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2 yrs after RTE, UT sans monitoring body

Right to Education, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan

Even two years after the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act in the city, the authorities have failed to set up the Right to Education Protection Authority (REPA) to address complaints regarding denial of admission and child rights.
It is mandatory for the state to set up the body within six months of implementation of the Act to ensure redressal of complaints regarding denial of admission and to monitor proper implementation of the Act.

While two admission seasons have already passed, the UT Education Department has not only failed to constitute the body but also not specified any alternative mechanism for filing complaints.

As per Chapter VI of the RTE Act, all states are supposed to either set up State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), and within six months constitute REPA which should later be formed a part of the SCPCR.

For Union Territories, only REPA is to be constituted. The body is to be headed either by a retired High Court judge or a person with over 20 years of experience in protection of child rights. People can file written complaints to this local body.

Maintaining “the key requirements for setting up the body have already been met and the modalities have been worked out”, DPI (schools) Sandeep Hans says the draft now only needs the approval of the UT Administrator. “We hope to set up REPA within the next two months.”

“There were some administrative issues which were to be clarified. There was a clause which included the involvement of UT Social Welfare Department, but all these issues have now been worked out,” he adds.

According to UT Education Secretary V K Singh, the UT Social Welfare Department, under the directions of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, plans to constitute SCPCR in Chandigarh. “We had, therefore, withheld our proceedings, since only one of the bodies has to be set up. We are in the process of sorting out the whole thing with the welfare department, and soon we will be able to specify the final date,” he says.

As per the Ministry of Human Resource Development status report, only 11 out of the 28 states have set up SCPCR or REPA so far. These are Haryana (REPA), Rajasthan (SCPCR), Sikkim (SCPCR), Assam (SCPCR), Bihar (SCPCR), Chhattisgarh (SCPCR), Delhi (SCPCR), Mizoram (REPA), Maharashtra (SCPCR), J&K (SCPCR) and Madhya Pradesh (SCPCR).

The Indian Express, 19 March 2012


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