'State yet to notify rules for Right to Education Act'

Speaking at an awareness, grievances and public hearing on RTE implementation organised jointly by the SDM Law College, SICHREM and Padi-Valored here on Friday, he said the RTE Act must have been implemented in April 2009.

The draft of the rules are ready. However, the government has not taken any interest in notifying the rules. SICHREM was asked to monitor the implementation of RTE Act in the state by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Without notifying the rules, how can any organisation monitor? he questioned.

Free education
Mathew said “Right to Education was not a fundamental right in the Indian Constitution till the Act came into existence. There can be no dignified life without education. However, the RTE Act does not speak of children below the age of six and above the age of 14. The Act only makes free and compulsory education for the age group of 6 and 14 years,” he said and added that the Act promotes privatisation of education as it does not mention anything on common schooling system.

“We have to come out of an education system which creates different class in the society. The distinction between the education for poor children and rich children itself is an injustice to the children.”

Mathew said the Act does not define the judicial remedy for the violation of the clause in the Act.

“Though the Act provides 25 per cent reservation for the children belonging to marginalised section and poor, many private institutions have raised hue and cry over the section in the Act. In fact, there are more than 50 petitions pending before the Supreme Court asking for deleting the provision of reservation in the Act. The proposal to delete the section on reservation should be opposed tooth and nail,” he said.

When a participant asked on corporal punishment inflicted to the children in schools, Mathew said that Section 17 of the RTE Act prohibits corporal punishment. No one has authority to inflict pain to children.

Anil D’Souza, one of the participants of the programme said there should be transformative change in the teachers behaviour and attitude. Mathew said that the RTE Act prescribes training for teachers.

Valored Director Renny D’Souza said that the RTE Act came into existence with a view to impart quality education to all children within the age group of 6 and  14 years. Human Right Activist Manohar was also present.

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