BHOPAL: Non-Government Organizations working on child rights have opposed government’s decision to hold board exams for class V and VIII after making amendment in Right to Education Act (RTE). Several organizations including Right to Education Forum, Alliance for Right to Early Childhood Development and Campaign against Child Labour came together, held a workshop with representatives of major political parties and handed over them a twelve point demand charter related with child issues.
Most of the RTE experts opposed holding board exams for class V and VIII terming it as decision against the basic spirit of the RTE Act. They said it would affect children of the deprived section. Educationist LS Baghel said that no detention policy under RTE needs to continue as a child who fails once gets distracted from studies which might drop literacy rate. Another speaker contested that holding exams would only be justified in ideal conditions that include presence of ideal number of well qualified teachers, schools with all facilities including separate toilets for girls and boys and availability of study material in time. Most of the government schools are bereft of good teachers while others have teachers who seldom take classes.
Experts also emphasized on bringing pre-schools under RTE ambit saying that all children from 0-18 years of age should be brought under RTE Act besides advocating no detention policy of the Act. The organizations said that expenditure on school education should be at least 6% of the GDP. At present it stands at 3%. These organizations have demanded from representatives of political parties that the process of shutting down government schools should be stopped immediately. They have also demanded ban on child labour on children up till age of 18.