You are on page 1of 5

2012

Torture of children continues in the Indian government schools
A Human Rights Commentary
Despite the law and various rulings by Supreme Court prohibiting it, screening procedures continues to be practiced in 583 schools of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, which are managed, funded and controlled by the Central Government of India.

Dr. Subash Mohapatra

Global Human Rights Communications
5/10/2012

Entrance Examination -2013 for the standard 6 on 2nd October 2012. The two advertisements, signed by the principals, were appeared on one of the largest circulated Odiya daily newspaper Sambad calling applications from the aspirants for taking admission in the educational year 2013-14 with a deadline of 30th October 2012. I.INTRODUCTION By amending the Constitution, India government guaranteed right to education as a fundamental right under Article 21A for the children up to age of 14. Further, right to free and compulsory education declared as a statutory right apart from fundamental right as per Act 35 of 2009 with effect from 1.4.2010. These are the attempts to exhibit that the Government of India not only claims, but also take measures in compliance with various international human rights instruments. Unfortunately, the tall claimed ‘guarantee of right to education’ is violated by the Central Government of India itself. Jawahar Navodya Vidyalayas(JNVs), the school program of the Central Government of India, is a centre for torture of children under age 14. Despite the law and various rulings by Supreme Court prohibiting it, screening procedures continues to be practiced in 583 schools of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, which are managed, funded and controlled by the Central Government of India. Children, while getting admission in schools, are subjected to torture in the guise of screening. Although the screening tests are prohibited under the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act2009, the schools are still conducting screening tests for tiny tots during admissions. The screening tests are conducted by making public advertisements. II. THE FACTS Two Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, from Jajpur and Khorda District of Odisha, made public advertisements calling applications for On 3rd October 2012, the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Nayagarh made public call for entrance examination-2013, and the same advertisement appeared on the Odiya daily newspaper Sambad. In past two weeks, this school is infamously made media attention when the incident of unnatural sex with students revealed. A teacher was engaged in exploiting the students sexually since past two years. JNVs claim that the screening procedures are strictly followed. Because JNVs are to serve the objectives of excellence coupled with equity and social justice, they do follow strict screening procedures. JNVs run by the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India. The Samiti is run under direct control of the Minister of State for Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, and he is the Vice-Chairman of the Samiti. Further, it is revealed that the all reported Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas published the advertisements with due approval from Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti. The Samiti has issued a prospectus for Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Selection Test 2013. It states, “At present, there are 595 Vidyalayas are sanctioned in 27 States and 7 Union Territories out of which 583 are functioning”. For all 583 Navodaya Vidyalays, the prospectus has been issued having following features: A maximum of eighty students are admitted in Class VI in each Vidyalaya, through a Selection Test subject to

2|Page

availability of suitable candidates. The Samiti reserves the right to reduce the seats to forty or to withhold result and/or withhold admission and/or conduct of JNVST in case adequate accommodation is not available. The result of JNVST 2013 is expected to be announced by end of May of the year of admission. The result will be displayed in the offices of the concerned (i) Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (ii) District Education Officer (iii) District Magistrate (iv) Deputy Commissioner, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti of the Region. The Principal, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya concerned, will also inform the selected candidates through registered post. Selection in the test will not vest any right on the candidates to secure admission into the JNV. At the time of seeking actual admission, each selected candidate will have to produce all relevant certificates, as prescribed by the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti. Until admission, the selection is provisional. In case of any dispute, the decision of Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti shall be final and binding on the candidates. Marks obtained by candidates (both selected and unselected) in the test are not communicated. There is no provision for re-evaluation of the answer scripts. Since the result is processed through computer and sufficient care is taken to ensure accuracy through various checks in processing the result, no request for retotaling of marks will be entertained. It may also be noted by the candidates and their parents/guardians that under the scheme of JNVs, students of a JNV located in Hindi speaking State may

have to be migrated to another JNV in Non-Hindi Speaking State and viceversa for one academic year when the students are promoted to Class IX. In case of refusal from the students selected for migration, continuation of such students in JNV will not be allowed. The candidates and their parents/guardians may note that the children selected on the basis of the Test will be admitted only in the JNV located in the district from where they are appearing at the JNVST. Under no circumstances, the selected candidate will be given admission to any other JNV. No request for shifting of students on account of medium of instruction in the JNV concerned, shifting of parents/guardians to other district(s) State(s) etc. will be entertained. Candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) will have to produce a certificate of the Caste/Tribe at the time of seeking admission, if selected. Such certificate should be procured from the competent authority before 15th July, of the year of seeking admission so that it may be submitted to the Principal of concerned JNV at the time of admission. Candidates belonging to the disabled category (Orthopedically Handicapped, Hearing Impaired and Visually Handicapped) if selected will have to produce a medical certificate signed by Chief Medical Officer of the District concerned at the time of admission. Candidates belonging to the disabled category (Orthopedically Handicapped, Hearing Impaired and Visually Handicapped) can seek admission in the district in which they are studying in Class V on regular basis at the time of applying for JNVST or their native district where his/her parents are residing.

