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Re: Key elements of petition to Min of HRD as directed by Delhi HC (very rough)

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  • shyama.haldar
    ... am going to raise a few radical questions... 1) What is a right ? Let s take the right to cast votes , for example. Every adult in India has this
    Message 1 of 19 , May 2 5:27 PM
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      --- In alt-ed-india@yahoogroups.com, "Aaditto" <aaditto@...> wrote:
      > I am going to raise a few radical questions...
      > 1) What is a 'right'?
      > Let's take the 'right to cast votes', for example. Every adult in India has this right... but then, NO ONE is FORCED to cast a vote - in fact, there is a constitutional clause which enables an individual to ABSTAINING from voting!

      Dear Aaditto, 
      My first response to the whole right-as-compulsion issue had been exactly the same as yours: that the provision of a facility under the law does not mean that one must, by law, avail of that facility. 

      The problem with RTE is that the persons it is meant for are people who are not legally held responsible for taking decisions in their own behalf. RTE decisions rest with parents (or other guardians) -- the child, Aaditto, is not free to choose his/her education; he/she has the right to be educated, but it is the parents/guardians who must ensure that the right is accessed.  RTE has nothing to do with the choices of the actual recipient of the right in the way that freedom of speech, freedom of religion or adult franchise are entwined with decisions made by the persons who exercise them.

      A person who obstructs another from availing of a right is liable to be punished. In the RTE's case, the first obstruction would, theoretically, automatically be held to be from the parents (in lack of factors outside the family keeping a child from going to school).

      Having a child empowered to make decisions about the course of his/her life has ramifications that are held impractical/impracticable in society as we live it, not merely in its modern-day, Westernised form but in a social system where it is widespread for parents to decide whom their adult offspring will marry and live with for the rest of their lives.   

      Saloni and Sandeep, I'm sorry I haven't been near my mail for the last couple of weeks and I am most abashed at my multiple outbursts the last time I posted on this -- of course, the energy you have put in on this issue is something I completely applaud. For the rest of it, though, I will repeat that I find it extremely saddening that the examination and questioning of conventional schooling which all systems of alternative education undertake is not something perceived as having universal, every-child-alive relevance. I made my top-of-the-head suggestion on the NIOS not because I thought the NIOS was a school -- being an access point for scholastic evaluation, I proposed it merely as a means of assessing whether children not in school are receiving the informational inputs appropriate to their age group (which in the conventional framework is about all that is understood by 'education').  Richer, better-thought-out suggestions on how to meet the requirements of the Act while keeping open the space for challenging India's present system of mainstream schooling would be very welcome from those who know more on the matter. 

      Cheers, 
      -s.

       

         



