Petition to Anurag Tripathi, Rina Ray, Prakash Javadekar, Satya Pal Singh, Amarendra Kumar Dubey, JP Nadda, Stuti Kacker, Priyank Kanoongo, RG Anand, Mandeep Kumar Bhandari
Stress hatao bachpan bachao
Please read on and sign the petition if you believe the primary school education, specifically in public schools, in our country is churning out more stress and its time to revisit strategies to ease it. Children have a right to a stress-free childhood, to be able to laugh and play with family and friends and to be able to spend once-in-a-lifetime carefree childhood while they are at it. Ease Education-Related Stress in Primary Schools This petition is being raised to address education-related stress among primary school children, specifically for children aged 3-11 years and specifically in public schools. While it may sound logical that the younger they start the better is the learning process, the situation around us speaks differently. Look around... small children are burdened by homework, tuition, tests, long school hours (often as long as 8 hours) and lots of writing work. They play lesser than we did at our age, and are bound by a routine more rigorous than they should be. In metro cities an average school going child spends close to 8 hours, including commute, outside the home....this is similar to an office-going adult’s routine!! Childhood or bachpan has taken a beating, a backseat while a rat-race of ranking and grading mocks at it. Private schools add to the quantum to stay ahead in the competition. Educationists often speak of holistic education but a lack of mandatory regulations or set of instructions, leaves loopholes and gaps in the implementation. Like me, many of you also may have at least once wanted to go back in time and change what mattered most to us in our education system and shaped our careers the way it did or more importantly, designed our thought process. Be it choices of subjects, duration of school hours, school infrastructure, curriculums, education policies, pedagogy, stress associated with learning or lack of technology. Of course, while wishing to go back is futile, hoping for a better education system for our children is certainly a choice and a plausible one. Formal schooling should begin at the age of five. Yes, five! It used to be four but currently we admit children to formal schools in nursery at the age of three....at an age when most of them are not even potty-trained, we send them to big schools among a flock of 30-40 students to learn a structured curriculum, away from the home for almost 6 hours!!! We need to let children be children, to learn through playing and exploring rather than formally dressing up and lined up in a classroom. But don’t they fall behind? No! They don’t. Simply because they actually start learning only when they are developmentally ready to learn and focus. By advancing their admission age we gain nothing but stressed out children losing out on their once-in-a-lifetime precious bachpan. For pre-schoolers schools should be breezy, enjoyable and fun places compliant to their EQs. They shouldn't have to carry any books/bag and their timings shouldn't be more than 3hours. School timings and duration should allow school children to be well rested as well as well nourished. Presently most students across India typically start school between 7:00-8:00am looking like zombies!! I have personally seen kids falling asleep in school buses while going to school in the morning. Most school children are able to sleep only by 11pm...add to it working adults who return home by 7-8pm entangles less family time with a good night's rest. How about actually creating a law stating that schools cannot begin before 8:00 am because research has consistently proved that children need quality sleep in the morning! 6 hours of active school time for all primary school children (5 hours for age 5-8years) with at least two breaks/recesses/snack times during the school hours should also be made mandatory by law. The 15-20 minute breaks refreshes the children and pulls them out from saturation. Further, what is the need to make Saturdays working in schools? Why can’t we allow relaxing family time over weekends? In metro cities, Sundays are clobbered...they end up being more stressful than weekdays. And so, Monday blues are more a fact than a fad! To strike a balance between rest, play and work Saturday-Sundays need to completely off with no exception. Weather-friendly school infrastructure, timings and vacations is another dimension that needs to be delved into. Longer winter vacations in cold climes, longer summer breaks in hot and humid regions as well as keeping national festivals in mind may end up giving up families more bonding and learning time than we actually may apprehend. Of course there will be variability according to geographical regions, but in principle, there should be standardization of school functioning. This will go a long way in ensuring that education is a purpose and not an obligation more so in private schools which in India are very rigorous and authoritarian. Class size is overwhelming in many private schools. A usual of 45-50children per classroom and per teacher is an appalling fact. What are we gaining by it? How is it possible for a teacher teaching such a large class to give individual attention to a child? Its a parallel to herding sheep together and letting them feed themselves on their own! Every primary school child needs individual attention...it makes sense to fix an upper ceiling of 25 children per classroom, per teacher. Instead of learning by subject, it should be learning by topic. Rote learning needs to be done away with. Age 3-11 is an age where no tests, no exams, no evaluation should be held to judge children who are still tender. Ranking/Grading in primary sections should be passé, learning by rote, curriculum by number of chapters and evaluations by a term-end