The Public Hearing on RTE was organised on March 12, 2013 at SDM Law college, Mangalore. Dr. Umesh Aradhya, Chairperson KSCPCR Inaugurated the Program, Mr. Vasudeva Sharma, Mrs. Ramila Shekar, Ms. Asha Naik, Mr. Krishna Shastri Balila were the Jury members.
Click for the Report in Kannada
The regional level workshop on RTE was organised in Youth Hostel, Vishakapatnam from March 15 – 16, 2013. A total of 50 participants from Nellore, Guntur, Srikakulam, Vishakapatnam, Viziyanagaram, Krishna, Ongole, West Godhavari and East Godhavari districts of Coastal Andhra region participated in the training.
The Karnataka State Human Rights Commission, along with members of a City-based NGO, rescued 15 bonded labourers from a brick kiln in Channenahalli on Magadi Road , on Thursday.
The labourers were brought to the City from Odisha and Chhattisgarh several months ago. They worked at a brick kiln owned by C K Mahesh and his brother C K Lokesh. Six among the 15 rescued labourers are children, including a one-year-old.
Prasanna, a member of Action Aid, an NGO, said: “A week ago our counterpart organisation in Odisha alerted us about workers being exploited at a private factory in Bangalore.
We visited the spot along with members of South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) and Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA). After the visit, we reported the matter to Karnataka State Human Rights Commission on Tuesday.”
On Thursday morning, a team comprising officials from KSHRC, Tahsildar (South) Shivappa Lamani and police officials raided the kiln.
Lamani said: “We have rescued all the labourers who were made to work at the kiln forcibly against their will and for a pittance. As the owners of the kiln were not present during the raid, action could not be initiated against them. However, summons have been issued to them to attend an inquiry.”
Suren Patel, one of the rescued labourers, said: “On a referral by agent Subhasini Patel in Odisha, my family and I had arrived in the City several months ago. The agent had promised us jobs at a construction company for a salary of Rs 15,000. Till date, we have not received the promised salary or the employment with a construction firm.
We were forced to work at the kiln for more than 15 hours a day without a break, food or proper accommodation. We were paid a mere Rs 500 per week. The amount was too little to cover even our basic needs. We also had to pay rent for the shacks where we crashed out after hard labour,” he said.
The workers who were rescued during the raid are now with Action Aid.
One of the aides of Mahesh said that they have paid the agent Subhasini a sum of Rs 1,10,000 per individual. “There is no human rights violation as claimed by the NGO and others,” he added. However, when Deccan Herald tried to contact him over phone, Mahesh did not pick the call.
Source: Deccan Herald; Dated: March 14, 2013
Scarce RTE quota seats in private schools disappoint parents
Arun Kumar (name changed), an electrician who earns just a little over Rs. 3,000 a month , is thinking of raising a loan to put his six-year-old son in a private school. This is thanks to the big hopes he pinned on one provision of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009, which has now been belied.
Mr. Kumar thought that the 25 per cent RTE quota in private schools meant for “children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighbourhood” would ensure his son admission in a “big” school. He had applied to five private unaided schools.
After months of running around to various government offices for necessary certificates, apart from the office of the Block Education Office (BEO) and various private schools, he is now a crushed man. His son has not secured a seat in any of the schools. “Now I will take a loan and send him to a private school as I had promised him that he would be studying in a big school,” he told The Hindu.
Mr. Kumar is one among the several disappointed parents who have failed to get seats in private unaided schools under the RTE quota, with demand higher than availability of seats. As per the Education Department data, 42,802 applications were received in Bangalore South, North and Rural education districts for the 30,949 available seats. Interestingly the demand for seats under the RTE quota seems to be more in Bangalore Rural than the urban pockets.
Officials from the Education Department, however, point out that the demand seems more inflated than it is because parents have given multiple applications to several schools. The case of Mr. Kumar also points to this trend.
A senior official from the Deputy Director of Public Instruction (North) office said that 64 schools in the North 3 range had not received even a single application. Nagasimha G. Rao, convener of the RTE task force, said: “While there is a huge demand for some private schools, there is none for others. We will write a letter to the government asking that applicants who have not got seats in certain schools should be accommodated wherever there is vacancy.”
Parents left stranded
When The Hindu spoke to some of the parents whose children did not secure seats under the RTE quota, most said they did not have any alternative plan as they were completely depending on the RTE quota to get admissions into private schools for the academic year 2013-2014.
A parent who applied to two schools in HSR Layout said: “We ran from pillar to post to get our income and caste certificate. Now, that we have not got admission, we do not know what to do.”
Niranjanaradhya V.P., fellow at the Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, said that these trends were “against the spirit of the Act”.
He added that the 25 per cent quota was “state-sponsored privatisation” which would go against public education. Commissioner for Public Instruction S.R. Umashankar said: “Parents are free to make their decision. However, children who did not obtain admissions under the RTE can definitely be given seats in government schools.”
Source: The Hindu; Dated: March 16, 2013
The Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) Kerala on accepting the proposal put forth by Kerala Human Rights Education (HRE) Programme to take up the training of Human Rights Education for teachers up to 7th standard, the first training was conducted for the State Resource Group of SSA. The training was conducted by South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) and Institute of Human Rights Education (IHRE) on 1st March 2013 at Animation Center, Kovalam, Kerala.