      > Similarly, it is the 'right' of every 18-year-old woman and 21-year-old man to get married. But that does not IN ANY WAY mean that whenever you come of that age, YOU HAVE TO GET MARRIED, does it?
      > So, the point is, that NO CONSTITUTIONAL 'RIGHT' can ever be a 'COMPULTION' - because that totally defeats the point of it being a right! A 'RIGHT' is a power to CHOOSE - BOTH FOR AND AGAINST that particular thing!
      > (This is the 'sticky one!)
      > 2) Who is the RTE-ACT meant FOR?
      > It's meant for the CHILDREN, right? It gives every CHILD the 'Right To Free & Compulsory Education'.
      > When we, as conscious, thinking individuals are trying to OPPOSE this Act, because all of us, from varying perspectives, feel that the act is FUNDAMENTALLY skewed, shouldn't we be keeping in mind the fact that it is the CHILDREN, and ONLY them, that are REALLY at stake here?
      > I have a number of very good friends who have chosen to home-school their children. I am unmarried myself. But if I had children of my own, I think I too would choose to home-school them - simply because I have not come across a school which seems to me to be REALLY bothered about the education of children!
      > However, I also have a number of ISSUES with certain pit-falls of home-schooling:-
      > NUMBER ONE being;
      > THE CONSTANT 'RISK' OF THE PARENT(S) BECOMING THE 'AUTHORITY FIGURE' WHO CHOOSES "ON BEHALF OF" THE CHILD, which in my opinion is one of the very malaise that plague today's schools and PREVENT CHILDREN FROM RECEIVING A CREATIVE AND MEANINGFUL EDUCATION.
      > For me, the MAJOR ISSUES about the RTE-ACT are three-fold:
      > a) By it's own assertion (The haloed "Title" of the act), it is a right given to every Indian child to "EDUCATION" - NOT NECESSARILY AND ONLY to "SCHOOLING".
      > By what LOGIC is it being ASSUMED by the State that 'education' can, and is, imparted ONLY THROUGH THE MECHANISM OF "SCHOOLS"?
      > [NOTE: This point is directly and indirectly related to such varied concerns as 'elitism', 'non-inclusiveness' and 'the continuing and damaging disregard of society for non-academic expertise and learning']
      > b) If it is a RIGHT for children to get 'educated', then does that not AUTOMATICALLY imply that each child is FREE to choose WHERE AND HOW her/ his education is going to take place?
      > In other words, if this so-called "right" ENFORCES a child to regularly attend a local school where she/ he effectively ONLY WASTES PRECIOUS TIME, since it is a defunct unit with no infrastructure or will, then DOES THE OBJECTIVE OF THE ACT ITSELF get fulfilled in ANY WAY - that of "educating" each child in the country?
      > [NOTE: I think if each CHILD is actually EMPOWERED TO CHOOSE where, how and with whom they shall receive their EDUCATION, it will automatically negate such worries as "whether a 'poor-uneducated-man' is EQUIPPED enough to 'home-school' his child - the CHILD will never, if TRULY given the RIGHT, choose such a father as their 'educator'!]
      > c) No 'RIGHT' can, at the same time, be a 'COMPUNCTION' !
      > So, the point in the RTE-ACT that is UNACCEPTABLE to me is the coinage "Free & COMPULSORY education".
      > Having said all that, living in remote villages over a very long period of time, working with underprivileged children to try and help them cope with their 'school-work', and finally, having myself STUDIED in such a rural school as a kid for over a year, I have VERY LITTLE ILLUSSION about the real outcome of this, or any other 'Act'. In terms of providing real education, which will help rural children (people)achieve the RESPECT as an individual that the Constitution 'guarantees' them!
      > Anyway, my heart-felt cheers to people like Sandeep, Ramdas and others - people who have the courage and perseverance to take up the challenge of confronting the System in its own term!
      > Aaditto.
      > --- In alt-ed-india@yahoogroups.com, saloni srivastava <salosandeep@> wrote:
      > >
      > > I'm sorry if that sound's elitist ... no other comments .... and please suggest alternatives, anyone!
      > > 
      > > --- On Fri, 4/16/10, shyama.haldar <shyamadot@> wrote:
      > > 
      > > 
      > > From: shyama.haldar <shyamadot@>
      > > Subject: [alt-ed-india] Re: Key elements of petition to Min of HRD as directed by Delhi HC (very rough)
      > > To: alt-ed-india@yahoogroups.com
      > > Date: Friday, April 16, 2010, 12:49 PM
      > > 
      > > 
      > > Â  
      > > 
      > > 
      > > 
      > > and i will also add, Sandeep, that i do not think the petition has a prayer of success if it takes an elitist stance -- some rules for BPL parents, other rules for 'qualified', higher-income ones. again, we're talking the Constitution here, and elitism is something the Constitution tries hard to avoid being seen encouraging. 
      > > 
      > > --- In alt-ed-india@ yahoogroups. com, "salosandeep" <salosandeep@ ...> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Dear Joyce 
      > > > 
      > > > I thought of exactly the same till ten days ago - every parent has the right to home school / alternate school - BUT THIS IS WHAT IS APPARENTLY HAPPENING i.e. children are not going to school! ANY ACT IS MADE FOR MAJORITY AND NOT EVERYONE - AND WE NEED STRICT RULES FOR NONEXCLUSION FROM SCHOOLING IF SCHOOL ENROLMENT HAS TO BE 100%! That's why those eco/edu barriers and simple exception too - everyone agrees that your child has to educated the worldly way onme way or the other and that's why some form of assessment by govt (33% pass mark) for home schooling to continue - BUT I GUESS IT NEED NOT BE AGE SPECIFIC BUT A BAND RELATED.
      > > > 
      > > > BUT LET'S NOT FORGET THAT THE ACT IS TO STOP EXCLUSION OF POOR PEOPLE AND WE MUST NOT LEAVE LOOPHOLES THAT ARE GOOD FOR US! I DON'T AGREE THAT ILLERATE PARENTS CAN HOME SCHOOL OR HOME SCHOOLING IS CHEAP OR EASILY AFFORDABLE (IT COSTS US REALLY A BOMB EVERYMONTH AND SO-CALLED PROFESSIONAL 'COMPROMISE' TO RIGHTLY HOME SCHOOL OUR DAUGHTER).
