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Ensure parents do not affect children's attendance in school, Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights tells state government

MUMBAI: Enact guidelines to ensure that "parental obstruction" does not affect a child's attendance in school, the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has asked the state government.

Seeking clarity from the state on sections 10 and 16 of the Right to Education Act, the commission has recommended penal provision against parents if they fail to perform their duty and against schools for withholding a child in any class without genuine and reasonable reason.

The order was recently passed in the case of a 13-year-old girl from Lokhandwala Foundation School in Kandivli who had missed almost two years of school due to a tussle between the school and parents. While Section 10 of the Act casts a moral responsibility on every parent to admit their child to school, Sect-ion 16 prohibits schools from retaining a child in the same class or expelling them until completion of elementary education.

The commission reinforced the parents' role while hearing another case on Tuesday. Little Angels High School in Matunga allegedly expelled two students after their parents didn't send them to school for several months. "It is easy to blame the school or the government...but parents are equally responsible in some cases...the parent too plays a very important role in educating a child," said A N Tripathi, secretary of the commission.
 

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