Amendments to child labour law suggested

May 7, 2013

Realising the need for a robust child labour law and its effective implementation, a panel of stakeholders recommended that all the existing legislation for enforcement of effective law be converged into one and proper rehabilitation package for rescued child labourers be made available.

The Bachpan Bachao Andolan along with major child rights advocacy organisations and academic institutions proposed these amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986, on Friday.

Vocational courses

The panel of stakeholders felt that introduction of a vocational stream at the secondary education level could help avoid child labour in the age group of 14 to 18. Strict restriction on hazardous occupations and production of items like beedi, agarbathi, firecrackers was recommended, stringent punishment be meted out to those who employ child labour and employment of child labour be made a cognisable offence.

Among the other recommendations was a total ban of child labour of under-14s in accordance with the Right to Education Act. The panel suggested that a child be defined as one who is below 18 years and recommended that international law should not be diluted by creating definitions such as ‘child’ and ‘adolescent’. These amendments have been suggested to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986.

Commissioner of Education S.R. Umashankar and Additional Labour Commissioner J.T. Jinkalappa were present at the consultation along with representatives from Centre for Child and the Law from the National Law School of India University, Citizen’s Voluntary Initiative for the City, South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring, Association for Promoting Social Action, Sparsha Trust, Justice and Care, International Justice Mission, Bridge Network, Radio Active and Evangelical Social Action Forum.

Source: The Hindu; Dated: May 4, 2013

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Experts ask parents to keep tabs on dilution of RTE

April 8, 2013

Schools come up with strange reasons to deny admission

Child rights activists and non-governmental organisations in the City, who came together to observe the third year of Right to Education Act on Sunday, called for keeping a close watch on any dilution of the legislation.

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The NGOs including South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM), Child Rights Trust (CRT), Radio Active and Sparsha that have jointly constituted an RTE Task Force to monitor the implementation of the Act, held a panel discussion involving beneficiaries of the RTE Act.

Speaking on the occasion, Child Rights Trust director Vasudeva Sharma said the government is still not interested in implementing the provisions of the Act in its full spirit.

“Now that the 25 per cent reservation for children with poor financial background has taken off, we have to closely monitor the implementation for the next eight years till the first batch of students under the provision complete elementary education,” he said.

He pointed out that even though playground is a mandatory specification under the RTE Act for any school seeking recognition, the Union government recently gave a concession to schools in this regard. During October last year, a few private schools approached the Ministry of Human Resources asking them to bail out of this specification as, in urban areas like Bangalore, it is difficult to obtain land for construction of schools.

“The government has obliged and sent out circulars saying that in cases where playgrounds are not available, schools can make use of the municipal grounds in the locality.”

This concession on basic specification for a school indicates a dangerous trend. Schools could also ask for lenience in provision of specific number of teachers, ayahs or toilets. The public must  monitor these issues closely and condemn initiatives detrimental to students’ development, Sharma added.

What is quality?

The government should define in precise terms what “quality of school” is. In a manner similar to how students are tested for progress, teachers too must be evaluated, he opined. 

He stressed that minority institutions too fall under the framework of the Right to Education Act, in spite of being omitted from providing 25 per cent reservation to students from weaker sections.

“Many minority institutions have been misusing this clause to interpret that they need not follow the minimum standards prescribed by the Act,” he explained.

Parents’ woes

On the occasion, parents shared their experiences of enrolling their children in schools under the RTE reservation provision. One of the parents, Indira, who took part in the panel discussion, narrated how the private school in which she had sought admission for her son for LKG in the City denied admission.

The institution said it fell under the minority category and hence was not obliged to provide seats under reservation. “When this was pointed out to the Block Education Officer, it was found that the school was not a minority institution and the management eventually ended up providing as many as 55 seats.”

Another parent, Kumar, said he was shocked to see the poor awareness about RTE in schools. Kumar approached a few schools in the city for admission to his son.

“I came to know about this through newspapers. I did not have a clue about RTE Act before that. To my shock, when I approached one school, the principal did not know what RTE was.”

Further, the school could not provide him application for admission under RTE and the parent was directed to the BEO concerned. At the BEO’s office, Kumar was asked to download it from the department website. “If I was financially sound, tech savvy and had internet connection at home, why would I try to get admission under the reservation quota,” asked Kumar.

Parents also felt that they could ensure that no discrimination was done to their kids at school, if they formed a network.

Source: Deccan Herald; Dated: April 1, 2013


Public Hearing on RTE – Mangalore

March 26, 2013

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

Dr. Umesh Aradhya, Chairperson, KSCPCR Inaugurating the Public Hearing

Dr. Umesh Aradhya, Chairperson, KSCPCR Inaugurating the Public Hearing

A parent deposing the violation his son undergone

A parent deposing the violation his son undergone

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Workshop on RTE – Vishakapatnam

March 26, 2013

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.

Mr. M. Venkateshwara Rao, Project Officer - RVM, Visahakapatnam addressing the participants

Mr. M. Venkateshwara Rao, Project Officer – RVM, Visahakapatnam addressing the participants

Mr. K Ramakrishna Rao, Member, CWC -Vishakapattanam, handling session on Child Rights Protection and JJ Act

Mr. K Ramakrishna Rao, Member, CWC -Vishakapattanam, handling session on Child Rights Protection and JJ Act

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RTE Regional Workshop at Kadiri on 3rd & 4th February 2013

February 8, 2013
Mr. Gangadhar (Program Coordinator), Mr. I. Srinivasa Rao (Convener, CACL-AP), Mr. Chenna Krishna (MEO, Kadiri), Ms. C. Bhanuja (Director, REDS) and Mr. S S Rayudu (Convener, CACL - Rayalaseema) at the inaugural

Mr. Gangadhar (Program Coordinator), Mr. I. Srinivasa Rao (Convener, CACL-AP), Mr. Chenna Krishna (MEO, Kadiri), Ms. C. Bhanuja (Director, REDS) and Mr. S S Rayudu (Convener, CACL – Rayalaseema) at the inaugural

Bilingual handbook (Telugu & English) on RTE Act released at the Training

Bilingual handbook (Telugu & English) on RTE Act released at the Training

Mr. S S Rayudu, Convener, CACL - Rayalaseema, handling session on Child Rights

Mr. S S Rayudu, Convener, CACL – Rayalaseema, handling session on Child Rights

Participants and the resource team

Participants and the resource team


Childrens’ Camp at Mysore organised by Adharsa Makkal Mantapa, 2-4 February 2013

February 8, 2013
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Ms. Margaret and Ms. Savitha with the teachers and children at the camp

Childrens camp at Mysore organised by Adharsa Makkal Mantapa on 2-4 Feb

Ms. Margaret as Resource Person in the Camp


Ms. Margaret as Chief Guest for Annual Day celebration at Jyothi School – 31st January 2013

February 8, 2013
Delivering talk on Child Rights and Responsibility of Parents

Delivering talk on Child Rights and Responsibility of Parents

Children's performances on Child Rights and Child Marriage

Children’s performances on Child Rights and Child Marriage

 

Chief Guest giving away the prizes for winners

Chief Guest giving away the prizes for winners