Participants at the Jharkhand Siksha Mahapanchayat in Ranchi on Wednesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
A brush with bribery comes early for children at a government primary school in Mohanpur block of Deoghar, where teachers demand Rs 10 from each Class IV student for writing their annual exam
A government middle school at Katkamdag village in Katkamsandi block of Hazaribagh has four teachers to mentor 800 students
Ranchi, March 20: As a crowd of 600 participants — teachers, panchayati raj institution (PRIs) members, school management committee members, representatives of women’s groups — turned up at a daylong public hearing titled Jharkhand Siksha Mahapanchayat today, their long list of grievances bared the poor implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
If PRI member Sarika Devi (35) pointed out the shocking truth of the Deoghar school, Vinod Ram, who is part of the village management committee, rued how nine para-teachers simply did not arrive in time at the Hazaribagh cradle.
They teachers often come after 11am and leave by 1pm.
“When we intervene, they say aap kya kareyega, aap apna kaam kijiye,” Ram said.
“Our school has remained shut for the past one year. We had approached the management committee to open the school, but our plea was not taken seriously,” said Vishnu Lal, a teacher of a middle school in West Singhbhum.
Mohan Kumar, a teacher from Garhwa, pointed out that there are two middle schools in Nagar panchayat and 25 Dalit households.
“But not a single child has been enrolled in either school. There is lack of mobilisation in the community,” he added.
The participants had assembled for the redress of their grievances at Gossner Theological Hall, their accounts revealing absence of teachers, toilets, boundary walls, classrooms and denial of admissions to poor children, et al
Members of State Commission of Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) who had organised the hearing, as well as representatives of its parent body NCPCR took note of the problems that can be resolved under the RTE Act’s provisions.
Some participants were blunt, saying the ongoing campaign under RTE Act was ridiculous as their grievances at the panchayat and gram sabha levels were not heard.
“I urge the state machinery to sort out the problems. Stress should be on construction of girl’s toilets, maintenance of pupil-teacher ratio (30:1) and distribution of uniforms as stipulated under the RTE Act and rules,” said NCPCR member Vinod Kumar Tikoo.
Stressing the need to meet RTE norms, he directed SCPCR members to prepare an action taken report based on the grievances and submit it to the chief secretary before March 31.