paying them.
- No child is received free bus pass from the Government directly.
3. Mid Day Meal
- Isckon, Mausim Shariff Foundation and Adamya Chetana are the major institutions serving food to schools across Bangalore. The main problem with the food is quality of rice is not good to prepare. There is difference quality of rice is being distributed from Isckon to Government and BBMP schools.
- Children are being used to clean toilets, carry and wash Mid Day Meal utensils. No (Group – D) Ayah is been appointed despite Government circulars available relating to appointment of Ayahs in primary schools.
Major Problems with MDM
- Rice is like paste / smashed / turning in to thick.
- Food being served is not as per menu given by the Government.
- Especially the quality of the curd rice is very bad and rice is not cooked well / half boiled / over boiled, so that children don’t eat.
- Food is being wasted when Tomoto Rice/ Pulav is served because there is no curd with it. Incomplete supply and same vegetables used daily.
- Children do not want to eat samber and white rice because quality is very bad. Hence food is being wasted at large amount daily
- Teacher using children to domestic works especially Girl children are using for their domestic and personal works as well.
- The computers provided by the Government are never been used at all in all schools. They have been dumped in a room and filled with dust. Now the situation of computers is very bad.
- Food is being wasted at large amount due to the poor quality.
- Corporal Punishment is still practicing in majority of the schools.
- SDMC complained that teacher used to come to school only in the afternoon
- The Government of Karnataka should take initiation to build all weather class rooms (buildings) with drinking water and separate toilet facility to girl children in each school across Karnataka. And also ensure enough space for playing ground, library with books and water connection in each school.
- It is suggested that a Tahsildar visit schools and provide the children with caste certificates and preferably a drive to be conducted by the Tahsildar deputed by the Government to issue caste certificates to the children.
- Government facilities especially, Bus Pass, Note Book, Uniform and Text Books should reach children on time.
- Using of computers and Books in library must be free to access by children.
- Good quality of food (Rice and Vegetables) must be served to all schools without any discrimination. A standard menu should be followed by each organisation as per the directions given by government and the menu should be changed at least once in a month. We recommend that the appropriate initiatives to be taken to carry MDM utensils and to collect the same on the same day itself so that we could prevent children from washing the same.
- Group D workers should be appointed immediately in every school across state.