NHRC notice to the Government of Uttar Pradesh over dilapidated condition of 209 primary schoolS

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that 209 primary school buildings in Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh are in a dilapidated condition due to which students are forced to attend their classes in open as they are scared to sit in the rooms. Reportedly, the school managements have made several verbal and written complaints to the concerned authorities in the State Education Department but the repairing work has not been done, apparently due to the shortage of funds.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, amount to gross violation of human rights of the students and the teachers.The dilapidated buildings are definitely threats to the lives of the students, teachers and other staff of the respective schools. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh to submit a detailed report in the matter along with the statistics, addressing the issues raised in the news report, giving details about the action being taken/ proposed to be taken by the State Government to tackle the grim situation and submit a detailed report within four weeks.

The Commission has also observed that it is the duty of the State to ensure that there should be no hurdle for the students and teachers in the process of imparting education. After the amendment in the Constitution by way of 86th Constitution Amendment Act, 2002, the Right to Education has now become fundamental right under Article 21 A of the Constitution of India. Providing proper atmosphere at the time of imparting education is a Constitutional obligation upon the State and any inaction on the part of the State may amount to infringement of right to dignity and equality to the students, which are their basic human rights.

According to the media report, carried today on the 30th January, 2019, that the State Education Department had got conducted a survey. Its report reveals that there are 1238 primary and 537 junior schools in Etawah district, out of which 209 are in a very bad condition. The block wise details of the schools have been mentioned in the news report. The schools situated at Naurangabad, Pansaritola, Police line, Chhipaiti, Pakka Talab and Katra Shamsher Khan have been found to be in very bad condition. The Headmistress of the Pakka Talab Junior High School has reportedly made a request to make a concrete roof in the school. The Headmistress of the primary school of the area has also stated that their school building is in a dangerous condition due to which, they are conducting classes in open. The District Basic Education Officer of Etawah has stated that the funds were not provided in the year 2011 due to which the repair work could not be taken up.

The situation is all the same across country.

New Delhi, 30th January, 2019

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