Hyderabad: PIL against corporal punishment

Authorities failed to implement RTE properly

Hyderabad: A public interest litigation has been filed in Hyderabad High Court seeking to declare the inaction and failure of the authorities in preventing corporal punishments in schools, abnormal school timings and heavy weight of the school bags.

K. Gurumurthy, advocate of Nellore district and A. Vijaya Mohan Reddy, president of Forum for Better Vikrama Simhapuri, moved the court alleging that the authorities have failed to implement Section 17 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

The petitioners said that relevant provision emphasises on conducting awareness camps in all schools and educating children to make complaints in case of physical punishments in school. They urged the court to direct the authorities for effective implementation of the RTE Act and to take steps to prevent corporal punishments in schools, regulating school timings and weight of the school bags.

Citing an order of the High Court, in which the court had directed the authorities to ensure the timings of private schools, they urged to declare the negligence of authorities in not visiting the private schools to see whether they are functioning as per the court orders or not.

They contended that the RTE Act mandates 25 percent reservations in admissions and fee reimbursement to all the eligible children in private schools. They urged the court to frame guidelines for regulating the weight of school bags of children and direct authorities to ensure that the students do not carry the school bags having weight more than 1/4 of their body weight while entering and leaving the school.

Mr Gurumurthy, talking to this newspaper said that being a practising advocate he had come across several instances in which children, particularly from middle income groups are facing hardships in getting admissions in private schools. Several incidents of corporal punishments in newspapers have compelled him to file the PIL. He said that several non-governmental organisations have decided to join hands with them to fight against corporal punishments and exorbitant fees of the private schools.

( Source : dc corespondent )
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