exam are detrimental to the natural process of learning. Instead, there should be only three subjects, languages, mathematics and value education, for classes Nursery thru class 2. Focus should be on reading skills, value education, culture, social skills, communication skills, self-expression and self-esteem or in short personality development and grooming and special-needs. Fine arts, sports, dramatics, handwriting should make up as the curriculum. We should outdo our old-fashioned way of teaching where rows of students sit passively in front of their teacher, listening to lessons or waiting to be questioned. Instead there should be a more collaborative approach, with students working in smaller groups to solve problems while improving their communication skills. Teacher based assessments should provide feedback to parents and these shouldn’t be graded, scored or compared. Outdoor, practical learning opportunities and healthy related physical activity sessions should become a regular feature in the curriculum: helping to maintain a healthy body and mind. Value education should become a part of every book, every chapter, every subject rather than a stand-alone subject. By strengthening value education, we may be building an emphatic nation with more compassionate and less selfish individuals. A civilization that compromises on its basics actually mocks at its evolution! Concepts of science, environmental studies and social studies should be taken up from class 3 and taught in a more practical and interactive way. Again, value education should be a part of every book, every chapter, every subject rather than a stand-alone subject. Evaluation shouldn't have to exist till class 6. From classes 6-8 is when children should be introduced to an organized and structured curriculum and importantly, community service. Compulsory community service with credits or grades may be needed to graduate from middle school to high school. Classes 9-12 are when a rigorous evaluation should happen. Even then, children should be able to opt for individual subjects and make their own combinations e.g. physics and math with economics and English or biology and chemistry with sociology and French! The need of the hour is free thinking and choice-based grading system, conventional and rigid streams of science, humanities or commerce often leaves students in a lurch need to go...of course, this may need coordination with our institutes and universities of higher learning but it’s definitely thinkable, feasible to have a seamless integration of schools with Universities. Instead of herding them into a tsunami of academics which leaves them bewildered and exhausted by the time they are ready to enrol for higher education, we need to guide our children gently but firmly into confident adolescents. Before our kids mature into struggling adults, let’s make them happy children. They should be able to look behind them with pride and look ahead with confidence. Curriculum should be less 'academic'. LESS IS MORE...should be the mantra at least, for primary education...number of classroom hours and number of school days should not become defining for a holistic education. We are a nation completely obsessed with marks and percentages. Presently, the drive to do more and More and MORE is a state of existence for most schools and teachers ...it is engrained in us from day one. There is a constant pressure to push our students to the next level to have them do bigger and better things. The lessons have to be more exciting, more engaging and cover more content. The teachers too are constantly driven up the wall to not fall behind. And if they do, they enter the panic mode. This phenomenon is driven by our work-centric society where we gauge our success as a human being by how busy we are. We measure our worth with completed lists and we criminalize down time. We teach this “work till you drop” mentality to our students who either simply give up somewhere along the way or become as burnt out as we find ourselves at the end of the day. This mentality of “more is more” creeps into all areas of our lives and stifles our education system. We can’t even stick to ONE philosophy of education long enough to see if it actually works. We are constantly trying new methods, ideas and initiatives. We keep adding more and more to our plates without removing any of the past ideas. Currently we believe “more” is the answer to all of our education problems— everything can be solved with MORE classes, longer days, MORE homework, MORE assignments, MORE pressure, MORE content, MORE meetings, MORE after school tutors, and of course MORE testing! All this is doing is creating MORE burnt out teachers, MORE stressed out students and MORE frustration all the way till we give up! Look the other side: SMALLER class size means more attention, LESS testing means more learning. LESSER school hours means more planning and rest, LESSER classes means more breaks, LESSER curriculum means clarity of concepts, LESS homework means more participation!! We really need a rethinking of education and a redesigning of our system, so it prepares our children for the future with the skills that are needed for today and tomorrow. We need a change of mindset...we need to change the way we teach and are taught...it may look difficult but once we get going there won’t be any looking back. Standardization of pedagogy is urgently required to walk the huge divide in way we are taught in between urban, semi-urban and rural areas. While writing this petition I have the conviction that it’s feasible, together we can do it and it should be done. We need extensive co-operation between all relevant stakeholders, including local authorities and schools and the citizens. We owe to our children, to a better tomorrow. Haven’t we learnt it by rote that happy children make happy adults and a Happy Nation? Well, it’s now time to walk the talk!!
