HISTORIC MARCH TO PARLIAMENT-MEMORANDUM TO THE PRIME MINISTER
ALL INDIA PARENTS ASSOCIATION (AIPA)
AGARWAL BHAWAN, G.T. ROAD,
TIS HAZARI, DELHI-110054
Hon’ble Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister of India,
We invite your kind attention to the fact that even after sixty-two years of independence, over two crores children with disabilities of our beloved country have been totally denied the right to education. Whatever figures are available, they point to the fact that only less than one percent of these children with disabilities are in the mainstream school system. It is submitted that the children with disabilities are the worst sufferers as they are grossly deprived of all human and fundamental rights. Interestingly, even those children with disabilities who are in school do not have basic facilities like special teachers, aids and appliances, reading and learning material, barrier free environment, special toilets, ramps etc. Even a premier institution like Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) have admitted before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court that they do not have any staff to take care of the educational needs of the disabled children studying in their schools. How long the rulers of this country would continue to deny the basic right to education to our children with disabilities?
It is submitted that all children including the children with disabilities have a basic human and fundamental right to receive good quality education in the mainstream schools as guaranteed to them under Article 14 (right to equality), Article 21 (right to life with dignity), Article 21-A (right to education) and Article 38 (right to social justice) of the Constitution of India read with the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2008). It is estimated that about 10 crores children are out of school and are engaged in labour though their rightful place is in school. Those children who are in the government school system are receiving very poor quality of education. Fee-charging private schools are flourishing at the cost of government schools. It is all happening due to the apathy of the governments towards the educational needs of the children of the masses of this country. AIPA demands that all government schools all over the country must be upgraded to the level of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) schools.
It has been noted that the parents all over the country have raised their collective voice against inaction on the part of the Central and State Governments to check the menace of commercialization of education in unaided private schools. It is unfortunate that the governments have utterly failed to check arbitrary fee hike by the private schools despite directives by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Modern School case. Though the parents are now better aware of their rights qua unaided private schools but the schools are adamant to continue to exploit the hapless parents and students by subjecting them to pay unjustified, exorbitant and arbitrary fee and other charges. The State of Tamil Nadu has enacted Tamil Nadu Schools (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act, 2009. It appears that the Tamil Nadu Act is addressing the parents’ concerns to a large extent. However, the application of the said Act is limited to the State of Tamil Nadu. In other States, there are practically no laws to deal with the school fee hike problems. AIPA demands a Central Law to deal with the issue of commercialization in unaided private schools.
In order to highlight the violations of the right to education of the children with disabilities and also unbridled and unchecked commercialization of education in unaided private schools, All India Parents Association (AIPA) has organized a historic march to the Parliament today the 13th February, 2010, in which people from all walks of life including lawyers, doctors, parents, students, children with disabilities, NGOs, social activists and concerned citizens in big numbers holding placards in their hands, are participating
DEMANDING FROM THE CENTRAL AND THE STATE GOVERNMENTS TO ENSURE THAT
· No government or private school should deny admission to the children with disabilities;
· All the schools, whether government or private, shall provide totally free education to the children with disabilities at all levels;
· All schools, whether government or private, should have all basic facilities like adequate number of qualified special teachers, aids and appliances, ramps, special toilet, teaching and learning material, barrier free environment etc.;
· Availability of basic facilities for the disabled children in the school must be made a condition of grant of recognition to the school; and
· Totally free health security to the children with disabilities. Schools should be so equipped with basic medical expertise that the children with disabilities may get appropriate medical assistance, guidance and advice.
We also demand immediate enactment of a National Law addressing the issue of commercialization of education in unaided private schools. We further demand the up-gradation of all government schools all over the country to the level of Kendriya Vidayalaya Sangathan (KVS) schools. These demands are justified and in national interest. It is submitted that any delay in realization of these demands will be at the peril to our nation.
Sir, we have great hopes in you. We, therefore, request you to kindly intervene in the matter for the realization of the above demands.
On behalf of AIPA & all other participating organizations and individuals:
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
National President, AIPA
Saturday, February 13, 2010
INDIA - OVER 20 MILLION CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES HAVE BEEN TOTALLY DENIED RIGHT TO EDUCATION
Posted by Adv. Ashok Agarwal at 4:00 AM
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