Citizens in B'lore to form task force on RTE issues

Like-minded citizens of the city are forming a task force next week to handle the entire gamut of issues related to the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

The task force, an initiative of the Karnataka Child Rights Observatory (KCRO), has struck a chord with several people, most of them homemakers and students.

Horde of issues

The 120-member task force will focus on the plethora of issues dogging the implementation of RTE, whether it is creating awareness about the actual rules under RTE or issues of discrimination faced by students given admission to schools under the Act.

Notably, parents of several children admitted to schools under RTE have shown keen interest in being a part of the task force.

Professors and lawyers have expressed their desire to be in the task force, which will not have any direct involvement with government departments, but will work with them in addressing the lacunae and discrimination that has arisen in the first year of RTE implementation.

Campaign coordinator of KCRO Nagasimha Rao said squads of these members would be formed to assess the progress of children in schools in their areas.

Awareness programme

“We will conduct workshops to educate them about RTE rules, so that all doubts are cleared. Later, these squads can monitor the children in the schools on a regular basis and inform if there is a problem,” he said.

The task force members will be trained to identify problems and given information on where to lodge complaints if there is a problem and also about various platforms to raise contentious issues. One of the major responsibilities of the task force will be to see that children are actually enrolled in their nearby schools.

“If the task force succeeds in enrolling children who have been left out, it will automatically bring down child labour,” Rao said.

Bridging gaps

As of now, KCRO is dealing with a number of complaints emerging out of the schools and primarily bridging gaps between children enrolled under RTE and the others.

“We had one complaint of children being asked on the first day of school to relate the story of the hare and the tortoise.

Naturally, the children who had been enrolled under RTE had no clue whatsoever. We will have to find answers to deal with such issues,” he added.

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