Petition to Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda, Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda, Arvind Kejriwal, Vasundhara Raje, Devendra Fadnavis, Vijay Rupani, Maneka Gandhi
End Female Genital Mutilation in India
At the age of seven, I was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Mumbai, in a most unhygienic and clandestine manner. The shock and trauma of that day are still with me. Like me, there are thousands of my Dawoodi Bohra sisters who have been subjected to genital cutting as children and even today thousands of Bohra girls are being subjected to this practice, since it has been ordained by the clergy of our community. A few months ago, women like me got together under the forum - ‘Speak out on FGM’ - to begin a conversation on this extremely secretive ritual which has caused physical and psychological damage to each of us in some way or the other. We the undersigned women, who have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) also known as ‘Khatna’ belong to the Dawoodi Bohra community which has its major adherents in India. The practice of FGM is done surreptiously and in a clandestine manner to all the girl children in our community, without any consent whatsoever. The alleged reason for this tradition is to curb the sexual drive of women and control them. The Dawoodi Bohras are amongst the most educated in India, yet we are also the only Muslim community in India to practice FGM. The practice has nothing to do with religion and is more of a cultural practice. Most of us are too scared to speak out publicly. We fear ostracization, social boycott and exclusion of our families from the rest of the community by our religious clergy if we object to the continuation of this practice. FGM has no health benefits, in fact it harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes with the natural functions of girls' and women's bodies. FGM is often done without anaesthesia, without medical supervision and sometimes the procedure goes horribly wrong. It often leads to pain, shock, tetanus, genital sores, excessive bleeding, etc. It also has long-lasting psychological impact on the victims, ranging from sexual disorders, fear of sexual intimacy, nightmares and post traumatic stress disorder. In December 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted a unanimous resolution on the elimination of FGM. Across the world FGM is being outlawed in many countries. Nigeria and Gambia recently made FGM illegal after women came together, campaigned and raised their voice. FGM is banned in over 20 countries in Africa itself. The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies FGM as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. According to WHO, FGM reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children. In Australia, three Dawoodi Bohras were held guilty of FGM recently by the Supreme Court of New Wales, Australia. The case was closely watched by the Dawoodi Bohra community in India. We urge the Government to pass a law banning this practice in India, such that anyone found involved in aiding, abetting and perpetrating this practice should be punished. Pressure of this law and fear of punishment will be the best way to put a stop to this cruel practice. I along with my Dawoodi Bohra sisters want to raise our voice against FGM in India and put an end to this. You can support us by signing this petition. Sign our petition and ask the government of India to act against Female Genital Mutilation! Masooma Ranalvi, Aarefa Johari, Insia Dariwala, Shabnum Poonawala, Nafisa Pardawala, Farida Ali, Tasneema Ranalvi, Hanan Adarkar, Shaheeda Kirtane, Tanvee Vasudevan, Ummul Ranalvi, Zainub Poonawala, Sana Vaidya, Zehra Patwa, Farzana Doctor, Fiza Jha, Zarine Hashim On Behalf of SPEAK OUT ON FGM
Petition to Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin
End Female Genital Mutilation in the Bohra Community #EndFGM
Suraiya, now 70, remembers only vaguely what was done to her private parts as a child – she just says it was very painful and traumatic. When asked about FGM, she remembers her mother taking her to a lady who must have been a midwife - that’s all. When asked if this was practice was acceptable or correct, she says that it is a custom and has been mandatorily followed by all Bohras to curb the sexual desires of women. Thankfully, Umi, her daughter was saved from this physical and mental agony. But not all women are so lucky. As a woman and as a conscientious citizen of India, our heart goes out to all our sisters of the Bohra community who have undergone this shameful, brutal and regressive practice, done without proper anaesthesia or medical supervision. The scars of this barbaric practice sometimes lead to lifelong repercussions for women, and they are unable to live and enjoy a normal life. FGM involves the cutting of the genitals (clitoral hood) of a girl child usually below the age of seven. World Health Organisation has declared FGM as a serious human rights violation and an act of child abuse. It has also highlighted the severe and irreparable damage caused by this cutting and the physical, psycho-sexual and emotional scars due to this practice. More recently, during a hearing of the case on FGM in the Supreme Court of India, Honourable Justice Dipak Mishra said that FGM is a violation of the bodily integrity of a woman. Sign our petition to ask His Holy Highness, Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, the leader of the Bohra Community on his visit to Indore to liberate the women of the community from the violent practice of FGM. Although the matter is already in the Apex Court, if the directive to end FGM comes from the spiritual head of the Bohra community, it will be easier to put an end to this violent practice. The Government of India’s WCD Ministry has said that FGM is in clear contravention of our laws, the Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO). As concerned citizens of India, we feel, it is a practice that affects all of us. The shame and secrecy that shroud FGM needs to be challenged. No child should have to undergo this pain and trauma – a clear case of child abuse! There is a significant presence of the Bohra Community especially in Indore and other parts of Madhya Pradesh. We, the women of Indore, on behalf of the Bohra women call upon all conscientious citizens, to support our petition to put an end to this primitive painful practice. Sign this petition to ask Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin to declare an end to FGM! The time is now. Dr Ranjana Sehgal and Ms Umi Saran, Petitioners
