FOLLOWING THE recent move by some state governments to make a minimum education qualification mandatory for contesting panchayat polls, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has now held that those not sending their children to school should not be allowed to contest local elections.
The NCPCR has recommended that state governments should amend their rules for elections to urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions to disqualify those who have not enrolled their children in school, or people who do not ensure that their children attend classes regularly. In its recommendations, NCPCR said that those who wish to contest local body elections, and have children in the age group of 6 to 14 years, must produce a school certificate as evidence that the child is receiving formal education.
The suggestion was part of the recommendations submitted by NCPCR a few months ago to the sub-committee of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) of the HRD Ministry. The NCPCR was assigned the task of identifying ways to prevent drop-outs, ensure enrolment and regular attendance in schools and re-engage out-of-school children.
NCPCR member Priyank Kanoongo said, “It is the fundamental right of every child in the 6 -14 age group under Article 21 A of the Constitution, and a mandatory provision under the RTE.”