Chhattisgarh puts a chapter on RTI Act in school books
Chhattisgarh is introducing the Right to Information Act (RTI) in school curriculum in a move aimed at making its people more aware of their rights at an early age and growing a culture of transparency in the young state.
The State Council for Educational Research and Training has decided to included an extensive chapter on the RTI Act in its proposed books for class VIII in the upcoming academic session in what may be the first such attempt in the country.
SCERT director Nand Kumar told The Indian Express that it is an attempt to make education more relevant and practical for school students. "Our decision to introduce a chapter on RTI aims at providing the power of knowledge to our students," he said. Kumar is also the secretary of an agency for the implementation of the RTI Act in Chhattisgarh.
"The chapter is being introduced in the syllabus on an experimental basis but we aim to make it a permanent part of curriculum for students of social studies in all senior classes," Kumar said.
The chapter, titled Suchna Ka Adhikar, in the social science book for class VIII explains through examples how it can be used to protect a person's rights.
It also details how a person can approach a government department for certain information, how and what amount of fees need to be paid and what the grievance redressal mechanism is, if the person is dissatisfied with the information provided by the authorities.
A case study in the chapter depicts how a group of daily-wage labourers, in a backward Chhattisgarh village, were being paid lower than mandated wages. A labourer's niece comes to know of the Act and files a petition under it, and secures the correct wage for the workers.