‘I make child labourers, parents aware of RTE Act’

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childrenBangalore:  Turning parents into Right to Education (RTE) Act activists is one achievement that Bangalore-based RTE Task Force is proud of. A stellar example is Kumar, a cab driver from Bangalore. He was among the parent-activists who attended an event organised here on Sunday to mark the completion of the one year of the RTE Task Force’s functioning.

Mr. Kumar, who has procured admission for his child under the 25 per cent quota, now carries a bunch of RTE applications with him wherever he goes. “I give the applications to parents, child labourers and make them aware of the Act. Now I also want to become a Right to Information activist and use the RTI Act to monitor the implementation of the RTE Act,” he said.

RTE Task Force was launched in 2012 with the aim of creating awareness regarding the RTE Act among all the stakeholders of the Act.

Speaking to The Hindu, Nagasimha G. Rao, convener of the RTE Task Force, said that in the coming year the forum would focus on the other aspects of the RTE Act beyond the 25 per cent clause.

He said, “In the past year, we saw that school authorities, teachers and Block Education Officers were not aware of the RTE Act. We have worked towards making all the stakeholders aware of the Act and its clauses. In the process, we noted that the RTE Act could solve larger problems, including child labour, corporal punishment and in improving the infrastructure and facilities in government schools.”

He added that the RTE Act was being underutilised owing to the negative attitude of private schools.

“It is only the Navodaya Jawahar Vidyalayas, Kendriya Vidyalayas and Army Schools that do not come under the RTE Act, but other schools claiming to be minority schools are refusing admission to students,” he said. There should be a monitoring committee to oversee if private schools are adhering to the RTE Act, he said.

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