The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), India's apex body for the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act on Thursday questioned the absence of a clear grievance redressal structure for the law.
Even as a year has passed since the law came into effect, the NCPCR, cites tardiness on the part of most state governments that have failed to notify key rules to implement it.
“There is definite tardiness. We have written repeatedly to state governments, and will continue to write to them,” Kiran Bhatty, national RTE coordinator at the NCPCR said on Thursday. The NCPCR has also proposed guidelines for a redressal mechanism to the human resource development (HRD) ministry.
The law ministry is currently examining these guidelines. The Act specifies the NCPCR will act as a watchdog for the Act’s implementation.
The idea behind giving the watchdog role to the NCPCR, chaired by Magsaysay Award winner Shantha Sinha, is to ensure an independent monitor for the law, instead of the HRD ministry both implementing and monitoring it.
Section 36 of the Act requires the state governments to appoint designated local authorities, who alone are empowered to sanction prosecution of school or government officials for corporal punishment, conducting screening tests or running unrecognised schools.
"But only 13 out of 36 states and the Union Territories have notified either rules accompanying the Act or notified these authorities", Vinod Raina, a member of the National Advisory Council on the RTE Act said.
The government plans a dramatic mechanism to inform the country’s children about their rights under the law — through wall paintings on all government school buildings.
Quantify weaker section: SC
The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to produce data to quantify the weaker section, as conceived in the year-old RTE Act that mandates 25% reservation for children belonging to this class in every private school.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia gave time to additional solicitor general Indira Jaisingh to place the date before it till Monday.
“You have evolved this concept, so you have to show us the data,” the bench told Jaisingh when she argued that it was for the school to prove how the provisions of RTE would burden the schools financially.