Monday, July 23, 2012

Protest against direction to schools to buy book on festivals

Protest against direction to schools to buy book on festivals

Staff Reporter
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Members of the United Minorities Front staged a protest here on Saturday against the government for directing school libraries to buy Bharatiyara Habba Haridinagalu (Festivals of Indians), a 640-page book.
The book written by Sri Sri Rangapriya, a Sanskrit scholar and head of Asthangayoga Vijnana Mandiram here, makes a mention of only Hindu festivals and does not mention Ramzan, Christmas, Good Friday and Buddha Poornima. The Department of State Education Research and Training has directed government primary and high schools to buy at least one copy of the book for their libraries.
Condemning the move, Hanuman C. of the United Minorities Front, said: “This is saffronisation of education. The book gives an impression that no other community exists.”
Dalit Sangharsh Samiti secretary Mavalli Shankar said: “India is a multi-religious nation and the government should not try to scuttle this reality”. He added that the government is not following the Indian Constitution.
Convener of the Dalit Christian Federation Manohar Chandra Prasad said that this was an attempt to communalise children’s mind, and urged the State government to withdraw the direction given to school libraries to buy the book.http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/article3668694.ece

A book on ‘Indian’ festivals omits non-Hindu occasions

A book on ‘Indian’ festivals omits non-Hindu occasions

Mohit M. Rao
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It has been prescribed for school libraries across Karnataka
A reference book on festivals observed by ‘Indians,’ prescribed by the Karnataka government for school libraries across the State, carries in it only those observed by Hindus.
While 30 pages of ‘Bharatiyara Habba Haridinagalu’ (or Festivals of Indians) are dedicated to explaining Upakarma, there is not a single word on Ramzan, Good Friday, Buddha Purnima, or any non-Hindu festival celebrated in the country.
A December 2011 circular sent by the Directorate of State Educational Research and Training (DSERT) directs primary and high schools to buy at least one copy of the book for their library.
640 pages
At a voluminous 640 pages, the Kannada book written by Sri Sri Rangapriya, Sanskrit scholar and head of the Ashtangayoga Vijnana Mandiram, Hanumanthnagar, Bangalore, is priced at Rs. 500.
While the cover of the book primarily features Hindu iconography — the sage and the holy cow, ‘kalash’ (offerings given during a Hindu ritual), a temple gopura and devotees with hands joined in prayer — the rest of the book doesn’t deviate from the Hinduism theme.
‘Reflecting
Indian culture’
The DSERT, in its circular, describes the contents of the book as “reflecting Indian culture.”
Though the title says these are festivals celebrated by Indians, the book manages to cover only the major Hindu religious dates, 23 of them, besides mentioning birthdays of Hindu religious sages.
From festivals such as Ugadi, Ramanavami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Deepavali, Mahashivaratri and Akshaya Tritiya to lesser-known ones such as Subbraya Shrasthi and Rathasaptami, and even religious days observed primarily by the upper castes, such as Chathurmasa, Upakarma, Ananthapadmanabha Vrath and Narasimha Jayanti, are given detailed descriptions in the book.
Why is it that Ramzan, Id-ul-Fitr, Christmas, Good Friday, Buddha Purnima, Mahaveer Jayanti and Guru Nanak Jayanti find no place in the book, asks Nooruddin Salmar of the Dakshina Kannada Congress Minority Committee.
Talking to The Hindu , Mr. Salmar said the manner in which the order was quietly circulated, pointed to an increasing trend of saffronisation of education and emphasis on the Hindutva agenda seen under the Bharatiya Janata Party government.
“Aren’t Muslims, Christians, Jains, Parsis and animist tribes also Indians? Is it right to teach schoolchildren that only Hindus are Indians,” he asked.
Charge denied
Denying a ‘saffron tint’ to the book, DSERT Director Rama Rao said the book was chosen after the directorate deemed it “educationally suitable” for students.
“All the festivals mentioned in the book are celebrated pan-India. I don’t see why anyone has a problem with the title. One has to look at it with an open mind, and we believe the book to have adequate information for students,” Mr. Rao said.
Other books welcomed
Claiming that the author, perhaps, did not have information on other religious festivals, Mr. Rao said the DSERT would recommend books written by scholars from other religions if they were submitted to the directorate.http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/article3664275.ece

