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Delhi RTE Drive starts with 30 mobile schools

Right to Education, Special Schooling

Ganesh Kumar is just 12 years old, but has no time for school. “Tell me, when do I go? I am working,” says the teenager from Bihar who earns a living by selling magazines at a traffic signal till dusk everyday. After a day of running behind cars, pleading with commuters to buy a magazine, he returns home, tired and sleepy. The routine starts again the next day.

Ganesh is among the thousands of children in the Capital who are out-of-school, working at traffic signals, construction sites or just begging in various parts of the city. With the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act coming into force from April 1, the Delhi Education department is working on plans to to bring these children to school.

The department has decided to start 30 mobile schools in the city to cater to children of migrant labourers, those working at traffic signals and those from red light areas.

“Delhi being the Capital, there are a lot of migrant labourers coming into the city. That add to the increasing number of out-ofschool children. The 30 mobile schools, to be started this year, will cater to these children,” Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely told Newsline. “I do hope Delhi will be the first state to implement RTE,” he added.

The city already has two mobile schools. “They were launched as part of the pilot project in February 2008,” said an official of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), which is executing the project. “The initial proposal was for 25, but looking at the increasing number of out-of-school children, the number was been increased to 30.”

The department has also empanelled 30 NGOs to run these schools. “The buses will be stationed at red light areas, traffic signals and construction sites,” said Lovely, adding that the students “will later be brought into the mainstream”.

Maroosha Muzaffar, Indian Express, 7 May 2010

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