      > > > 
      > > > ONCE AGAIN THE ACT IS TO ENSURE NO EXCUSES FOR BPL FAMILIES! 
      > > > 
      > > > And thanks again I got two finer points Joyce and will add to the petition ... please read it again as I put the evolving drafts of the same before petition to MHRD.
      > > > 
      > > > I'll certainly CIRCULATE BLORE MEET DETAILS ON MONDAY.
      > > > 
      > > > regards
      > > > Sandeep
      > > > 
      > > > Anyway our differenetly abled children are beyond the act - I'm adding clauses to that effect. 
      > > > 
      > > > --- In alt-ed-india@ yahoogroups. com, "da_hrii" <da_hrii@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > 
      > > > > Hello to all and to Sandeep
      > > > > Thank you everyone for your work on the RTE. I agree with another writer that we who are too far away from Bangalore would appreciate minutes of the meeting you are having. Thanks in advance to whomever would volunteer to be a secretary and keep us informed. 
      > > > > 
      > > > > I would like to express several points on the key elements of petition that have been listed.
      > > > > 
      > > > > 1. As far as the testing mentioned, (I am referring to this quoted text from the previous posting below :
      > > > > 
      > > > > However, the Right of indoividual implies that it cannot be
      > > > > > > discreminiatory on economic or educational grounds and thus the provision of
      > > > > > > the sort that first-generation learner's can be home schooled despite
      > > > > > > parent's economic or educational qualifications if they can show adequate
      > > > > > > comptenece in standardised assessments for their age level.)
      > > > > > >
      > > > > 
      > > > > 
      > > > > The true beauty of home and alternate schooling is that each child is different and able to progress at their own speed according to their own gifts. I certainly do not feel "competence in standardized assessments for their age level" will prove the level of learning, and strongly would argue against such testing. (Aren't we all discussing home schooling as getting away from that sort of thing and allowing the child's curiosity and love of learning to motivate him/her rather than fear of passing/failing an exam? ) 
      > > > > For ex., my 9 yr. old son has dyslexia and dyscalculia and is several years behind in math and grammar/writing, but he is advanced in other topics and bright in his own ways (he is able to orally narrate a complex story and he can beat both his parents in a memory game where you have to find matching pairs....) His schooling must adjust for that.
      > > > > We also have an 8 year old dependent who came to us never having any opportunity to attend school in the village. She has an interest in learning but a very short attention span to sit down and write her letters as would be required in a traditional school. However, in one year, her spoken English has gone from zero to better than many high school graduates around here. 
      > > > > 
      > > > > I'm sure many of us have countless other ex., but the point is, there are no standardized tests which could accurately reflect the "learning" of these students.
      > > > > 
      > > > > 2. Also, in order to fully protect the rights of the parents to home school, there can not be any restrictions on parents' education, economic level, etc., or else freedom to home school is not truly freedom. 
      > > > > 
      > > > > We who are home schooling or doing alternative schooling strongly believe that the home, i.e. the parents, are the best equipped to impart our children with the education (I refer to education in a very broad sense and not just the rote learning that goes on in state run institutions) they need for life.
      > > > > Our parental rights must be protected in order for this to happen. I do not feel that any addition to the RTE should have to define, as written below, any fine points of qualifications for parents or children to engage in home schooling, but should simply guarantee the parents' right to engage in home or alternative schooling without restrictions.
      > > > > 
      > > > > 
      > > > > Thanks for your time and efforts. Best regards,
      > > > > Joyce 
      > > > > 
      > > > > 
      > > > > 
      > > > > 
      > > > > --- In alt-ed-india@ yahoogroups. com, Suryaprakash Kompalli <neosurya@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Hi Sandeep,
      > > > > > I would like to read through some of this documentation. I have
      > > > > > found a few debate documents on the Lok Sabha website, but nothing that
      > > > > > strings all of it together.
      > > > > > I also wanted to know the timing of the Bangalore meeting on
      > > > > > 18th. Id be very interested to attend. Let me know if we have to register
      > > > > > somewhere for this.
      > > > > > 
      > > > > > - Surya
      > > > > > 
      > > > > > 
      > > > > > On Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 11:02 AM, salosandeep <salosandeep@ > wrote:
      > > > > > 
      > > > > > > Hi Manas
      > > > > > > Thanks.
      > > > > > > In the past two weeks I've read over 1000 pages on RTE including the
      > > > > > > complete 700 page docket on all govt and parliamentary debates on RTE in the
      > > > > > > past 13 years.
      > > > > > > One of the things that emerged starkly for me is that (w.r.t. the points
      > > > > > > raised by you):
      > > > > > > It's compulsion on state (free and compulsory) but it's right for
      > > > > > > individuals to decide about education and not vice versa
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > This means that the state will have to ensure NO ABUSE of any deviations
