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Dirty, non-functional toilets form a major chunk of the complaints filed by parents in Delhi under violation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

According to a statement by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) with which the complaints have been filed, as many as 206 of the total 800 complaints filed over the past one year here are to do with dirty, non-functional toilets in schools.

In a public hearing on violations against the RTE Act Wednesday, the five-member jury – comprising members of the NCPCR’s RTE cell and Joint Operation for Social Help (JOSH) – asked the administration to submit a report on the status of toilets in all schools in Delhi.

‘The jury asked the administration to submit a report on the status of toilets in all schools and submit it to the commission. In addition to issuing case-wise directions, the commission also issued a set of general recommendations to the state on developing a school safety policy and a school health policy,’ the statement said Thursday.

The public hearing, which took place in Trilokpuri in east Delhi, saw participation of 1,400 people. Of the total violations, 25 cases were presented before the jury.

‘The jury panel heard complaints on issues relating to negligence of school authorities leading to severe injury to a child, corporal punishment, collection of fees, denial of admission, quality of education, infrastructure and poor quality mid-day meal,’ the statement said.

Citing one case, it said: ‘The case of teacher negligence for instance was particularly shocking where a boy, Hemant suffered a hand injury of permanent nature while playing in the class, in the absence of the teacher. Delay in taking him to the hospital and also refusal (to admit him) by the government hospital, according to the victim’s family, further aggravated the injury’.

‘The teacher and the hospital officials concerned denied that a delay was caused. Insensitive remarks by the vice principal of the school like ‘children keep falling’ and his general disinterest took the panel aback. The jury recommended that there will be a detailed investigation by the commission and it was also directed that the school maintains records of such incidents,’ it added.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act promises free and compulsory education to children in the age group of six to 14. It came into force from April 1 last year.

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