Of the 300-odd grievances of urgency in government schools during the 2014-15 academic year such as denial of admission and corporal punishment, not one was disposed of within the stipulated time of 15 days.
A directorate of education (DoE) circular says that grievances of urgency should be decided within 15 days.
Parents, students and NGOs filed 543 cases between April 2014 and March 2015. Of these, 241 cases relate to admission in government schools, aided schools as well as also admission under the Economically Weaker Section category in private schools.
Most of these cases took up to two months to be disposed of, shows DoE’s response to an RTI filed by NGO Pardarshita.
Other cases of urgency include complaints of corporal punishment, harassment and violence. There were 10 such cases against teachers. They all took over two months to be disposed of.
The Right to Education Act stipulates three months for DoE to sort out grievances related to the Act. However, disposal time has been over here months in cases related to the quality of mid-day meals, lack of teachers, infrastructure and facility for disabled.
Further, in none of the 543 cases were both parties heard out.
The rule says a three-member committee comprising district deputy director of education (DDE), education officer of the zone concerned and an assistant director of education or an equivalent officer should hold hearings and meetings.
“In all the 543 cases, we have seen that the complainant has not been given a chance to be heard. A letter of explanation was sought from the school and depending on that, the matter was decided. This is against the principle of natural justice and violates provision of RTE,” said NGO Pardarshita founder Rajiv Kumar.
A DoE official, requesting anonymity, accepted that there was a delay in dealing with the grievance, but a new system has been put in place. “With the new system started by the government, we are trying our best to avoid delay. The new system is also more transparent as it allows the complainant to check the status of their complaint,” said a senior DoE official.
The law allows the complainant to appeal against the decision at the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
The body has been without staff for a year now.
AT A GLANCE
Grievances of urgency such as admissions and corporal punishment to be settled within 15 days, as per DoE norms
241 cases related to admissions
Most of them cases took up to 2 months to be disposed of
10 cases of corporal punishment, harassment and violence
All of them took over 2 months to be disposed of
Complainants in none of the 543 cases of grievances filed between April 2014 and March 2015 given hearing. Case settled on the basis of school’s explanation