      > > > > > > from compulsory education - e.g. a parent who is not educated adequately
      > > > > > > should not be able to take the garb of Home schooling (but it's his right to
      > > > > > > do so) and not educate his/her children. Thus some conditions will have to
      > > > > > > come. However, the Right of indoividual implies that it cannot be
      > > > > > > discreminiatory on economic or educational grounds and thus the provision of
      > > > > > > the sort that first-generation learner's can be home schooled despite
      > > > > > > parent's economic or educational qualifications if they can show adequate
      > > > > > > comptenece in standardised assessments for their age level.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > What we are trying to peition is a rather practical / workable soluytion
      > > > > > > that supports the spirit of RTE - educating first generation learners by all
      > > > > > > means!
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > In fact the first-variant of alternative education is new and it's proposed
      > > > > > > for such children only - gifted in something other than academics also -
      > > > > > > rich or poor!
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I look forward to as many inpurts and opinions as possible so as to come up
      > > > > > > with the best possible petition in the next week.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Thanks once again.
      > > > > > > Regards
      > > > > > > Sandeep
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > B.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > --- In alt-ed-india@ yahoogroups. com, Manas Chakrabarti <learningbydesign@ >
      > > > > > > wrote:
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Hi Sandeep,
      > > > > > > > I know it's too early to ask questions ... I should wait to see the legal
      > > > > > > draft. But a few terms just popped out of your "sketch" that I can't help
      > > > > > > but get curious about: parent's education, parent's economic level, progress
      > > > > > > through tests, pass percentage, socialization, standardized assessment.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Looking forward to the draft ... and thanks for putting in the effort.
      > > > > > > > Cheers!
      > > > > > > > Manas
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > ____________ _________ _________ __
      > > > > > > > From: salosandeep <salosandeep@ >
      > > > > > > > To: alt-ed-india@ yahoogroups. com
      > > > > > > > Sent: Fri, 16 April, 2010 12:14:59 AM
      > > > > > > > Subject: [alt-ed-india] Key elements of petition to Min of HRD as
      > > > > > > directed by Delhi HC (very rough)
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > This sketch is just for sharing. The legal draft will be offered for the
      > > > > > > group by Tuesday.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > We see two dimensions:
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Home schooling :
      > > > > > > > Parent's right to educate, not school in the sense of school, to best
      > > > > > > nurure their children's nature.
      > > > > > > > The Act should define the contours of such right such as:
      > > > > > > > Parent's educational level, including the hands-on parent's
      > > > > > > > Parent's economic level
      > > > > > > > Child's annual academic progress â€" through tests by ... NIOS and
      > > > > > > securing the usual pass percentage in one language, math, science
      > > > > > > > And the exceptions to the first two cases and the conditions thereoff but
      > > > > > > then enrolling in Alternate schools.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Alternate schools:
      > > > > > > > We see these being defined in three forms -
      > > > > > > > 1. Organised home schooling to integrate a level of (desired)
      > > > > > > socialisation (new cateogory of home schools we are very excited about - a
      > > > > > > kind of home school 'cooperative' )
      > > > > > > > 2. Gifted children academies in various domains - music, cricket,
      > > > > > > painting, writing, ....
      > > > > > > > 3. 'De-school or alternate school formats' to teach differently or
      > > > > > > different subjects
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > For all the three formats, the Act needs to define -
      > > > > > > > A defined hours of schooling per day
      > > > > > > > Adeuately qualified teachers in the gift of the children
      > > > > > > > Teacher's qualifications to be appropriate for the domain of learning
      > > > > > > > Teachers compensation to be driven the by domain/trade and the popularity
      > > > > > > > No lower limit on number of students â€" 2 students â€" min.
      > > > > > > > Physical infrastructure â€" no need for dedicated infrastructure or
      > > > > > > defined benchmarks â€" to differ by the domain
      > > > > > > > Ideally, neighbourhood schools
      > > > > > > > Annual standardised academic comptence assessments
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Send free SMS to your Friends on Mobile from your Yahoo! Messenger.
      > > > > > > Download Now! http://messenger. yahoo.com/ download. php
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > ------------ --------- --------- ------
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > New members FAQs: http://www.alternat iveeducationindi a.net/faqs. htm
      > > > > > > To unsubscribe send a blank email to:
      > > > > > > alt-ed-india- unsubscribe@ ! Groups Links
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > 
      > > > > > 
      > > > > > -- 
      > > > > > http://buffalo. aidindia. org
      > > > > > http://freedomteam. in/
      > > > > > 
      > > > > > http://lifeearthlif e.wordpress. com/
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >

