Students demand RTE, better infrastructure

On the occasion of Children's Day, students studying in different government schools in Delhi held a demonstration at the ITO Crossing on Monday morning to demand delivery of quality education in their schools. The protest was organised by the Delhi Right to Education Forum, a forum of more than 20 organisations working on the issue of education in Delhi.

“Considering the dismal state of government schools and the lack of will on the part of the Delhi Government to take any concrete steps towards implementing the Right to Education Act, students celebrated the Children's Day by demanding clean drinking water facility, cleaner toilets, table and chairs to sit and adequate teachers in the schools,” said the organisers.

These children stood at the ITO crossing with their demands written on placards and handed out pamphlets to the passersby to create awareness about the provision of RTE Act and also about their demands.

They also collected more than 4,000 signatures on postcards addressed to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in support of their demands. They urged the Chief Minister to form School Management Committees (SMC) in all government schools so that there was greater participation of parents and community in making the schools function better.

The Right to Education Act (RTE Act) came into effect in the entire country from April 1, 2010. However, Delhi still awaits notification of rules to implement the Act in the city. The RTE Act mandates free and compulsory education to all children and makes many of the provisions like safe drinking water, clean toilets, proper classrooms, adequate teachers and free books the right of every child under the law.

Incidentally, the Joint Operation for Social Help, which was part of the protest, had recently also criticised the Delhi Government for instructing all its school principals not to allow any audit by the social groups or individuals as per the directions of the Central Information Commission.

It had stated that the order, which came after the organisation had exposed the poor facilities in several Delhi Government schools, was an attempt by the Government to keep a lid on the poor infrastructure in the education sector.

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