Petition to The Principal
We want justice for our Little Angel & Assurance of best Safety for children
Please join the petition to condemn this heinous act of sexual abuse of a four year child of GD Birla Centre For Education, Ranikuthi, Kolkata. This is the second incident happened in three years (Last one 10.11.2014 & now 30.11.2017), but it is very unfortunate that things remained unchanged. There is no CCTV camera in the school yet! The arrest of the two male teachers involved in the crime is not enough. The principal , Teacher in Charge are equally responsible for this incident especially when the things has been repeated. I on behalf of all of you who supports this movement would like to participate in a petition for the below. 1. CCTV at all lobbies, play ground, common areas which is vulnerable. A public declaration from School Management is sought.2. Elimination of all male teachers and male sweepers to ensure more safety.3. Legal action again all culprits including principal & teacher in charge. 4. Expect more rational behaviour from the school management
Petition to Prakash Javdekar, Arvind Kejriwal, Anil Swaroop, Manish Sisodia
Central law to regulate fee hike across private schools in India
Schools have turned education into a business Private Schools are hiking their fees every year! From 15% to 25% and sometimes as high as 200%. No reasons given ,no consent taken. So where is all the money going? Clearly not where it matters the most as has been exposed by increasing incidents like the latest Ryan school tragedy. This Profiteering and commercialisation of education must stop. As a mother I have been struggled with the fee hikes myself. As a lawyer I have been fighting court cases on behalf of these aggrieved parents. The Supreme Court in 2004 had directed all state governments to enact a fee regulation act and constitute a fee regulation committee. Despite several such SC judgements only some states like Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Punjab, Gujarat Haryana and Rajasthan have enacted the act so far. However every state has a different fee regulation act. They have shortcomings which have come in the way of their proper implementation. Education is the responsibility of both the Centre and the States. The Central government must act now because states have failed in trying to curb this growing racket. That’s why I started this petition asking the Education Minister, Prakash Javadekar, to introduce a law to regulate fee hikes across all private schools in India. The MHRD can intervene in two ways: 1. Make an amendment in RTE act and include provision for regulation of Fees. Appoint a committee at the central level (central free regulatory committee)and state level (State fee regulatory committee). The committee at the central level should be an appellate body. 2. Make a separate legislation with stringent provisions for fee regulation. Under this there can be a fee regulatory bodies both at the central, state and the district level. a. The state and district committees should be empowered to look into the accounts of the schools and trusts to check for any profiteering and commercial activities.b. The committee should be able to penalise any school found to be charging excess fees. The excess amount should be refunded to parents.c. For fee revision it must be mandatory for schools to submit their proposal and justify the hike. d. Schools should not be allowed to collect fees till their accounts have been verified by these committees. The verification should be displayed on the school notice board e. Parents should be able to approach these committees in case of fee disputes or complaints Government intervention is the need of the hour to ensure that education does not become a tool to siphon off money. School should be free to set their fee structure provided it is reasonable and not amounting to profiteering. I therefore request the HRD minister to step in and bring about the much needed reform and consider this proposal for enacting a central legislation or to amend RTE act.
Petition to Maneka Gandhi, Maneka Gandhi, CBSE, ISCE , Maneka Gandhi
Teach Kids & Teachers How To Fight Sexual Abuse: Make it part of the syllabus
Trigger Warning: Content About Sexual Abuse I was 4-years-old when I was sexually abused. It was a trusted family member. I was too confused to know what was happening. When I was 8, the caretaker of my apartment molested me by pretending to play a game. My aunt laughed at me when I tried to talk to her. What happened to me continues to happen to thousands of children across the country. In these horrible times, no child is safe. That’s why I want schools in India to have compulsory Personal Safety Education. I was abused till I was 19 years old. But not one person noticed what I was going through. My education suffered and they blamed me. They didn’t see the depression. They didn’t even see the physical signs. Throughout my childhood I kept looking for a safe space. But it isn’t easy to talk about abuse in India. Children must learn how to be safe, to identify and avoid predators. Teachers and staff must learn how to identify signs of abuse and provide counselling and parents must learn how to protect their children. And should a child ever face abuse or even the possibility of abuse, they will have a teacher they can trust and safely turn to. A teacher who won’t laugh it off, who won’t ignore the warning signs, who will be there for the child. I’m asking the two largest school boards in India - CBSE and ISCE to make Personal Safety Education a compulsory part of the syllabus. This will impact lakhs of children in India. Sign my petition now so that I can show the Government, the CBSE and ISCE that lakhs of Indians want their children to be safe. Help me make this country a little bit safer for children.