There were 3 trainers each from 14 districts of Kerala, thus forming 42 trainers as the State Resource Group for Human Rights Education. The session began with an official welcome and Introduction about the programme. The first session was on Introduction to Human Rights which was handled by Mr. Mathew Philip, Executive Director, SICHREM. The basic concept of Human Rights was introduced in the session. The second session was on Human Rights Education handled by Dr. Devasahayam, Director, IHRE. The session focused on the importance of HRE and its strategies of practice. After the lunch break the group was introduced to the Training Module. A brief introduction to the module was given by Mr. Rahul S, State Coordinator, HRE Kerala. The two HRE teachers who was the part of SRG Training as trainers, Ms. Nisha M.S and Mr. Saleem T shared their experiences as HRE teachers to the group. It was followed by a group activity. The whole group was divided into four groups and each chapter of the module was given to discuss and decide on the strategies and plan to implement training. The training concluded with the group presentation on their ideas and a draft plan made by the participants which could be used for the trainers.
SICHREM in collaboration with CACL-K and KIDS Dharawad organized a Public Hearing on Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 on February 23, 2013, at Karnataka Vidhyavardhaka Sanga, Dharawad. This public hearing was organised with an aim to pressurize the state to implement all provisions of the Act by creating wide spread awareness among common public on the all provisions of RTE Act and to provide a platform to depose cases of various violation of RTE.
About 90 participants comprising children, teachers and common public from different walks of life across Dharawad region took part in the public hearing. A total of 10 cases of gross RTE violations were deposed before the jury panel.
The Jury members for the day were Ms. Kathyayini Chamaraj (Child Rights Activist and Freelance Writer, Bangalore) Dr. Shivannad Shettar (Reader and Chairperson, Department of Gandhian Studies, Karnataka University, Dharwad) Shri. J N Nandan (RTE officer, Office of BEO, Department of Public Instructions, Dharwad) and Shri. Amruth R Malapura (Block Resource Person (Rtd.,) Department of Public Instructions, Dharwad)
Following are the kinds of cases deposed at the public hearing,
- Teachers extracting manual work from children during class hours.
- Corporal Punishment in schools.
- No proper infrastructure like lack of drinking water, separate toilets and gates not fixed to compound of the school.
- Elders using school premises after school hours for social evil activities due to lack of compound and gate
- Teachers preventing children from participating in various activities like Specil Child Grama Sabha and etc..,
- Aided schools collecting fees.
The hearing was concluded with the following recommendation by the Jury members
- Redressal mechanism for reporting violations of RTE must be made clear under the Act.
- There must be a separate cell to resolve, monitor and implement the issues related to RTE at KSCPCR.
- There should be a special committee to address the issues relating to infrastructure. Further, the head-masters of schools should be held responsible for addressing the issues and to register FIRs against the violators of child rights, for example, engineers, contractors, and School Development & Monitoring Committee, if they are responsible for the violations.
- FIR should be filed against villagers, who uses school premises for the illegal activities and the Head Master along with SDMC should take initiative to register FIR. People who entered in to the school premises and disturb class by playing, screaming in the ground during school hours should be warned strictly by the SDMC and Gram Panchayath.
- There is a need for wide publicity with respect to RTE, by using various means and appropriate IEC materials and capacity building exercises. Rigorous training is required to create awareness on all provisions of the Act, rather concentration on one or two particular issues of the Act.
- Actions to be taken if RTE is violated with the existing redressal mechanisms mentioned in the Act. The grievances or the complaints lodged must reach the grievance cell as and when it is filed; if delayed, there are chances of justice being denied to children.
- RTE watch groups to be established at various levels such as, village, gram panchayat, clusters, wards, etc.
- There is a need for continuous discussions with respect to RTE among people at various levels; this is in order to encourage and to spread the essence of RTE to the larger public.
- Authorities such as CWCs and KSCPCR should not hesitate to take up suo motu cases to address various violations of RTE. Similarly, police also should take cognizance of the cases of child rights violations.
- Ensuring the appointment of Group D worker or ayah to clean the school and toilets, for secretarial help and a watchman in every school to prevent children from being burdened with all other works.
- Funds for improving the infrastructure of schools, especially the state of the classrooms, toilets, drinking water, compound wall, etc., should be earmarked as a first priority on the state’s budget.
- There should be no financial barriers to parents to educate their children. In addition to absence of tuition fees, provision of free textbooks and one set of uniforms per year, there is a need to provide all stationery, note-books and also free transportation to all children.
- The School Development & Monitoring Committees should be trained effectively to fulfil the roles and responsibilities foreseen for them, especially to monitor the infrastructure of schools, instances of child labour, corporal punishment and other violations of RTE. Their capacity building should include training to prepare annual school development plans.
- Rigorous training on the Act and role of SDMC should be conducted by the Government by using the available funds and trainers from CSOs.
- Aided schools should not collect any capitation fee / donation from any student studying in the school. Serious action should be initiated by the Government if it is violated.