Child rights panel pulls up Maharashtra education department for laxity
Mumbai city news: The panel observed that appeals to the commission will reduce significantly if the department addresses the complaints at their levelmumbai Updated: Jun 24, 2017 00:07 IST
State’s child rights panel pulled up the school education department on Friday for inaction against educational institutes flouting norms. The Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) said the number of pending cases (currently 62) are increasing because of the department’s inaction.
While hearing the case of a Panvel-based school denying admissions to students allotted to them under the Right to Education (RTE) quota last year, the commission reprimanded the officers for failing to take timely action.
“The school was not justified in denying admissions as it is a non-minority institute and so is not exempted from the RTE Act, 2009. Despite that the education department did not take any action when the school failed to provide a satisfactory response to the show-cause notice they had sent. As a result, the case dragged on for a year compromising the academic year of the children,” said the panel.
At the hearing, AN Tripathi, secretary of the commission , and Pravin Ghuge, its chairperson, saidthe zonal education inspector should have immediately recommended de-recognising the school for violation of RTE Act. “It is unfortunate that as per mandated under RTE Act, the school education department is not performing functions in accordance with the law,” said Tripathi.
Similarly, in another case involving a complaint against a Vikhroli school for unhygienic premises, the education officers were reprimanded for siding with the school authorities. Although the education officers are supposed to be impartial and unbiased, during the proceedings they were seen openly working with the school. The school principal present at the hearing was even answering on behalf of the officer. The commission criticised the officer’s behaviour.
The panel observed that appeals to the commission will reduce significantly if the department addresses the complaints at their level. “Education officers are the first authority to whom parents complain and they have all the powers to redress the grievances,” said Tripathi.