NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 9: The Bombay High Court has instructed the Maharashtra government to ensure the implementation of ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’, the chief education scheme, in all state-run homes for children with mental deficiency. The flagship government programme aims at achieving universalisation of education at the elementary level.
Provisions of RTE to be made applicable to state-run homes
The Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities has filed an affidavit that has been considered by a division bench of Justices AS Oka and MS Sonak. The commissioner has appealed that the provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) and government scheme should be applicable to such homes also. The court should direct the state education department for implementation of the same, the affidavit urged.
A suo motu public interest litigation and media reports on the miserable condition of homes and orphanage for kids having a mental deficiency in the state were presented in the court.
In the past, the Bombay High Court had set up a committee led by Dr. Asha Bajpai, an activist, for looking into the matter and submitting periodical reports.
No interference of court required, says bench
The bench sought to know why the government wanted the court to instruct the education department to execute the plan. It found the interference of the court unnecessary in this issue.
“We fail to understand why the chief secretary cannot issue directions to the education department or its secretary. The affidavit clearly says that children in special schools and homes (for kids with special needs) should get assistance from the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme and if they are found to be capable then they should be sent to regular schools,” Justice Oka has been quoted as saying to a national daily.
The bench has now instructed the chief secretary for giving the required directions to the education department.
Staffing pattern to be reviewed again
The government has also been asked to re-examine the recruitment pattern in such homes. “It is said that the present staff is inadequate and therefore it is affecting the quality of care and protection of the children. We direct the state government to revise the staffing pattern within six weeks,” the court said.