In what could be a huge embarrassment to Chief Minister and Education Minister Manohar Parrikar, the National Commission for Child Rights (NCCR) has come down strongly on the denial of admission to a 10-year old girl student by Shri Shradhanand High School, Poinguinim, Canacona. The Commission has in a letter to Goa Education Secretary asked that the girl be admitted to the school within five days.
It may be recalled that Herald had taken up the issue of blatant injustice to the child as violation of the Right to Education Act, violation of Persons with Disabilities Act as well as violation of the Goa Children’s Act due to denial of admission to the student.
Acting on a complaint filed by Sabina Martins, the Commission sent a sternly worded letter to the Education Secretary which reads, “The Commission seeks a compliance report to the fact that the child, (name withheld) is immediately readmitted to the School and a compliance report, thereof, be sent to the Commission within five days of the issue of this letter. You are, further directed to ensure that the girl child is not victimized by the school authorities,” the letter reads.
It may be recalled that the School had initially admitted the girl, but then dismissed her from the school on grounds that she is a slow learner and that since she was distracted she could not sit at one place for too long. They had recommended that she be admitted in a special school.
After the issue was taken up by Bailancho Saad, Education Secretary had passed an order asking that the child be taken back. However, the school still did not admit the child, but instead appealed to the chief minister, who is also the education minister, who shockingly admitted the appeal.
“CM directed the Secretary of Education to conduct hearings, which he completed in November. Till date the CM has not taken any action against the school nor taken steps to admit the child. Despite repeated follow up till date the child does not go to school. Bailancho Saad made a representation to the CM with a copy to National Commission for Protection of Child Rights New Delhi,” Martins said.
She said it was the Chief Minister’s delay in acting on the issue, for incomprehensible reasons, that resulted in injustice to the child.
The National Commission for Child Rights, also sought that action be taken against the school for initially dismissing the child and later refusing to re-admit her. [H]