Express News Service : Pune, Fri Dec 06 2013, 03:28 hrs
Stating that difficulties faced by children due to early morning school timings tantamount to mental and physical torture, which is prohibited as per the RTE Act, State Director of Education (Primary) Mahaveer Mane on Thursday said the timings could be reviewed in students' interest.
"Attending morning schools is more like a mental and physical torture for most students, and Section 17 of the RTE Act prohibits such torture. Schools and parents should be wary of this enabled provision in the Act," Mane said.
Speaking with Newsline, he said as per norms, classes should be held between 11 am and 5 pm. "The issue of early morning schools has been faced by students studying at English medium schools. Owing to the large intake, these schools operate in two shifts," he said.
To a query on whether any policy decision could be taken to ensure at least children up to class IV did not have to come to schools during the morning shift, Mane said the demand could be considered in the larger interest of the students.
Following the "sudden" death of a class IV student in school premises last month, medical experts and parents have demanded that schools should focus on the health of students instead of putting them under pressure by forcing them to attend classes early in the morning.
Newsline has been consistently following up the issue by giving parents and experts a platform to express their views. Arguing that children's health was at stake at morning schools, parents have highlighted that students at times skipped breakfast so that they could reach their schools on time.