Canít deny admission to children of sex workers: State

CRACKING the whip on schools flouting norms, the state has issued a government resolution (GR) that categorically says admission cannot be denied to children of sex workers and transgenders.

The GR strictly instructs all schools to give admission to this "very neglected" section of society under RTE Act 2009.

The circular was issued after it was brought to the notice of the state government that some schools were violating regulations by denying admission to children of women in flesh trade.

The GR dated May 27 says schools should not make it compulsory for children or women with such backgrounds and transgenders to furnish details such as father's name and proof of residence.

"RTE Act was implemented in the state on April 1, 2010, and no school can deny admission to a child on the ground that his/her mother is in prostitution. Free and compulsory education has to be given to children up to the age of 14. Under sections 8 and 9 of RTE Act, all children up to 14 have to be given education irrespective of caste, community, social standing, occupation/trade background," the GR issued to all schools says.

"We want schools to be sensitive and flexible. Education is a fundamental right and schools should not discriminate among children," said a state government official.

The GR also orders schools to cooperate with NGOs working among such groups.

"RTE Act is specifically for the weaker and deprived sections. But schools are discriminating on the basis of background, religion, occupation, etc. We have said repeatedly admissions under RTE Act should be centralised by the state to ensure accountability and transparency. Issuing a circular won't help, how will the state ensure schools follow rules? The state needs to create awareness as many parents do not know what RTE Act is about," said Jayant Jain, president of NGO Forum for Fairness in Education.

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