New Delhi: Just nine months after the Right to Education (RTE) Act
was implemented in India, promising free and compulsory education
to all children in the age group of 6-14, over 10,000 cases of
violation have been registered by a child rights body in the
Some children were denied admission to school, some were subjected
to corporal punishment by the school authorities and yet others
were denied the benefit of the economically weaker section (EWS)
quota for poorer students in Delhi schools.
According to Amod Kanth, chairman of the Delhi Commission for
Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), the body has registered 10,500
cases of RTE Act violation since its implementation.
"As per the RTE Act, the DCPCR monitors its implementation in
Delhi. We have registered cases which involve violations of at
least 15 kinds, like screening tests before admissions, corporal
punishment, admission denial, mental harassment and others," Kanth
told IANS in an interview.
"Initially, we had taken suo motu cognisance of media reports, but
gradually parents started approaching us and now it seems like the
floodgates have opened. Wherever required, we approach the school
authority concerned and the compliance level is as high as 95
percent," he added.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act was
enforced April 1, 2010. The Act promises free and compulsory
education to all children in the age group of 6-14.
Among others, it says no child shall be denied admission for lack
of documents or if the admission cycle in the school is over.
Disabled students should also be enrolled in mainstream schools.
The violations registered by DCPCR have been on the same lines.
In one case, 10 girls living in Delhi's Azadpur area were denied
admission to a school in Classes 6 to 8 because they could not
provide school leaving certificates. The girls were tutored at
"The commission intervened and issued a notice to the school
principal after which the girls were admitted to the Government
Girls Senior Secondary School, Azadpur," a DCPCR document
In another case, a physically handicapped father approached the
commission after his daughter was denied admission under the EWS
quota in a public school at Shalimar Bagh, northwest Delhi. In yet
another instance, a Class 5 child was asked to take admission
elsewhere on complaint of his "poor hygiene" and behaviour,
prompting his parents to approach the commission.
In the EWS quota case, a notice was issued to the school after
which the girl was given admission under the quota, while in the
other case the child was taken back to the school after
The main reason for these violations, Kanth said, is lack of
awareness among teachers, school authorities and parents alike.
"For this reason, we have been conducting awareness programmes for
teachers and others on the RTE Act. Teachers and schools have to
realise that nearly half a million children in Delhi alone are out
of school and most of them are homeless, working children. Across
the country the number is nearly 60 million," Kanth told IANS.
"They have to also understand that it's their responsibility to
bring those children who are unreachable to schools. The role of
voluntary organisations is important in this, but it is not
mentioned in the RTE Act," he added.
The DCPCR issued notice to the Delhi government Friday on the
nursery admission guidelines that it says are against the
provisions of the RTE Act.
Other than the random selection criteria for 25 percent seats in
the EWS category, the notice said for the rest of the 75 percent
the guidelines violated the RTE Act since schools would be able to
formulate their own admission policy.
"The schools will be free to base their criteria like sibling,
alumni, single parent, transfer case or neighbourhood. Multiple
criteria would create preferences for certain types of categories
of children over the other category of children which would be a
clear violation of provisions of the RTE Act," a DCPCR statement
Kanth added: "The DCPCR is like a legal body. We are not toothless
and our aim is not to act like an NGO. We act like a civil court."
(Azera Rahman can be contacted at email@example.com)