CSOs urge Odisha Govt to re-open all closed government schools to protect children’s Right to Education

Bhubaneswar: Civil Society Organizations have urged the state government to re-open the government schools immediately which was ordered to be closed due to low student attendance; stating that the decision is a violation of children’s right to education as the RTE Act mandates free and compulsory elementary education for every children. They also urged that a GO-NGO coordination must exist to achieve the agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG4), in a workshop organised by Sustainability Foundation and National Coalition for Education, New Delhi.
School closure decision of the state government, especially in the tribal areas, will lead to forced migration and child labour in those areas. There are already more than 10 lakhs child labour in the state and more than 1 lakh children migrate to neighbouring states as child labour. Instead, the government should put its effort to ensure all provisioning aspects are implemented effectively. However, this requires resources and dialogue between policy-makers, practitioners and civil society so that inclusive and quality education for all children can be achieved in a time bound manner”, said Mr Naba Kishor Pujari, founder of Sustainability Foundation.
Rampal Singh, President of the All India Primary Teacher’s Federation who attended the workshop said “The Right to Education Act (RTE) calls for equal opportunities in education for children in India and it is the responsibility of the governments to be accountable to make this happen”.
The consultation did a broad-brush overview of the state government’s initiative measures on various aspects to meet the demand for achieving Sustainable Development Goals 4 and how other actors can contribute to that development.
Mr Rampal Singh, President, All India Primary Teacher’s Federation, National Convener of NCE India Dr Ramakant Rai, Executive Director Ms. Noopur, Board member of Sustainability Foundation Dr Subhashree Das, Dr Smarita Pradhan, Dr Prashant Acharya also discussed on various aspects of Right to Education of the children and shaped an agenda in a bid to actualise “inclusive and quality education for all” in the state.

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