Am committed to taking up 3-4 classes on RTI in a middle school civics class in Delhi.
I am writing to seek suggestions. My tentative plan is to cover the following aspects:
(a) a brief history of the Official Secrets Act and RTI; what is a public authority; where to find more information in the Act about rules, time limits, penalties, etc. Examples of questions that have been asked. Successes and failures.
(b) how to draft an RTI request (brief mechanics, with one example)
(c) common pitfalls arising from how "information" has been defined and interpreted (discussion of section 2(f)) -- with examples, exercises (specific suggestions for this part will be greatly appreciated; I am very limited by my own experience).
(d) strategies public authorities have used (discussion of section 8, plus what we've learnt of PA strategies only slowly on this website)
(e) how to search the CIC website to pick up ideas for a better draft of an RTI request; how to search for parliamentary questions (am sure kids will ask better questions!!). Exercises with mock question-answer sessions to help improve the draft of an RTI question (I want specific ideas for what would be good test RTI question-drafting exercises, to give pre-teens or early teens living in Delhi. My examples so far are not RTI questions but parliamentary questions which I'm sure even a bored teenager can easily improve upon.)
(f) using volunteer websites dedicated to the RTI Act.
From my experience on this website I am convinced that kids teaching adults about RTI is also going to be vitally necessary. They have some of the skills needed, that adults either never had, or have lost.
If you have ideas, comments, suggestions, to help improve this short course on RTI for kids, please post or send me private email. Do note that the intended audience of these sessions will be school kids in a civics class in Delhi. Best,