    • Aaditto
      Dear Shyama, thank you for such a lucid message! I think you have summerised the need of the day perfectly, figuiring out how to meet the requirements of the
      Message 2 of 19 , May 3 5:57 PM
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        Dear Shyama, thank you for such a lucid message!

        I think you have summerised the need of the day perfectly, figuiring out "how to meet the requirements of the
        Act while keeping open the space for challenging India's present system of mainstream schooling".

        Although, I do not necessarily agree with you when you say, "The problem with RTE is that the persons it is meant for are people who are not legally held responsible for taking decisions in their own behalf."

        While it is obviously true that kids are not as responsible for many of their actions, compaired to their adult counterparts, however, they too have a set of legal bindings that society imposes upon them. In fact, a whole segment of any judiciary in the world is actually assigned to handle 'juvenile' crimes. A child shop-lifter will be subject to a set of clearly-defined legal procedures for punishment. So, it is not completely correct to say that children do not have socio-political responsibilities.

        And so, I am compelled to ask the question as to why the RTE Act, which is purpotedly an act that confers the RIGHT to free education to all CHILDREN, can afford NOT to have anything to do with "the choices of the actual recipient of the right"?

        For me, this is one of the fundamental and vital questions to ask, and answer, if we are to ever achieve an aducational culture that actually has "every-child-alive relevance".

        I feel it is a very similar freudian slip as the one by which we constantly evade the issue of children, as a  'race', being one of the most oppressed groups of human beings ever!

        The fact that the adult society conveniently usurps authority to override even the fundamental rights as a human being, when it comes to dealing with a child. And that too, not merely at the illegal labour-market, but within the very familial structures that we are all born into! The pathology is so deeply entrenched that adults continue to infringe on kids fundamental rights with the firm belief that they are fulfilling their duty - that they are helping the child.