Petition to Ministry of Human Resource Development
Enable courses on Child rights in India
Hello People, I am the Youth of this country as you are,as ordinary as the person who sits on the couch and explore the possibilities of 'if'.For people who are the runners of this democracy of this country,they are really working hard so that we sleep peacefully,and we aren't surrounded by the problems,but still Chaos is made and decision is done.Decision makers as we call them,they have the autonomy to turn the tables at the very last moment. The things I am talking about above may sound very philosophical but as a Youth when I put them down on paper ,I am surrounded by n number of problems with no solutions and then my table turn to those decision maker.From my side as a Youth,i can only write,i can only take out campaigns,i have the power to stand up for someone's right. In this Chaos , verdict by the Supreme court is a welcoming one.It is a celebration time for many individuals,civil society,lawyers & professionals who have stood up.Again,many people now may take this opportunity to pen down about when their rights will be answered,I as a Youth is talking about the those million of childhood dreams who are deprived of their rights just because they are unaware of them so what are we supposed to do then. Oh wait ,I know ,'We tend to wait for the headline to appear -9 year old raped by the guardians' or ' 9 lakh calls on Childline are silent calls-Times of India' . I want to sincerely ask the Ministry why aren't their scope of study to talk on Child rights in India ,if there is then why isn't there market for the Youth like us to explore the study.I have been really interested in studying on Child rights and its issues but I feel helpless for if I want to explore the courses there are none except for one or two.Why isn't India-a developing economy as you say is progressing on the issue as the outside economies are.If I want to study specifically on Masters in Child Rights,then why do I have to explore the opportunities in United Kingdom to work for my county.According to https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/world-day-against-child-labour-2017-key-statistics-2302279.html 1 in every 11 Child is a labour. I appeal to the honourable Ministry of Human Resource Development to bridge the gap between the social imbalance caused in the economy by not just focusing on the economic causes. An appeal to the Youth and their guardians'to bring back the courses on Child rights in college.
Petition to KeSCPCR (Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights), Prof. C Ravindranath, Sri. K. V. Mohankumar IAS
Make Personal Safety Education (PSE) Compulsory in Kerala Govt Schools #TeachKidsSafety
I was riding my scooter when a flashback of having been sexually abused came into my mind for the hundredth time. The next thing I knew, I was lying flat on the road and my right leg was under my scooter. From the age of 3 to 14 the men who have sexually abused me include a domestic help, a family member, a shopkeeper and a doctor. I only realized it was called ‘child sexual abuse’ when I turned nineteen. The multiple incidents of abuse affected my physical health status, my academic life, my self-confidence and my emotional well-being. I felt confused, sad, ashamed, guilty, restless and lost for years. Don't we as a society want to protect our children from all this? This is not just my story. One out every two children has been sexually abused in India which is the country with the world’s largest number of child sexual abuse cases (WCD 2006, NCRB) and the abusers are often the people we trust, the people with whom we think our children will be safe. To battle this, I got myself trained as a Personal Safety Educator and have been training school children about how to recognize, resist and report abuse. But to reach every single child, the government needs to implement this. I am asking the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KeSCPCR) and the Minister of Education Prof. C. Ravindranath to order that all government schools in Kerala introduce Personal Safety Education (PSE) compulsory training for students, parents, teachers, and staff. This can easily be achieved since these sessions need to be conducted only about once or twice a year based on the school’s needs. I choose Kerala because once we form a model state for this (Bangalore and Meghalaya are places which have already begun), other states and schools will follow the lead. The Kerala State Policy for Child (KSPC) 2016 already mentions that the State wishes to provide abuse awareness and life skills sessions to children and adolescents. Introducing Personal Safety Education (PSE) can achieve both these goals since it covers both life skills and personal safety lessons. Every 15 minutes a child in India is sexually abused as per the latest study by CRY. Sign my petition to ensure children grow up in a safer world.