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Implement NCPCR Suggestions To Ensure Education For Children Who Had To Drop Out Due To COVID-19 : Supreme Court To States

Sohini Chowdhury
9 May 2022 4:59 PM GMT
Implement NCPCR Suggestions To Ensure Education For Children Who Had To Drop Out Due To COVID-19 : Supreme Court To States
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The Supreme Court, on Monday, asked the State Governments to publicize the suggestions put forth by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and its order with respect to 'the serious problem of discontinuance of education of children caused due to pandemic and other situations which we cannot envisage'.Apprehensive that newspaper might not be the most effective mode...

The Supreme Court, on Monday, asked the State Governments to publicize the suggestions put forth by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and its order with respect to 'the serious problem of discontinuance of education of children caused due to pandemic and other situations which we cannot envisage'.

Apprehensive that newspaper might not be the most effective mode of disseminating information in the present case, a Bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai directed State Governments to appoint Nodal officers from either the Education Department or Women and Child Welfare Department. These officers would instruct Anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, health workers etc. to personally inform the parents whose children have discontinued education due to the pandemic, about recommendations made by NCPCR.

The Bench passed directions to the State Governments to implement the suggestions of NCPCR to ensure continuance of education of such children.

Ms. Sobha Gupta, appearing on behalf of We the Women of India organisation apprised the Bench, that the order passed by it needs to be publicized, afraid that the efforts of the Court might be diluted if it does not benefit the children who are in dire need of protection but are not aware of the orders.

Acknowledging the same, Justice Rao asked the State Government to suggest their plan of action to publicize the suggestions made by NCPCR.

"How will the State Government inform the children?"

Justice Gavai noted -

"At every district there is a Woman and Child Development Officer, they can be appointed as nodal officers."

In this regard, Justice Rao suggested -

"If we can make our ground level workers like Anganwadi workers, education department workers. At the village level they can go and speak to them personally. Newspapers we don't know how many of the people in need would be reading them."

The Bench directed -

"For implementation of suggestions made by NCPCR, it suggests officer under Section Rule 2B(2) of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Rules shall be appointed. The further suggestion made is that nodal officers for every district should identify children who are not attending school and have dropped out of school.

We direct the State Governments /Union Territories shall appoint Nodal officer from either Education Depart or from the Women and Child Welfare Department who in turn shall instruct Anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, health workers etc. to personally inform those parents whose children have discontinued about recommendations made by NCPCR. The nodal officer shall also take immediate action to get back the children who have continued education.

Wide publicity to be given by State Governments to suggestions made by NCPCR and orders passed by this court."

[Case Title: In Re: Children in Street Situations SMW(C) 6 of 2021 and In Re Children in Need of Care and Protection Due to Loss of Parents During COVID-19 SMW(C) 4 of 2020]

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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