        If Papa breaks his new mobile while fiddling around with the controls hoping to discover new technological dimentions to it, no body says anything. But when Baby demolishes one of his toy cars, to see what's inside, its "oh, you are such a naughty boy!"... 
        Mama is way too successful, busy and outdoorsy a person to waste time in cosmetic home-keeping embelisments - but "young man, please clean your room up, it's a pig-sty!"...

        I sincerely believe we need RADICAL thinking, if we want to achieve any REAL changes today.

        Cheers.
        Aaditto

        --- In alt-ed-india@yahoogroups.com, "shyama.haldar" <shyamadot@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In alt-ed-india@yahoogroups.com, "Aaditto" aaditto@ wrote:> I
        > am going to raise a few radical questions...> > 1) What is a 'right'?>
        > Let's take the 'right to cast votes', for example. Every adult in India
        > has this right... but then, NO ONE is FORCED to cast a vote - in fact,
        > there is a constitutional clause which enables an individual to
        > ABSTAINING from voting!
        > Dear Aaditto, My first response to the whole right-as-compulsion issue
        > had been exactly the same as yours: that the provision of a facility
        > under the law does not mean that one must, by law, avail of that
        > facility.
        > The problem with RTE is that the persons it is meant for are people who
        > are not legally held responsible for taking decisions in their own
        > behalf. RTE decisions rest with parents (or other guardians) -- the
        > child, Aaditto, is not free to choose his/her education; he/she has the
        > right to be educated, but it is the parents/guardians who must ensure
        > that the right is accessed. RTE has nothing to do with the choices of
        > the actual recipient of the right in the way that freedom of speech,
        > freedom of religion or adult franchise are entwined with decisions made
        > by the persons who exercise them.
        > A person who obstructs another from availing of a right is liable to be
        > punished. In the RTE's case, the first obstruction would, theoretically,
        > automatically be held to be from the parents (in lack of factors outside
        > the family keeping a child from going to school).
        > Having a child empowered to make decisions about the course of his/her
        > life has ramifications that are held impractical/impracticable in
        > society as we live it, not merely in its modern-day, Westernised form
        > but in a social system where it is widespread for parents to decide whom
        > their adult offspring will marry and live with for the rest of their
        > lives.
        > Saloni and Sandeep, I'm sorry I haven't been near my mail for the last
        > couple of weeks and I am most abashed at my multiple outbursts the last
        > time I posted on this -- of course, the energy you have put in on this
        > issue is something I completely applaud. For the rest of it, though, I
        > will repeat that I find it extremely saddening that the examination and
        > questioning of conventional schooling which all systems of alternative
        > education undertake is not something perceived as having universal,
        > every-child-alive relevance. I made my top-of-the-head suggestion on the
        > NIOS not because I thought the NIOS was a school -- being an access
        > point for scholastic evaluation, I proposed it merely as a means of
        > assessing whether children not in school are receiving the informational
        > inputs appropriate to their age group (which in the conventional
        > framework is about all that is understood by 'education'). Richer,
        > better-thought-out suggestions on how to meet the requirements of the
        > Act while keeping open the space for challenging India's present system
        > of mainstream schooling would be very welcome from those who know more
        > on the matter.
        > Cheers, -s.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > > Similarly, it is the 'right' of every 18-year-old woman and
        > 21-year-old man to get married. But that does not IN ANY WAY mean that
        > whenever you come of that age, YOU HAVE TO GET MARRIED, does it?> > So,
        > the point is, that NO CONSTITUTIONAL 'RIGHT' can ever be a 'COMPULTION'
        > - because that totally defeats the point of it being a right! A 'RIGHT'
        > is a power to CHOOSE - BOTH FOR AND AGAINST that particular thing!> >
        > (This is the 'sticky one!)> 2) Who is the RTE-ACT meant FOR?> It's meant
        > for the CHILDREN, right? It gives every CHILD the 'Right To Free &
        > Compulsory Education'.> > When we, as conscious, thinking individuals
        > are trying to OPPOSE this Act, because all of us, from varying
        > perspectives, feel that the act is FUNDAMENTALLY skewed, shouldn't we be
        > keeping in mind the fact that it is the CHILDREN, and ONLY them, that
        > are REALLY at stake here?> > I have a number of very good friends who
        > have chosen to home-school their children. I am unmarried myself. But if
        > I had children of my own, I think I too would choose to home-school them
        > - simply because I have not come across a school which seems to me to be
        > REALLY bothered about the education of children!> > However, I also have
        > a number of ISSUES with certain pit-falls of home-schooling:-> NUMBER
        > ONE being;> THE CONSTANT 'RISK' OF THE PARENT(S) BECOMING THE 'AUTHORITY
        > FIGURE' WHO CHOOSES "ON BEHALF OF" THE CHILD, which in my opinion is one
        > of the very malaise that plague today's schools and PREVENT CHILDREN
        > FROM RECEIVING A CREATIVE AND MEANINGFUL EDUCATION.> > For me, the MAJOR
        > ISSUES about the RTE-ACT are three-fold:> > a) By it's own assertion
        > (The haloed "Title" of the act), it is a right given to every Indian
        > child to "EDUCATION" - NOT NECESSARILY AND ONLY to "SCHOOLING".> By what
        > LOGIC is it being ASSUMED by the State that 'education' can, and is,
        > imparted ONLY THROUGH THE MECHANISM OF "SCHOOLS"?> > [NOTE: This point
        > is directly and indirectly related to such varied concerns as 'elitism',
        > 'non-inclusiveness' and 'the continuing and damaging disregard of
        > society for non-academic expertise and learning']> > b) If it is a RIGHT
        > for children to get 'educated', then does that not AUTOMATICALLY imply
        > that each child is FREE to choose WHERE AND HOW her/ his education is
        > going to take place?> In other words, if this so-called "right" ENFORCES
        > a child to regularly attend a local school where she/ he effectively
        > ONLY WASTES PRECIOUS TIME, since it is a defunct unit with no
        > infrastructure or will, then DOES THE OBJECTIVE OF THE ACT ITSELF get
        > fulfilled in ANY WAY - that of "educating" each child in the country?> >
        > [NOTE: I think if each CHILD is actually EMPOWERED TO CHOOSE where, how
        > and with whom they shall receive their EDUCATION, it will automatically
        > negate such worries as "whether a 'poor-uneducated-man' is EQUIPPED
