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Is it necessary to ensure the children above six years in anganwadis are admitted to regular schools?

Introduction

Children are the future of developing India. They can be mould the way we want. But what do we actually want? A child is so vulnerable that they can become saint or sinners. They can add value only when they are inculcated with moral values and education. The same has been observed by the division bench in Karnataka High Court comprising Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice Sanjay Gowda on 16th March 2021. The orally said that “It is most important to bring children back children back to the education system.” They added when a child attends the age of 5 to 6 years, it is incumbent to ensure that such child is admitted to regular school and not kept under the seal of the Anganwadi system.

Before we delve into this, let’s see what the Anganwadi system is. This system was propounded by Indian government in 1975 to provide service to rural children and combat hunger and malnutrition along with imparting education to children. Children in rural areas are already deprived of facilities as compared to children of urban areas. So, confining children to anganbadi is not appropriate for the growth of rural children. Article 21A of the Constitution of India states that every child up to the age of 14 year should be given free and compulsory education. So, in reference to the aforementioned article, every child should be equally given the facilities to avail education.

Backlog

Public Interest litigation was filed by Sanjiv Narrian along with Arvind Narrian and Murali Mohan regarding inadequate online resources provided to school children during online classes. They argue that it is the right of children to get free and compulsory education and the act of respondent is violative of article 21-A of constitution of India, RTE act 2009 (right of children to free and compulsory education), RTE act 2010 read with Karnataka RTE rules 2012.

Directions

The State Government of Karnataka made the statement that schools for 9th to 12th standard are open and physical attendance of the same is permitted along with 9th to 8th standard except in some areas of Bengaluru and those areas bordering Kerala state. While due to escalation of covid-19 cases decision of reopening school for class 1st to 5th standard is awaited. So, the court directed the State Government of Karnataka to file an updated report regarding the number of enrollment of children to school from anganwadi and what steps are taken to ensure children attend the school when classes are conducted physically.