Come Wednesday and over 5,000 slum children of Jharkhand will begin to attend classes at private and government schools in Jharkhand.
The endeavour is part of the street to school programme of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Initially, the children have been picked from the slums of Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bokaro and Dhanbad districts of the state. Later, children from other districts will also get the opportunity.
The idea inspired by the right to education and is aimed at dropping the separating veil of haves and have-nots as far as education is concerned . The move will help the under privileged students get an opportunity to feel and be part of the mainstream education.
Classes at these schools will also be conducted in the evening especially for the working children who work at garages and hotels in the day time. At least five qualified teachers would be appointed for teaching these children at each school.
The members of Jharkhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (JSCPCR), the organising body of the programme at the state level, had been in talks with various private schools in the concerned areas for past couple of months and the school authorities agreed to provide their infrastructure for the purpose.
This initiative will also encourage the schools to successfully follow the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009, which specifies that each private school should enroll at least 25% children from the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category. The children from the slums who would study in these schools free of charge would be added in the percentage of BPL category children studying in the school under the RTE
Since the formation of the Act, the schools in Jharkhand had been claiming that they were open to enrolling the BPL category children but few approached them.
Other than the child rights commissions at the national and the state level, various other stakeholders such as the social welfare department and the human resource development department along with a few NGOs such as the Bachpan Bachao Andolan are actively involved in the programme.
Sanjay Mishra, member, JSCPCR said, “We had addressed letters to many private companies asking them to provide books, clothes and other necessary items for these children under CSR activities, most of them have agreed.”