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bihar to recuse teachers from non-teaching jobs

Bihar to recuse teachers from non-teaching jobs

Teachers will now not be given assignments like survey and data collection works

Patna: Bihar will no more engage school teachers in non-teaching assignments like survey and data collection works, an official said Saturday. The decision comes after protests by thousands of teachers and experts that such tasks take a toll on the quality of teaching.
"The school teachers will not be engaged in various kinds of periodic census and survey works to be assigned either by the central or the state government for the collection of data on different kinds of social, economic, health and other activities," Planning and Development Department (PDD) Principal Secretary Vijay Prakash said.
"School teachers will be free from census and survey works. This is a positive move to improve equality of education in the state," Prakash said.
The government's decision comes after complaints of teacher organisations and educational experts that teachers' engagement in non-teaching works hampers teaching in schools, he said.http://www.igovernment.in/site/bihar-spare-teachers-non-teaching-jobs?utm_source=newsletter-core&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20120702

Friday, June 29, 2012

West Bengal teacher strips girl in class

West Bengal teacher strips girl in class

Kolkata, June 28 (IANS) A girl student was allegedly stripped in a class by a lady teacher in West Bengal after she ignored the teacher's diktat regarding dress code, police officials said Thursday.
A Class 7 student of the Beri Gopalpur Adarsha Uccha Vidyalaya in Gaighata area of North 24-Parganas district faced the humiliation after she ignored orders about wearing specific uniforms on Thursdays.
"As I didn't wear a particular dress I am supposed to wear on Thursday according to school rules, the teacher stripped me off my skirt in front of the whole class," said the student.
The girl's family later lodged a police complaint.
The school managing committee said the teacher has been taken to task and she has given an undertaking not to repeat her action.
"She has given an undertaking that she won't repeat the act," said school managing committee secretary Basudeb Ghosh.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Over 1,600 children to get free education in Mangalore

Over 1,600 children to get free education in Mangalore

Vinobha K T, TNN May 16, 2012, 07.11AM IST

MANGALORE: As many as 1,645 economically backward and underprivileged children in Dakshina Kannada will get free education in class I from this academic year under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
The department of public instructions on Tuesday issued a circular directing 143 unaided primary schools in the district to reserve 25 per cent seats in class I as per Section 12(1)(c) of the act. Meanwhile, 125 unaided schools in the district, which have minority status, are exempted from the rule as per the Supreme Court directive.
Poor children in Mangalore taluk education block will get more number of seats compared to other blocks as the education block has more unaided primary schools.
As many as 409 poor children will get free education in 33 unaided schools in the education block. The Sullia education block has the least number of unaided schools in the district and only 85 children will get the benefits of RTE there.
Meanwhile, officials of the department of public instructions and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) are awaiting a fresh circular regarding the revision of minority school list.
Minister for primary and secondary education Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri had on Monday said that the government would issue a circular to review the list of minority schools.
SSA deputy project coordinator N Shivaprakash said, "We are waiting for the guidelines for categorizing unaided schools as minority institutions. We will take action if any unaided school is found enjoying minority status without adhering to the guidelines. The department will direct such schools also to reserve 25 per cent seats for poor."
There are 268 unaided primary schools in the district.

Bihar to rally states on centrally sponsored schemes fund, to put pressure on centre

Bihar to rally states on centrally sponsored schemes fund, to put pressure on centre

Abhay Singh, TNN May 16, 2012, 06.00AM IST

PATNA: Bihar would rally other state governments around its stand that the Centre should not only reduce the number of centrally sponsored schemes (CSSs), or rearrange all of them into its nine flagship schemes, as recommended by B K Chaturvedi Committee in its report submitted last year, but also constitute the 'flexi fund' to be given to the respective states asking them to spend the money so transferred as per their specific needs and assessment.
Deputy CM and chairman of Empowered Committee of the States' Finance Ministers, Sushil Kumar Modi, while explaining the position of the state government on the matter after the conclusion of his weekly Janata Darbar, on Tuesday, said he would write letters in this regard to all the state governments as all the CMs in the country share the same stand on the matter.

