Public should be proactive

Niranjanaradhya

Poverty, lack of identity and migration stand in the way of a seamless education for migrant construction workers’ children. While they have every right for good quality education, their needs are often overlooked. Empowering them with education is the need of the hour. Niranjanaradhya V P, Programme Head, Universalisation of Equitable Quality Education Programme, Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University spoke to DH’s Anupama Ramakrishnan on the measures that need to be taken to ensure education for these children.

Most of the migrant construction workers’ children do not have access to schools. How best can their educational needs be addressed?  

Under the RTE Act, it is mandatory on the part of Local Authority to:

Provide free and compulsory education to every child.

Ensure availability of a neighbourhood school.

Maintain records of children up to the age of 14 years residing within its jurisdiction.

Ensure and monitor admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by every child residing within its jurisdiction.

Ensure good quality elementary education conforming to the standards and norms specified in the Schedule.

More specifically, ensure admission of children from migrant families.

What kind of initiatives should come from the government?

The government should implement the mandate under Section 9 of the RTE Act in letter and spirit. Special arrangements need to be created to educate children from other states by mainstreaming them into the respective medium of education. For instance, children from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh should go to respective Telugu and Tamil medium schools. Similarly, children from northern states should get their education in their language.

How do you think the public should pitch in and help?

All conscious citizens, who respect the Constitution and the law of the land, should intervene whenever they see such students in the neighbourhood and coordinate with the local authority and education department to take them back to mainstream schools. Individually, they can also help children cope up with their studies in a new environment by providing additional assistance for teaching-learning.

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