Showing posts with label Right to education in jeopardy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Right to education in jeopardy. Show all posts

Thursday, February 13, 2014

NCERT Study reveals RTE has failed to meet disabled children's needs

This study shared by NCERT and published by Indian Express reveals serious lapses in the implementation of RTE across the country.

RTE has failed to enable the disabled: Study

Written by Anubhuti Vishnoi | New Delhi | January 27, 2014 1:58 am

Three years after the RTE Act came into effect promising free and compulsory education to children aged six to 14 years and special focus on admission and retention of children with disabilities, an NCERT study has found that disabled children in schools across states still face serious infrastructure and pedagogy handicaps.
Apart from absence of ramps and friendly toilets in schools, the larger problem that almost all disabled children face in the classroom is the absence of special teaching material and sensitive trained teachers.
In Gujarat’s Kheda district, a child with locomotor disability said he never leaves his wheelchair due to non-availability of a friendly toilet in his school.

The NCERT report — ‘Status of Implementation of RTE Act in context of disadvantaged children at elementary stage’ — says that “poor infrastructure, non-availability of appropriate furniture for children with disabilities, non-availability of special aids and appliances, poor quality of aids and appliances for children with locomotor disabilities are major challenges in the fulfilment of RTE to these children”.

The study adds that “educational materials for children with disabilities were non-existent in most sample schools. States/ UTs have very limited vision of arranging different types of educational materials for children with various disabilities”.

The 2012-13 study on children with disabilities had revealed that while 99 per cent of these children liked attending regular schools but 57 per cent of teachers were not trained to understand their special needs.
The study was conducted by the NCERT’s department of elementary education in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Jharkhand, Orissa, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and the Union Territories of Puducherry and Andaman & Nicobar islands through questionnaires and interviews with school teachers, parents of disabled children and disabled students.
Respondents in Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts said there were no Braille books, no assistive devices, no educational materials and no full-time special teachers making it extremely difficult to ensure RTE to children with visual impairments. In Visakhapatnam district, ramps and friendly toilets for children with locomotors disabilities were not appropriate.

Almost all respondents in Almora district of Uttarakhand said their schools did not have facilities and the hilly terrain further complicated their movements. In Orissa, the NCERT study says, there is unhappiness over poor quality of wheelchairs and non-supply of Braille aids despite repeated reminders.

“Wheelchairs and tricycles are supplied to children with locomotors disabilities, though these cannot be used by them due to difficult terrain in Almora district”.

“Special shoes are supplied after one year of assessment, resulting in inappropriate sizes due to growth of feet. Complaint was sent but no satisfactory action was taken,” respondents are quoted in the NCERT study.

In Kerala, children have not been provided teaching-learning materials individually despite the fact that the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has a provision for Rs 3,000 per disabled child per year.

The report notes that functionaries and teachers at state-, district- and block-levels were aware of provisions of the RTE Act to a great extent but “orientation of teachers for RTE (except in Orissa) did not include information about disadvantaged and children with disabilities”.

In Jharkhand, respondents pointed out how “there were no special teachers at school level to help children with disabilities; teachers have not been trained to teach children with disabilities; and parents do not bring their children with disabilities to school regularly”.

Sixteen of 25 head teachers/teachers in four districts of Gujarat maintained that it was extremely difficult to teach children with severe mental challenges and multiple disabilities in the classroom.

In Andhra Pradesh, teachers said that “it is difficult to ensure RTE to children with mental disabilities due to behaviour problems and very limited ability to learn. They maintained that these children should be sent to special schools. Respondents in Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts said there were no Braille books, no assistive devices, no educational materials and no full-time special teachers”.

The report notes that in Kerala “almost all respondents in both the districts said they encountered difficulties in teaching different categories of children with disabilities. They said that behaviour problem of children with mental disabilities (challenges) makes it difficult to manage classroom teaching. These teachers do not have any special training and they find themselves helpless in dealing with children with mental challenges. Two of the teachers said that in a class of 50 children, it is extremely difficult to pay attention to children with a mental challenge and they try to help these children by explaining to them personally”.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

After Public Outcry MCD now denies that they had any plans to replace schools with malls!!!

Dear Friends,

After the public outcry, now MCD denies of having any plans ... contrary to the statements of their senior officials including the Chairman of the Education Committee to the media. Chief Minister Dixit writes to the L.G. to intervene.

Here is the link:

Subhash Chandra Vashishth

MCD denies it had any plans to auction schools
Nitin Sethi & Ruhi Bhasin TNN

New Delhi: MCD on Friday sought to deny that it was planning to sell vacant schools for developing malls, banquet halls and shops, but a presentation — ‘Proposal on property development for vacant school premises’ — gives the game away entirely.

As a red-faced MCD brass issues disclaimers, the civic body’s plans are encapsulated in the view “Ideate, develop and suggest creative concept for utilisation of school premises” laid in the presentation, a copy of which is with Times City. The presentation advocates that commercially viable ‘vacant’ schools be sold while those in prime areas be turned into community halls and other non-business centres.

Stung by the premature disclosure of the controversial plan, MCD’s standing committee chairman Vijender Gupta claimed, “MCD has no plans to auction or sell its primary school premises to bolster its finances or for any other reason. The civic body is against auctioning or selling its schools.” Municipal commissioner K S Mehra also denied any such proposal was under consideration.

The denials fly in the face of documents with TOI as well as the statement of the chairman of education committee, Prithvi Raj Sawhney. Sawhney had told TOI on Wednesday, “We have identified 60 schools... while 45 such schools will be used by other departments under MCD... we are planning to auction 15 of them for commercial use since we do not require them.”