"The safest option is to write letters to them, which I will do. Besides, I am also the chairman of the Empowered Committee of States' Finance Ministers. We can build pressure on the Centre," said Modi, adding that finance ministers of the respective states, in the pre-budget meeting convened by Union finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, in Delhi on January 19 this year, had put across their point of view on the matter. But the latter, it being the pre-budget meeting, "did not commit anything, and, therefore, there is the need to increase pressure on the Centre," he said.
Modi said if the Centre agreed to implement the recommendations of Chaturvedi Committee, it would be hugely beneficial to all the states, including the "poor and resource starved ones", and the Centre, too, would be in a better position to monitor the schemes. The states have also demanded that the Centre should give the money to them for incorporation into their budgets, instead of sending directly to the implementing agencies.
Giving details of the salient points of recommendations, Modi said that the "flexi fund" would amount to 20% of the total fund coming to any state under the CSS, but the states concerned would be able to utilize the fund as per the local need and assessment. At present, the total number of CSS is 147 compared to 213 in 2003-04 and 207 in 2004-05, and the Chaturvedi Committee has asked the Centre to reduce the number to 59.
Moreover, the committee has also asked the Centre to merge the smaller schemes with nine flagship schemes, like MNREGA, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Indira Awas Yojana, PMGSY, National Rural Health Mission and Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, among others.

Government breaks head over RTE reservation policy

Government breaks head over RTE reservation policy

Prafulla Marapakwar, TNN May 10, 2012, 05.42AM IST

MUMBAI: Though less than a month is left for the new academic session to start, the school education department is yet to draft a formula for Class I admissions regarding 25% reservation for economically weaker and underprivileged students, as per the RTE Act.
School education minister Rajendra Darda told TOI there are several problems. "We will have to define income for economically weaker sections. Also, we need to factor in the share of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other categories. For this, we have studied the formulae adopted by other states."
A senior official from the education department said it had secured information from Andhra Pradesh, New Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Manipur. New Delhi has informed that a student whose parents' income is less than Rs 1 lakh a year will be considered as belonging to an economically weaker section (EWS) of society. Madhya Pradesh and Manipur have fixed this limit at Rs 40,000, and Mizoram at Rs 30,000. The RTE Act defines an EWS child as one belonging to such parents or guardians whose annual income is lower than the minimum limit specified by the appropriate government by notification.
The official said it was difficult to fix percentages for each category deserving of reservation. "We are bound by law to provide reservation, but in a class of 32, we have to provide reservation for eight students (25% of 32) belonging to SCs, STs and other communities (disadvantaged groups). We feel we will have to reserve one seat for each community mentioned in the disadvantaged group."
He said that while in Maharashtra there was a delay in drafting new rules, particularly on EWS and disadvantaged groups, a number of states had completed the exercise last year. "We were waiting for the outcome of a bunch of petitions before the Supreme Court on the matter."
He said the apex court has upheld the constitutional validity of the RTE Act, but the state government has the problem of defining shares of eligible categories in the 25% quota.

RTE deadlock continues

RTE deadlock continues

Bangalore, May 15, 2012, DHNS:
 The deadlock between the State government and the private school managements over enforcement of the Right to Education continued on Tuesday.
The Karnataka Unaided Schools’ Management Association (KUSMA) had said on Monday that it would defy the 25 per cent quota for weaker sections under the RTE since the government had not defined a ‘minority institution.’

“To implement the Act without defining minority institution is much like sending an invitation to a wedding without deciding who the bride and groom are,” said Dhananjay, the legal advisor to KUSMA.

He said the schools will approach the court in case the government initiates action for not complying with the Act.

As of now, the schools do not have “concrete dispute” to approach the court, he said. KUSMA has a membership of 1,800 schools.

Commissioner for Public Instruction Tushar Girinath told Deccan Herald that there was no mandate for the government to define minority institutions under the Act as it had already been done in the Indian Constitution.

Niranjan Aradhya, Fellow, Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University, said the government need not define a minority institution at this point of time.

“The term has already been defined under the Karnataka Education Act, 1983  (Sec 2.21) and the State government is bound by it,” he said.

