Hyderabad: Telangana State Planning Board vice-chairman B Vinod Kumar on Monday called on the youth to engage children in reading, sports and cultural activities in the wake of closure of schools due to pandemic. He emphasised the need to ensure that children do not waste time and instead put it to best use to hone their skills.
Participating in a virtual meeting with educationists, child rights activists, and representatives of various non-governmental organisations, Vinod Kumar lauded the services of organisations and also individuals especially youth volunteers who were organising remedial classes, sports and cultural activities for small groups of children in rural areas. Observing the need to support these activities, he promised to ensure supply of reading material, books, worksheets and other material through government schools’ headmasters to the school management committees or gram panchayats.
The participants in the meeting discussed the status of children and their education in the State during the pandemic. Citizen’s Committee for Children’s Rights was formed during the meeting to take the movement forward.
Speaking on the occasion, MV Foundation national convener M Venkat Reddy noted that many students were gradually losing the rhythm of education and getting drawn into the labour market due to the lockdown. Parents were anxious about their children’s education as schools have been closed down and feel helpless, he said. This uncertainty is also affecting the mental health of children, prompting some NGOs to keep them engaged through various initiatives.
Several NGOs, including MV Foundation, Vandemataram and Teach India, shared their experiences in reaching out to children and engaging them in activities apart from training them in language, logic and life skills. They also roped-in local sarpanches and members of school management committees in reaching out to children and providing necessary material. They emphasised the contribution of local youth to ensure success of their programme.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) former chairperson Shantha Sinha felt that the efforts of the NGOs was not only preventing children from becoming child labourers, but also helping many students continue with the rhythm of education. Telangana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Shobha Rani suggested the need to coordinate the activities with District Child Protection unit.
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