National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has recommended that drought-affected states reimburse fees and other entitlements of children of farmers and economically-weaker section people studying in private schools for one year.
The Commission has written letters to the chief ministers of 12 drought-affected states – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh – to reimburse the fee and education entitlements such as school bags, uniforms, notebooks, under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA).
“NCPR has recommended to the drought-affected states for taking appropriate action to ensure that education of the children studying in private schools in those states is not affected due to non-payment of fees,” the Commission said in a statement.
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Expressing concern over the effect of drought on the lives of farmers and its impact on education of the children belonging to lower income group, the Commission has sought effective timely intervention so that the education of their children is not hampered.
“The Commission has advised that appropriate action be taken by the states for the children of farmers declared as affected by drought, hailstorm, unseasonal rain or any other natural calamity and eligible for crop insurance claim, may be notified as ‘Child belonging to disadvantageous group’. For this purpose, the states have been asked to exercise the provisions of section II (d) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009,” the statement said.
The NCPCR has suggested that these benefits may be provided in addition to the compensation and other measures decided by the Central and the state governments.
“States may use the fund provision for reimbursement to the private schools under the 25 per cent admission quota as provided in SSA with the ceiling of 20 per cent to the size of SSA budget of the state. They may explore the possibility of seeking financial assistance from the national disaster relief fund for this purpose”, it added.