3|Page

The language/medium of the examination for the candidate will be the medium through which the candidate is studying in Class-V. A candidate will be given a test booklet in the language he/she has mentioned in the application form and admit card. It must be ensured that Same Medium of Examination/Language is written in the Application Form (Col.10) and Admit Card (Col.1). The test booklet is available in the following languages: 1. Assamese, 2. Bengali, 3. Bodo, 4. English, 5. Garo, 6. Gujarati, 7. Hindi, 8. Kannada, 9. Khasi, 10. Malayalam, 11. Manipuri, 12. Marathi, 13. Mizo, 14. Oriya, 15. Punjabi, 16. Sindhi (Arabic), 17. Sindhi (Devnagri), 18. Tamil, 19. Telugu, 20. Urdu, 21.Nepali. The selection test will be of two-hour duration and will have 3 sections with only objective type questions. There are 100 questions in all of 100 marks. Each question carries one mark. The children will undergo mental ability test, arithmetic test and language test. III. VIOLATIONS The statue of 2009 namely the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act prohibits any screening procedure. Section 13(1) of the said Act doesn’t allow any screening, which states, “No school or person shall, while admitting a child, collect any capitation fee and subject the child or his or

her parents or guardian to any screening procedure”. Further section 13(2) of the Act having punishable provision states, “Any school or person, if any contravention of the provisions of sub-section (1), - (b) subjects a child screening procedure, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to twenty-five thousand rupees for the first contravention and fifty thousand rupees for each subsequent contraventions”. Further the act defines the “Screening procedure” in Section 2 (o) of the Act, which states, “unless the context otherwise requires, "screening procedure" means the method of selection for admission of a child, in preference over another, other than a random method." Indian parliament enacted the said law with the object to honor the values of equality, social justice and democracy and creation of just and humane society. In the objects and reasons it is stated that it is enacted to maintain and promote the quality of children from disadvantaged and weaker sections also and it is not merely the responsibility of the schools run or supported by the appropriate Government, but also of schools which are not depending on Government funds (unaided schools). It was passed by both the Houses of India’s Parliament and enacted as an Act called 'The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009' (Central Act 35 of 2009). The Presidential assent was given to the said Act on 26.9.2009 and the Act came into force

4|Page

from 1.4.2010, pursuant to the notification issued by the Government of India. When right to education upto the age of 14 is guaranteed as a fundamental right under Article 21A of the Constitution of India, and right to free and compulsory education also has now been declared as a statutory right apart from fundamental right as per Act 35 of 2009 with effect from 1.4.2010, the schools cannot conduct screening procedure by fixing any norms to students of standards 1 to 8. Article 19 (1) of the Convention on the Right of the Child, to which India is a State party, states, “States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child”. Article 28(2) of the Convention reads, “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention. Further, Article 37 (a) of the Convention asks the State party to ensure that: No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Global Human Rights Communications (GHRC) builds respect for human rights and challenges injustice. It makes advocacy with difference by making creative and strategic communications with National Human Rights Institutions, Governments, United Nations Human Rights Bodies and non-state stakeholders. GHRC works closely with local human rights groups, individual activists, lawyers and Civil Society Organizations that respect non-violence, human rights and democracy. It invites and engages the conflicting stakeholders for resolving issues in peaceful ways. It doesn’t mediate, but helps in preparing grounds for peace walk. It is engaged in building road maps for promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms in worldwide. Its creative strategic approach helps avoiding confrontation and provides opportunities for the positive dialogues for practical realization of human rights in public policies of the States. It also creatively asks the non-state stakeholders to respect the human rights principles.

IV. RECOMMENDATIONS Contact: The Central Government of India must immediately stop the screening tests for taking admissions in JNVs. It also needs to take stringent action against the authorities for their conducts and wrongs. Dr Subash Mohapatra Executive Director Global Human Rights Communications Dibyasinghpur Chhak Raigurupur, Puri Odisha-752019, India. Ph: +91 9668 2292 46 Email: ghrcommunications@gmail.com

5|Page