        > enough to 'home-school' his child - the CHILD will never, if TRULY given
        > the RIGHT, choose such a father as their 'educator'!]> > c) No 'RIGHT'
        > can, at the same time, be a 'COMPUNCTION' !> So, the point in the
        > RTE-ACT that is UNACCEPTABLE to me is the coinage "Free & COMPULSORY
        > education".> > Having said all that, living in remote villages over a
        > very long period of time, working with underprivileged children to try
        > and help them cope with their 'school-work', and finally, having myself
        > STUDIED in such a rural school as a kid for over a year, I have VERY
        > LITTLE ILLUSSION about the real outcome of this, or any other 'Act'. In
        > terms of providing real education, which will help rural children
        > (people)achieve the RESPECT as an individual that the Constitution
        > 'guarantees' them!> > Anyway, my heart-felt cheers to people like
        > Sandeep, Ramdas and others - people who have the courage and
        > perseverance to take up the challenge of confronting the System in its
        > own term!> > Aaditto.> > > > --- In alt-ed-india@yahoogroups.com, saloni
        > srivastava <salosandeep@> wrote:> >> > I'm sorry if that sound's elitist
        > ... no other comments .... and please suggest alternatives, anyone!> > >
        > > --- On Fri, 4/16/10, shyama.haldar <shyamadot@> wrote:> > > > > >
        > From: shyama.haldar <shyamadot@>> > Subject: [alt-ed-india] Re: Key
        > elements of petition to Min of HRD as directed by Delhi HC (very rough)>
        > > To: alt-ed-india@yahoogroups.com > Date: Friday, April 16, 2010,
        > 12:49 PM> > > > > > Â > > > > > > > > and i will also add, Sandeep,
        > that i do not think the petition has a prayer of success if it takes an
        > elitist stance -- some rules for BPL parents, other rules for
        > 'qualified', higher-income ones. again, we're talking the Constitution
        > here, and elitism is something the Constitution tries hard to avoid
        > being seen encouraging. > > > > --- In alt-ed-india@ yahoogroups. com,
        > "salosandeep" <salosandeep@ ...> wrote:> > >> > > Dear Joyce > > > > > >
        > I thought of exactly the same till ten days ago - every parent has the
        > right to home school / alternate school - BUT THIS IS WHAT IS APPARENTLY
        > HAPPENING i.e. children are not going to school! ANY ACT IS MADE FOR
        > MAJORITY AND NOT EVERYONE - AND WE NEED STRICT RULES FOR NONEXCLUSION
        > FROM SCHOOLING IF SCHOOL ENROLMENT HAS TO BE 100%! That's why those
        > eco/edu barriers and simple exception too - everyone agrees that your
        > child has to educated the worldly way onme way or the other and that's
        > why some form of assessment by govt (33% pass mark) for home schooling
        > to continue - BUT I GUESS IT NEED NOT BE AGE SPECIFIC BUT A BAND
        > RELATED.> > > > > > BUT LET'S NOT FORGET THAT THE ACT IS TO STOP
        > EXCLUSION OF POOR PEOPLE AND WE MUST NOT LEAVE LOOPHOLES THAT ARE GOOD
        > FOR US! I DON'T AGREE THAT ILLERATE PARENTS CAN HOME SCHOOL OR HOME
        > SCHOOLING IS CHEAP OR EASILY AFFORDABLE (IT COSTS US REALLY A BOMB
        > EVERYMONTH AND SO-CALLED PROFESSIONAL 'COMPROMISE' TO RIGHTLY HOME
        > SCHOOL OUR DAUGHTER).> > > > > > ONCE AGAIN THE ACT IS TO ENSURE NO
        > EXCUSES FOR BPL FAMILIES! > > > > > > And thanks again I got two finer
        > points Joyce and will add to the petition ... please read it again as I
        > put the evolving drafts of the same before petition to MHRD.> > > > > >
        > I'll certainly CIRCULATE BLORE MEET DETAILS ON MONDAY.> > > > > >
        > regards> > > Sandeep> > > > > > Anyway our differenetly abled children
        > are beyond the act - I'm adding clauses to that effect. > > > > > > ---
        > In alt-ed-india@ yahoogroups. com, "da_hrii" <da_hrii@> wrote:> > > >> >
        > > > > > > > Hello to all and to Sandeep> > > > Thank you everyone for
        > your work on the RTE. I agree with another writer that we who are too
        > far away from Bangalore would appreciate minutes of the meeting you are
        > having. Thanks in advance to whomever would volunteer to be a secretary
        > and keep us informed. > > > > > > > > I would like to express several
        > points on the key elements of petition that have been listed.> > > > > >
        > > > 1. As far as the testing mentioned, (I am referring to this quoted
        > text from the previous posting below :> > > > > > > > However, the Right
        > of indoividual implies that it cannot be> > > > > > discreminiatory on
        > economic or educational grounds and thus the provision of> > > > > > the
        > sort that first-generation learner's can be home schooled despite> > > >
        > > > parent's economic or educational qualifications if they can show
        > adequate> > > > > > comptenece in standardised assessments for their age
        > level.)> > > > > >> > > > > > > > > > > > The true beauty of home and
        > alternate schooling is that each child is different and able to progress
        > at their own speed according to their own gifts. I certainly do not feel
        > "competence in standardized assessments for their age level" will prove
        > the level of learning, and strongly would argue against such testing.
        > (Aren't we all discussing home schooling as getting away from that sort
        > of thing and allowing the child's curiosity and love of learning to
        > motivate him/her rather than fear of passing/failing an exam? ) > > > >
        > For ex., my 9 yr. old son has dyslexia and dyscalculia and is several
        > years behind in math and grammar/writing, but he is advanced in other
        > topics and bright in his own ways (he is able to orally narrate a
        > complex story and he can beat both his parents in a memory game where
        > you have to find matching pairs....) His schooling must adjust for
        > that.> > > > We also have an 8 year old dependent who came to us never
        > having any opportunity to attend school in the village. She has an
        > interest in learning but a very short attention span to sit down and
        > write her letters as would be required in a traditional school. However,
        > in one year, her spoken English has gone from zero to better than many
        > high school graduates around here. > > > > > > > > I'm sure many of us
        > have countless other ex., but the point is, there are no standardized
        > tests which could accurately reflect the "learning" of these students.>
        > > > > > > > > 2. Also, in order to fully protect the rights of the
        > parents to home school, there can not be any restrictions on parents'
        > education, economic level, etc., or else freedom to home school is not
        > truly freedom. > > > > > > > > We who are home schooling or doing
        > alternative schooling strongly believe that the home, i.e. the parents,
        > are the best equipped to impart our children with the education (I refer
        > to education in a very broad sense and not just the rote learning that
        > goes on in state run institutions) they need for life.> > > > Our
