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News 2013 � June

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BREADS Consultation on Millennium Development Goals at Davangere

By Fr Joy Nedumparambil SDB
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Bangalore, Jun. 28. Bangalore Rural Educational And Development Society (BREADS), Bangalore, organized a consultation on Millennium Devleopment Goals Post 2015 at Davangere on 25 June 2013.  This consultation on Children and Education was the second in a series of three conducted as part of the advocacy initiated at the national level by the NGO Wada Na Thodo Abhiyan (WNTA) to collate people's voices to influence the development of a framework for Millennium Development Goals MDG.

The programme was hosted by Don Bosco Child Labour Mission DBCLM, Davangere, and held at Babuji Child Health Institute and Research Centre - Auditorium.  Organized in collaboration with the NGOs in the district, the consultation sought to provide a platform to bring together civil society/stakeholders comprising of Government Officials of different departments like Labour Department, Women and Child Welfare Department, Education Department, Police Department, Social Welfare Department, Child Welfare Committee, Juvenile Justice Board, Special Juvenile Police Unit[SJPU],  District Child Protection Unit [DCPU], Zila Panchayat, NGOs, representatives of SDMC, Gram Panchayat, SHG, Youth, Teachers, members from the Media and Children with the intention of eliciting their opinion and listening to their voices in forming the post 2015 Millennium Development Goals MDGs Agenda.

Among those present at the inaugural ceremony were: The  Honourable D T Devendran, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr. A B Hemachandra, Chief Executive Officer of Zila Panchayat; Mr. H L Guruprasad, Assistant Labour Commissioner, Bellary Division, Davangere, and many others.

After the inaugural ceremony, Mr. Satish G C from CRT facilitated the resource sessions and presentations post group discussions. He initiated the resource sessions with a presentation on ''Education as a Right - Right to Education RTE Act'', followed by Ms Kathyayini Chamraj, who elaborated on ''Governance in Education''. The last session was on ''Common system of Education'', by Mr. Roopa Naik.

The 146 participants including 21 children were part of the meeing. The children were treated as a separate group and facilitated to discuss the issues.

The recommendations presented, especially by the children, are summarized below.

1. Make the Government schools as attractive as the private schools with all the facilities, without any discrimination.
2. Make sure that at least the President and Vice President of SDMC are educated so that they can play their role effectively. All SDMC members must be child friendly persons.
3. There must be equality in providing scholarships and facilities to all children.
4. Scholarships must be provided on economic basis as there are also poor people in other castes.

Recommendations from adult groups were seven and were stated thus:
1. A common system of education with uniform syllabus and fee structure must be established.
2. Children admitted under RTE quota must not be discriminated from the others.
3. English language must be taught compulsorily at the primary level.
4. Privatization of education must be checked by restricting the expansion of private schools.
5. Quality education must be ensured to all children in schools, without any differences based on the streams.
6. Construction work in schools must be done on tender basis to prevent malpractices and misuse of funds.
7. Education must be provided according to the child's learning ability and preference. This must be considered in the light of the freedom of the child and of providing opportunity.
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