The definition
The Karnataka Education Act, 1983 defines a minority institution as “A private educational institution of its choice established and administered by a minority whether based on religion or language, having the right to do so under clause (1) of Article 30 of the
Constitution”

Aradhya further said that though he had voiced concerns on exempting minority institutions from the 25 percent quota (as a large chunk of schools in the state will fall under the minority category), one cannot defy the Supreme Court order.

Those concerned may file a review petition before the Court, but not implementing the Act will amount to contempt of court, he said.

Tushar Girinath added that the government cannot specify the nature of action that would be initiated against the institutions not falling in line.

“We will wait till the deadline is over. Action will be initiated based on specific details”, he said.

Allocation of Funds under Disability Act, 1995

Allocation of Funds under Disability Act, 1995


          The Government of India is implementing various schemes/programmes for the empowerment of persons with disabilities. The State-wise details of funds released during the year 2011-12 under the Scheme of Implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 (SIPDA) to make public buildings accessible to persons with disabilities is enclosed at Annexure.

          Grants-in-aid is released to State Governments/UTs, Universities, Non-Government Organizations etc. for creation of barrier free environment, providing assistive devices, special education, vocational training, pre-school programme, vocational rehabilitation centre and early intervention, through its various schemes/programmes. Special Employment Exchanges and Special Cells have also been set up for providing placement services. National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) provides concessional credit for setting up income generating activities for self-employment. A scheme of Incentives to Employers in the Private Sector for providing Employment to the Persons with Disabilities has also been launched to provide the employer’s contribution for Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees State Insurance (ESI) for 3 years. A scheme of Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary State (IEDSS) is also implemented to cover disabled children in Class IX-XII with the aim to enable all students with disabilities including girls with disabilities to pursue secondary schooling in an inclusive environment. The Government is implementing Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) as main programme for universalizing elementary education for all children from 6-14 years of age. Its overall goals include universal access and retention, bridging of gender and social category gaps in education and enhancement of learning levels of children. Under this programme, Children with Special Needs (CWSN) are also covered. SSA provides Rs.3,000/- per child per annum as a budgetary norm. Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS) which is one of the schemes of National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) provides pension to BPL persons with severe or multiple disabilities between the age group of 18 to 59 years @ Rs.200 p.m. per beneficiary. 

          This information was given by the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri D. Napoleon in a written reply to a question in  Lok Sabha today.

SKS


Annexure

Statement indicating amount of Grant-in-aid released to States under the Scheme of Implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 (SIPDA) during 2011-12



(Rs. in lakh)
S.No.
Name of the State
Grant Released
  1.  
Arunachal Pradesh
10.00
  1.  
Chhattisgarh
94.00
  1.  
Haryana
203.57
  1.  
Himachal Pradesh
26.52
  1.  
Kerala
59.52
  1.  
Mizoram
20.00
  1.  
Punjab
18.32
  1.  
Rajasthan
233.13
  1.  
Tamil Nadu
438.00
  1.  
Uttarakhand
11.05
  1.  
Uttar Pradesh
418.57

Total
1532.68



(Release ID :83774)

Haryana to recruit 10k teachers

Haryana to recruit 10k teachers

Chandigarh, May 14, 2012, PTI:
Haryana will recruit nearly 10,000 junior basic teachers to shore up its elementary education sector.

A proposal to this effect will be sent to the state Teachers Recruitment Board shortly.
As many as 8,401 junior basic teachers had already been recruited to meet the shortage of teachers during 2011 and 544 posts of teachers in Urdu had already been advertised, state education minister

Geeta Bhukkal said here on Monday.
She said the government had earmarked over Rs 4,889 crore for elementary education during the current financial year.
Education hub
The state government was committed to develop Haryana as an education hub and several steps were being taken by the government, she said.

The minister said under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the award money of those panchayats which have ensured admission of all girls in the age group of 6-14 in schools had been increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

During the tenure of present government, 544 branches of primary schools had been upgraded to primary schools and 267 primary schools to middle schools.

