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Experts to scan RTE progress

A fact-finding team of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) will visit Ranchi on January 3 next year to assess the execution of Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, in the state’s anganwadi kendras and schools.

A critical feature of the act that will be under the scanner is the provision for reservation of 25 per cent seats in private schools for underprivileged children, as the state has fared poorly in this regard.

During a three-day tour, a four-member team comprising educational specialist Vinita Kaul, national co-ordinator of RTE Dhir Jhingran, state representative of NCPCR Ganesh Reddy and nutritionist Shilpa Deshpande will also recommend suitable measures for the implementation of the act.

“The main purpose of the experts’ visit is to look into complaints and take suo moto cognisance of violation of child rights under RTE Act, 2009,” Reddy said.

He said he had also sent a letter to chief secretary S.K. Choudhary and principal secretary in the state HRD department B.K. Tripathi, urging them to prepare reports for the experts on the progress of RTE in Jharkhand.

Speaking to The Telegraph, the state representative of NCPCR rued that only 10-15 per cent of Jharkhand-based private schools had enrolled below poverty line children to fill the 25 per cent quota under the RTE Act.

“We are regularly receiving complaints from parents as schools have failed to admit their children. The experts’ team will also seek reports on this lackadaisical attitude of schools,” he added.

Besides, Reddy said, schools also required assessment for failure to adhere to RTE norms. “The team will meet government officials and ensure that the private schools and management make admissions transparent with mention in the cradle’s brochure, website and notice boards. Moreover, the team will also ask HRD officials to hold regular meetings with principals for implementation of the RTE Act’s provision for 25 per cent quota to disadvantaged children.”

On January 3, the experts will meet officials of the state HRD, social welfare and tribal welfare departments, besides interacting with members of civil societies, parents’ bodies and educationists.

On January 4 the team will pay a visit to rural schools and anganwadi kendras in a district and interact with district and block officials of education, labour and social welfare departments.

“The team will be on field visit of any one district of the state for three to four hours,” said Reddy. He added they were also preparing a set of questionnaires to seek information regarding implementation of the act from HRD and social welfare officials.