Students slapped for asking for textbooks

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Dausa:  For 13-year-old Rekha Gujjar, it is a more important exam than Math or Science.  She had failed in Sewing at her school in Dausa last year because she didn't have a textbook. Clearing it this time around will empower her with a vocational skill - one that can help boost her family's small income.

But when Rekha and three of her classmates in this part of Rajasthan asked their principal for textbooks, they were slapped.    

The exam is scheduled for April 13.  And because they'd been told that if they failed again, they would have to repeat the year, they asked their teacher for help.

The textbooks were dispatched three months ago from Delhi but because the school didn't send anyone to collect them from the post office, the books were returned.

The principal then arranged five books for 30 students to share -because they lived together in the hostel, they could share, she said. Rekha objected to the fact that one of the precious books had been sent to a student who lives at home and whose father heads the school's management committee.

That's when the principal allegedly slapped four girls. She has now been fired.

But as the government tries to promote the Right to Education for every child, in villages like this one, learning remains a challenge that children have to conquer on their own.


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