‘Student-teacher ratio better in govt schools’

‘Student-teacher ratio better in govt schools’http://www.deccanherald.com/content/249550/student-teacher-ratio-better-govt.html

Bangalore, May 14, 2012, DHNS:
The student-teacher ratio in government schools was better compared to that in private schools, said G Kumar Naik, Secretary to the Department of Primary and Secondary Education, on Monday.

The figure was almost 1:26 against the prescribed 1:30 in government schools. The ratio in private schools is expected to get better in the next two years, he said.

Naik was speaking to reporters, after taking part in a workshop on ‘Training Needs Analysis’ for school teachers, organised by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan here. The workshop was held in co-ordination with the Karnataka Knowledge Commission and Azim Premji Foundation, with an aim to upgrade the teachers’ skills.

Naik said the government was planning an orientation camp for teachers in private schools also to cope with the challenge of dealing with a heterogeneous mix of students, now that the 25 per cent reservation for weaker sections would be in place.

Earlier, in his address at the workshop, Naik said teachers’ training was as important as upgrading the syllabus. Naik said the BEd syllabus also needed to be upgraded and it was expected to be redesigned within two years. The BEd syllabus needs review at least once in five years, Naik said.
RTE quota to match govt aid

The greatest challenge for the government right now is to effectively implement the 25 per cent reservation, Naik told reporters. Apart from this, the government also has the task of getting the seat matrix right in government-aided schools. As per the notification issued by the government recently, the aided schools have to reserve seats for students from weaker sections matching with the percentage of grant-in-aid.

For instance, if the expenditure incurred by the school is Rs 100 and the government grant is Rs 70, then the school has to reserve 70 per cent of the seats under RTE. This figure will vary depending on the grant, but it cannot be less than 25 per cent of the seats.

Teachers facing crisis

Teachers facing crisis

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/teachers-facing--crisis/257935-60-119.html
BANGALORE:� While schools are gearing up to implement Right to Education (RTE) Act, nearly 54 per cent of teachers said that they face difficulties in classroom management, according to a statewide survey.

This statistic comes from Teacher Needs Analysis (TNA), a feedback initiative of Karnataka Knowledge Commission (KKC), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Azim Premji Foundation. Teachers who participated in the� survey said their main problem was managing the educational background of students and maintaining leadership. The teachers, also said classroom management is the maintenance of special needs. The survey covered 24,368 primary and high school teachers across the state.

Children to get familiar with farming

Children to get familiar with farming

Renuka Phadnis
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Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan officials awaiting guidelines on the programme
A programme to familiarise schoolchildren in Dakshina Kannada district with agriculture and allied activities has been approved by the Centre, said N. Shivaprakash, Deputy Director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in Dakshina Kannada district.
Guidelines are now awaited for the programme that has been designed to follow the recommendation of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 that children should get exposure to a variety of vocations in the farm sector, he said.
Called “Chinnarige Krushi Vrutti Darshana” (“A glimpse of agriculture”), the objective of the programme is to expose class 7 and 8 students (of 2012-13) to horticulture, sericulture, organic farming, apiculture, fisheries, poultry farming, medicinal plant cultivation, kitchen gardening, agri processing, rainwater harvesting, dairying, and manufacture of biofuels and vermicompost.
The aim of the activity is to develop their cognitive skills and application, thinking, analysing, and decision-making capabilities. It is aimed at helping students develop vocational interests, allow self-exploration, inculcate a good work culture, and reduce the school dropout rate, especially among girl children.
It will be executed by the district-level Execution Committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner and the Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat will execute the programme. The district-level execution committee will identify and select a “Krushi Vrutti” (local or regionally dominant farming activity) and get experts to guide the children. It will select facilitators and orient them on the activity, identify venues for the activity in all blocks of the district based on available facilities and accessibility. It will identify children and monitor them, decide on transport for ‘Krushi Darshana', the time schedules, route maps, and activity plans. It will prepare literature and get voluntary organisations or individuals to support the programme.
The execution committee will constitute a sub-committee for monitoring and evaluation and devise a method to evaluate the outcomes and constant feedback.
The activity will be held at block headquarters, which includes district head quarters or in the hoblis. A maximum of five venues in a block will be taken to cover 50 children each and coverage of 6,500 children a district on an average, said Mr. Shivaprakash.
Students from all categories will be selected based on equity with the stress on girls education, urban deprived children (UDC), and minority.
An amount of Rs. 150 per child will be utilised to provide a day's exposure (midday meals provided under Midday Meal Scheme). The proposed target in every district is 4,000 girls, 1,667 students under UDC, and 800 in the minority category. For training 2,500 students, the programme proposes to spend Rs. 150 a day, an amount of Rs.3.75 lakh.
Renny D'Souza, Convenor, Dakshina Kannada district, Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL), said that introducing the NCF means many changes in teaching. Its approach is to expose students to learning from practical activities relevant to real life instead of classroom-based teaching. The ‘Darshana' programme is good step provided the guidelines are designed correctly for the right impact on students. Otherwise, children will enjoy an outing with the funds. “It is not a picnic,” he said.

