Imphal, Feb 10:
The Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR) has issued an advisory to the concerned government department of Manipur to ensure basic rights, including the right to education, Food etc for all internally displaced children due to the ongoing crisis in Manipur.
The advisories issued by the MCPCR show serious concern about the educational rights of internally displaced students. They urge the Education Department and all concerned ZEOs to ensure that children between the ages of 6 and 18 years do not drop out of school. The MCPCR also advises all school authorities, including private schools, not to expel students or discontinue their studies simply because their parents or guardians are unable to pay tuition fees or if their parents or guardians have lost their lives due to the crisis.
Following reports of child trafficking in the state in the name of providing them education, the Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR) has issued a notification informing all concerns including parents, agencies, guardians to submit details of the institution where their children are currently studying to the MCPCR on or before February 14, 2024.
A notification by the Chairperson of the MCPCR, Keisham Pradipkumar said that nobody can override the Supreme Court order passed on September 9, 2010. It said that due verification by concern Child Welfare Committees’ is mandatory while sending of minors without their parents / guardians outside Manipur to avoid any legal complications.
The advisory states that if children are forced to leave school due to the conflict, the school authorities must take steps to refund any admission or other fees already paid or deposited at the time of admission, especially if the amount is substantial.
As the new academic session approaches, the State Education Department must ensure that all internally displaced children are enrolled in schools and provided with uniforms, textbooks, and stationary items on a priority basis. Private school authorities must also comply with the reservation of 25% under RTE norms and provide sponsorship and concessional fee facilities to needy displaced students according to their capacity and on a case-by-case basis.
The MCPCR also advises authorities to provide a Remedial Education Programme to needy displaced children on a regular and need-based basis. It suggests that every relief center should reserve a “Learning Centre” exclusively for children, where they can freely read, study, engage in life skill activities, participate in recreational programs, and revise what they have been taught in schools.
Other advisories include ensuring the right to food, access to medicines, and the arrangement of recreational activities, sports, arts, and culture.