The Tamil Nadu chapter of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has been mobilising the civil society to form an ‘informal network' to monitor the implementation of the Right to Education Act (RTE Act)-2009 according to Henry Tephagne, State representative of the NCPCR.
This network would comprise non-governmental organisations, social outfits and consumer activists, Mr. Tephagne told TheHindu on the sidelines of the meeting with the representatives of the Education Department, academics and others here on Thursday. The members of the network would point out the lapses in the implementation of the Act to the Education Department and to the NCPCR. They would act as a pressure group to prevail upon the officials to take appropriate remedial measures.
The NCPCR would take up serious issues that would have a bearing on the larger student community. He had already convened such meetings in two districts and the remaining districts would be covered in two months.
During his interaction with a broad spectrum of people, he came to know that many schools were facing certain common problems such as unfilled vacancies in teaching posts, lack of basic amenities, violence against students, and non-availability of teachers in remote areas and hilly terrain.
In the private schools, the focus of the network would be to ensure that 25 per cent of the admission was provided to the downtrodden, to avert corporal punishment and to oversee that the schools follow the Samacheer Kalvi Thittam, Mr. Tephagne said. He said that adequate safeguards would be made to make the members of the network to seek redress to the problems plaguing the schools and the curriculum, and, not to throw around their weight.
Addressing the gathering. Mr. Tephagne said that the Act called for scrapping of the Parents-Teachers' Associations and the Village Education Councils and in their place suggested formation of the School Management Committees with parents constituting 75 per cent of the members (including women), elected representatives of the local bodies, academicians and senior teachers.
Mr. Tephagne called upon Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to do the needful and also insist upon the Centre to allot the requisite funds, at least in the initial stages, to create the facilities as required under the Act.