Minus fear factor, will students learn?

Harsh jail terms await those who mete out corporal punishment. Sensitisation of teachers along with lesser punitive measures may be a better fix
By Roomy Naqvy
THE PROPOSED amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, which is being renamed as the Child Justice (Care, Protection and Rehabilitation of Children) Act, could have far-reaching repercussions. These changes are based on a survey conducted by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which states that teachers who mete out corporal punishment be severely punished. The survey — Eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools — lists some shocking details such as, 99.86 percent of children have suffered punishment in one form or the other. It also states that the top five forms of abuse, with an incidence of over 50 percent, are derisive adjectives, caning, being slapped on the cheek, hit on the back, and ears getting boxed.
The adjectives used to mete out verbal abuse under the category “derisive adjectives” are: pagal, nalayak, kamchor, bewakoof, idiot, fool, etc. It is true that these words are reprehensible and they may cause distress to the child. But it is also important to look at the proposed penal provisions, which carry jail terms higher than those in the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Corporal punishment causing simple injury and emotional distress to the child would carry a jail term of one year. Subsequent offences could attract a three-year term. If the child is grievously hurt or subject to severe mental trauma, the teacher would be given a five-year sentence. Subsequent offences would attract a seven-year term. The efforts made by the NCPCR are praiseworthy. It is also true that children constitute about 50 percent of the country’s population and that child abuse does have a high incidence in India. However, there is a need to analyse the proposed quantum of punishment on teachers, as also the larger impact on the education system.
The proposed jail terms are at par with other heinous offences under the IPC. The idea may be to create a strong deterrent among teachers and other school staff. However, merely effecting strong laws is not always the best way out, as laws tend to be misused, abused and sometimes selectively applied too. Sensitisation of teachers along with lesser punitive measures may be a better fix.
But there is the larger issue at stake now. Following the new guidelines for Right To Education, schools need to follow a ‘no detention policy’, where till Class VIII, the students do not fail in any class. Further, with the implementation of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation, students no longer have the fear of low grades due to non-performance in class. While there is a great need to sensitise teachers about the avoidance of corporal punishment, it is also important to tie this with the larger issue. I’m aware that India faces a number of problems related to the ill-treatment and abuse of children. However, if a child does not study well and as s/he cannot be detained due to low grades, there is no deterrence for these young children.
Imagine a scenario where the teacher is afraid of the student because of a strong law. The child is aware that s/he does not need to fear the teacher. I guess eliminating the ‘strict teacher’ fear factor in the teaching-learning process is a positive thing. But the child also knows that s/he is not going to get low marks or fail due to non-performance in school. So, where is the incentive for the child to study? In this scenario, if you add the fact that there is a higher school dropout rate among marginal communities, such as poor Muslims, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, we are looking at a serious problem.
Imagine a scenario where the teacher is afraid of the student because of a strong law
High dropout rates among marginal communities are there for a number of reasons, some of which could be met with the mid-day meal scheme and stronger laws against teachers. However, marginal communities of all sorts, which also include large swathes of tribal and rural people, are largely out of the education system because they do not see a match-up between education and employability. So, while we do need children with no scars, we cannot afford young adults devoid of all skills.
The views expressed in this column are the writer’s own
Roomy Naqvy is an Assistant Professor, Jamia Millia Islamia.
roomynaqvy@gmail.com

