‘No takers for human rights education in Delhi schools’

October 15th, 2008 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) The Institute of Human Rights Education (IHRE), a non-governmental body which has initiated human rights education in schools across 11 states says that it hardly finds any takers in Delhi.”We had introduced IHRE’s education module in Delhi, but it did not sustain. Therefore although schools in 11 states are teaching the module for three years in middle school, there are none in Delhi,” Henri Tiphagne, advocate, who is a part of the IHRE initiative, told IANS on the sidelines of their national advisory meet in the capital Wednesday.

“We had identified 40 schools in New Delhi in 2006 for imparting human rights education, but somehow the initiative could not take off,” Tiphagne said.

IHRE, which is 10 years old, started their programme in Tamil Nadu with just nine teachers educating students of classes 6-8 on human rights. The programme was then rolled out in 10 more states - in both government and private schools - including Chhattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal, Tripura, Rajasthan and Karnataka.

While Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh will soon join the list, Assam, Mizoram and Meghalaya will start the same by January next year.

Puja Giri, a government school student of Raipur, Chhattisgarh, who was present at the meet said that the course has made her, and in turn her parents, more aware of their rights.

“I am in class six and have been learning all about our rights in school. Until now I was not aware of a lot of things - that I have the right to study, just like my brother does. A girl has the right to live and the practice of female foeticide is wrong,” Giri told IANS.

Shreya Das of West Bengal, similarly said that discrimination on the basis of gender is not right.

“If today I am discriminated against just because I am a girl, I will speak up,” she said.

According to its programme directors, IHRE’s programme reaches across to more than 300,000 students.

“Our aim is to reach across to every child in every school. By making children aware of human rights, will we be able to build a more sensitised society which respects people’s rights,” V. Vasanthi Devi, chairperson of IHRE said.

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