        > parental rights must be protected in order for this to happen. I do not
        > feel that any addition to the RTE should have to define, as written
        > below, any fine points of qualifications for parents or children to
        > engage in home schooling, but should simply guarantee the parents' right
        > to engage in home or alternative schooling without restrictions.> > > >
        > > > > > > > > > Thanks for your time and efforts. Best regards,> > > >
        > Joyce > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > --- In alt-ed-india@
        > yahoogroups. com, Suryaprakash Kompalli <neosurya@> wrote:> > > > >> > >
        > > > Hi Sandeep,> > > > > I would like to read through some of this
        > documentation. I have> > > > > found a few debate documents on the Lok
        > Sabha website, but nothing that> > > > > strings all of it together.> >
        > > > > I also wanted to know the timing of the Bangalore meeting on> > >
        > > > 18th. Id be very interested to attend. Let me know if we have to
        > register> > > > > somewhere for this.> > > > > > > > > > - Surya> > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > > On Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 11:02 AM, salosandeep
        > <salosandeep@ > wrote:> > > > > > > > > > > Hi Manas> > > > > > Thanks.>
        > > > > > > In the past two weeks I've read over 1000 pages on RTE
        > including the> > > > > > complete 700 page docket on all govt and
        > parliamentary debates on RTE in the> > > > > > past 13 years.> > > > > >
        > One of the things that emerged starkly for me is that (w.r.t. the
        > points> > > > > > raised by you):> > > > > > It's compulsion on state
        > (free and compulsory) but it's right for> > > > > > individuals to
        > decide about education and not vice versa> > > > > >> > > > > > This
        > means that the state will have to ensure NO ABUSE of any deviations> > >
        > > > > from compulsory education - e.g. a parent who is not educated
        > adequately> > > > > > should not be able to take the garb of Home
        > schooling (but it's his right to> > > > > > do so) and not educate
        > his/her children. Thus some conditions will have to> > > > > > come.
        > However, the Right of indoividual implies that it cannot be> > > > > >
        > discreminiatory on economic or educational grounds and thus the
        > provision of> > > > > > the sort that first-generation learner's can be
        > home schooled despite> > > > > > parent's economic or educational
        > qualifications if they can show adequate> > > > > > comptenece in
        > standardised assessments for their age level.> > > > > >> > > > > > What
        > we are trying to peition is a rather practical / workable soluytion> > >
        > > > > that supports the spirit of RTE - educating first generation
        > learners by all> > > > > > means!> > > > > >> > > > > > In fact the
        > first-variant of alternative education is new and it's proposed> > > > >
        > > for such children only - gifted in something other than academics also
        > -> > > > > > rich or poor!> > > > > >> > > > > > I look forward to as
        > many inpurts and opinions as possible so as to come up> > > > > > with
        > the best possible petition in the next week.> > > > > >> > > > > >
        > Thanks once again.> > > > > > Regards> > > > > > Sandeep> > > > > >> > >
        > > > > B.> > > > > >> > > > > > --- In alt-ed-india@ yahoogroups. com,
        > Manas Chakrabarti <learningbydesign@ >> > > > > > wrote:> > > > > > >> >
        > > > > > > Hi Sandeep,> > > > > > > I know it's too early to ask
        > questions ... I should wait to see the legal> > > > > > draft. But a few
        > terms just popped out of your "sketch" that I can't help> > > > > > but
        > get curious about: parent's education, parent's economic level,
        > progress> > > > > > through tests, pass percentage, socialization,
        > standardized assessment.> > > > > > >> > > > > > > Looking forward to
        > the draft ... and thanks for putting in the effort.> > > > > > >
        > Cheers!> > > > > > > Manas> > > > > > >> > > > > > >> > > > > > >> > > >
        > > > >> > > > > > > ____________ _________ _________ __> > > > > > >
        > From: salosandeep <salosandeep@ >> > > > > > > To: alt-ed-india@
        > yahoogroups. com> > > > > > > Sent: Fri, 16 April, 2010 12:14:59 AM> > >
        > > > > > Subject: [alt-ed-india] Key elements of petition to Min of HRD
        > as> > > > > > directed by Delhi HC (very rough)> > > > > > >> > > > > >
        > >> > > > > > > This sketch is just for sharing. The legal draft will be
        > offered for the> > > > > > group by Tuesday.> > > > > > >> > > > > > >
        > We see two dimensions:> > > > > > >> > > > > > > Home schooling :> > > >
        > > > > Parent's right to educate, not school in the sense of school, to
        > best> > > > > > nurure their children's nature.> > > > > > > The Act
        > should define the contours of such right such as:> > > > > > > Parent's
        > educational level, including the hands-on parent's> > > > > > > Parent's
        > economic level> > > > > > > Child's annual academic progress â€"
        > through tests by ... NIOS and> > > > > > securing the usual pass
        > percentage in one language, math, science> > > > > > > And the
        > exceptions to the first two cases and the conditions thereoff but> > > >
        > > > then enrolling in Alternate schools.> > > > > > >> > > > > > >
        > Alternate schools:> > > > > > > We see these being defined in three
        > forms -> > > > > > > 1. Organised home schooling to integrate a level of
        > (desired)> > > > > > socialisation (new cateogory of home schools we are
        > very excited about - a> > > > > > kind of home school 'cooperative' )> >
        > > > > > > 2. Gifted children academies in various domains - music,
        > cricket,> > > > > > painting, writing, ....> > > > > > > 3. 'De-school
        > or alternate school formats' to teach differently or> > > > > >
        > different subjects> > > > > > >> > > > > > > For all the three formats,
        > the Act needs to define -> > > > > > > A defined hours of schooling per
        > day> > > > > > > Adeuately qualified teachers in the gift of the
        > children> > > > > > > Teacher's qualifications to be appropriate for the
        > domain of learning> > > > > > > Teachers compensation to be driven the
        > by domain/trade and the popularity> > > > > > > No lower limit on number
        > of students â€" 2 students â€" min.> > > > > > > Physical
        > infrastructure â€" no need for dedicated infrastructure or> > > >
        > > > defined benchmarks â€" to differ by the domain> > > > > > >
        > Ideally, neighbourhood schools> > > > > > > Annual standardised academic
        > comptence assessments> > > > > > >> > > > > > >> > > > > > >> > > > > >
        > >> > > > > > > Send free SMS to your Friends on Mobile from your Yahoo!
        > Messenger.> > > > > > Download Now! http://messenger. yahoo.com/
        > download. php> > > > > > >> > > > > >> > > > > >> > > > > >> > > > > >>
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