Arunachalee to serve as NCPCR watchdog in state

Arunachalee to serve as NCPCR watchdog in state

Itanagar , Fri, 11 May 2012 ANI

Itanagar, May 11 (ANI): Taking serious exception to reports of rampant violation of human rights of the girl child, particularly in the name of child marriage, a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) team led by Chairperson Professor Shanta Sinha, has announced plans to appoint an Arunachalee to serve as a watchdog of the commission in the state.
"This could be the maiden three-day visit of the NCPCR team, including Member Dipa Dixit and Registrar B.K.Sahu, since its inception in 2007, but we have been in constant touch with the GoAP (Government of Arunachal Pradesh) as well as the civil society and NGOs, who have been filing complaints on violation of child rights," Sinha told media here yesterday.
The team, after interacting with faculty of the Rajiv Gandhi University on Thursday, has proposed to collaborate with the varsity to spread awareness about child rights at various levels in the state, protected by the Constitution.
To redress the grievances of the Chakma students who were denied admission beyond the middle school level at Dharampur, Diyun and Ratanapur, when the NCPCR took up the case with the GoAP in-charge chief secretary and education commissioner during a high level discussion Thursday, the latter assured to consider upgradation of those schools.
Moreover, the team would meet CBSE authorities at Guwahati to ensure action, Sinha informed.
She regretted that Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs), Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) and Special Juvenile Police Unit (SJPUs), mandatory to be functional in each district of the country, were existing only on paper in the state, in violation of constitutional provisions.
Dixit pitched in to add that the Supreme Court in tune with Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 has directed the constitution of JJBs, CWCs and SJPUs to be coordinated by the State Legal Services Authorities with the respective child welfare department for compliance.
While taking note of non-functional or non-formation of JJBs and CWCs in many districts and cities, the apex court while disposing off a writ petition - Sampurna Behura Vs Union of India on Oct 12, 2011 - had ruled that the home department and DGPs of states and UTs to ensure creation of JJBs and CWCs and the state and UT Govts to file affidavit regarding compliance of this order under Article 21, the order said.
The team is leaving with an indelible impression about the yeoman's service being rendered by Oju Welfare Association under the leadership of Biny Maya Yanga for the distressed, suppressed, oppressed, particularly the girls, Professor Sinha said, adding Arunachal needs a Binny in every district for the girls to flourish and serve the society.
On being briefed that K/Kumey district session judge Repo Ronya in a historic verdict had banned child marriage quoting customary laws which make child marriage void on Dec 07, 1996, eight days ahead of the Parliament banning child marriage on Dec 15, 2006. The judge along with SP Hibu Tamang and gaon burahs had freed about a dozen victims from the clutches of child marriage, she sought the copy of the verdict and the statics.
On learning that Arunachalee girls from the age of 'lapiya' (wooden clamp that chains them forcefully in their in-laws' house) or Lummer Dai's monumental novel 'Kanya Mulya' (Bride price) reflecting the agonies of the young girls have revolted against the age-old tradition still in practice, she quipped, "They are our heroines and should be celebrated and taken to New Delhi for the nation to know the trendsetters".
When she insisted that lot more is needed to bring awareness to activate the civil society for facilitating the girls to become true partner of nation building, this editor highlighted as to how the Arunachal Pradesh Women Society (APWWS) has been spearheading against traditional practice of child marriage, violation of rights of girls and women and reservation for women in three-tier panchayat to involve them in decision making process. Their endeavours had resulted in enactment of Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women Act, 2002 (Act No.4 of 2002).
Visibly impressed, Professor Sinha consented that the NCPCR would issue press releases relating to rights violation issues related to the state.
On being showered with information that Indian Panel Code (IPC) is not effective in Arunachal beyond 500 mtrs radius of the office of the deputy commissioner and even the DCs refer many cases to the Gaon Burahs for disposal, hinting as the inherent defect in the Constitution that needs a serious brainstorming session for a policy decision involving the Parliament, she accepted to say the NCPCR has set up a NE Cell with the sole objective of ensuring the right of the children and their qualitative growth. By Pradeep Kumar (ANI)