Sawhney, in an interview to a Hindi TV channel on Wednesday, also said, “Malls bana sakte hain, shopping centre bana sakte hain, koi bhi commercial activity. Lekin hum sare schools ki baat nahin kar rahe, kuch school bahut chhote hain, un jagah par community centre nahin hain, to who demand ayegi to centre ban sakte hain (Even malls or shopping centres can come up; any commercial activity can take place. But we are not talking of all schools. Some schools are too small, in those places if a demand for community centre arises, we will make them).” Take the 3,158 sq metre primary school in Karampura A Block that MCD wanted to break down. MCD’s internal presentation noted it was closer to commercial areas and easily accessible therefore it should be turned into a centre for retail and offices. On Ajmal Khan Road, a 1,000 sq metre plot school is recommended to be turned into the high-end boutique Gold Souk with multi-storeyed parking lot as there are other small jewellery shops in the neighbourhood. The 2,548 sq metre plot in R K Puram was to become a 3-star guest house with a minimum of three rooms for MCD and a conference hall. MCD’s proposal noted that the project “shall become good revenue generation opportunities for MCD” and “shall be lucrative enough for BOT system”.

The only premises MCD was considering for non-commercial purposes are those which would not fetch much. Such as the school in Karol Bagh that MCD noted was ‘trapped’ by residential properties with a very poor approach so should be turned into a vocational training centre to be adopted by FICCI or other apex trade body. The presentation was made in October 2008 to run these on Build-Operate-Transfer basis. By December, when TOI accessed fresh documents, the list had been expanded, as per MCD officials’ own admission to 60 schools of which 15 would be ready for grabs soon. Meanwhile, the chief minister has written to th L-G asking him to intervene in the matter.

Malls in place of Schools - Does MCD care about Education Infrastructure for coming generations?

Dear Friends,

I am pained at the insensitivity and perhaps the "it doesn't affect our children for they don't go to MCD's third grade schools for the poor" mentality of the MCD decision makers who don't seem to care! There are approximately 3-5 lacs of children in Delhi who have no access to schools. Schools are very important infrastructure that we create for future generation. Given the space constraint in Delhi, I don't think there will be any space left to create schools once the premises earmarked for some 60 schools is given away to the malls and hotels. I am not against malls and hotels and development but just looking at 2010 games and to make money by selling this land - the MCD has no right to play with future generations!

This children don't come to these schools because these schools have been allowed to decay and degrade to the extent that no parent is intrested to send their children. Instead of upgrading the quality of education and attracting and targeting the out-of-school children, MCD is using the excuse that children don't come to these schools and there is no harm in giving these premises to hotels and malls!! This is absolutely ridiculous!

Please don't take away little available play and education spaces from children in the name of development. This is a cruel joke played on the right to education and neigbourhood school concept. Where will the children of these localities go to study and play if you turn these open spaces in to hotels and malls??

Subhash Chandra Vashishth

15 MCD schools may be turned into malls, hotels
Nitin Sethi & Ruhi Bhasin TNN

New Delhi: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has hit upon a unique plan to bolster its finances: the civic body proposes to auction 60 school campuses for construction of malls and hotels even as it struggles to cater to the educational needs of nine lakh children, mainly from poor families, enrolled in MCD schools. A proposal to auction 15 of the identified schools has been forwarded to the MCD commissioner even as the corporation faces increasing pressure to cater to more students. Interestingly, MCD had originally planned to sell off only nine schools but has now increased the number to be eventually auctioned to 60.

65% of primary schools in city run by MCD.
60 campuses to be auctioned
Proposal to sell 15 schools sent to MCD chief
School in Ashok Nagar is on 1.5 acres; another in Moti Nagar East (2,350sqm) — all areas where no fresh land is available MCD says schools are unused; experts say 3-5 lakh children in city have no access to primary schools

Schools lying vacant is MCD explanation

New Delhi: MCD had originally planned to sell off nine schools but has now increased this number to 60. The MCD’s reasoning is that the schools are lying vacant and unused. But the civic body seems to have forgotten that it is mandated to provide an essential service through its neighbourhood schools and not to hand over prime plots to developers. The demand for
schools, in particular those offering education at reasonable costs, is unlikely to flag.

Confirming MCD’s plans, Prithviraj Sahni, chairman of the education committee, told TOI, ‘‘We have identified 60 schools that have been lying vacant. A proposal to auction 15 has been forwarded to commissioner K S Mehra.’’ While MCD seems to be eyeing schools — some of them by its own admission in good condition — as lucrative land to be sold off to earn a few big bucks, experts point out that an estimated 3-5 lakh children have no access to primary schools,
considering the city’s large migrant population. MCD’s refusal to consider reviving the schools is surprising, considering the Delhi government has repeatedly asked the corporation to hand over the campuses to it as state government-run schools are overflowing with students and lack space and infrastructure. MCD runs roughly 65% of primary schools in the Capital. While Sahni said the corporation was moving ahead to auction the schools, the MCD commissioner, on the other hand, claimed he was not aware of any such proposal. While 15 schools are up for grabs, Sahni said the other 45 would be used by MCD for different purposes. TOI accessed the
list of schools MCD plans to break down and it throws some light on why MCD wants to sell them off — some of them are sitting on large plots in areas where no fresh land is available. In Ashok Nagar, the school likely to go on the block occupies 1.5 acres. The one in Karanpur sits on 3,158 sqm while the campus in Moti Nagar East has a 2,350sqm plot. Said Vijendra Gupta, MCD standing committee chairman, ‘‘If such a proposal comes before us, we will carry out a detailed study. We will ensure that it is in public interest.”