Charter of Demands by Children

We, the children and adolescents of India, demand from our government:

UNICEF
Charter of demands by children
UNICEF
20 November 2021
  • To ensure equal access to online learning

    Since the COVID-19 pandemic and due to school closure, we have been struggling to attend classes and learn. Online education helped many children to continue their education during this challenging phase. But a lot of children, especially in rural areas, could not receive online education as they had no smartphones or internet connection. We demand equal access to online learning, and the government should ensure that every child has access to digital devices and a good internet connection.
     
  • Reopening of schools with COVID-19 safety measures

    We demand safe reopening of our schools. The school administration and the government should ensure all COVID-19 safety measures like vaccination, thermal screening, availability of masks in school, regular sanitization and physical distancing.
     
  • Waiving off the school fees

    Several children from rural areas and low-income families had to drop out of their schools for not paying the school fees. We demand the government to waive off the school fees for such students to help them complete their education.
     
  • Streaming classes for children on television

    If the pandemic continues or gets worse, we demand our classes be shown on television so that the children who don't have access to online education can watch them.
     
  • Reducing the size of the syllabus

    Children face difficulty in understanding concepts through distance learning, and it is much more time-consuming. Hence, we demand to reduce the size of our yearly syllabus.
  • Focusing on extra-curricular activities

    We demand a renewed focus on extra-curricular activities as they help build our personality and contribute to our mental and physical well-being. Schools should resume the cultural and sports activities as they begin to reopen.
     
  • Including students in decision making at the school level

    We demand to be treated as equal stakeholders in the school decision-making process, and the school authorities should create space for voicing our opinions and challenges.
     
  • COVID-19 vaccination for all children

    We demand free COVID-19 vaccination of children so that we can freely interact, play and learn.
     
  • Mid-day Meals in Schools

    Throughout the pandemic, we have missed enjoying our food together. We demand to resume mid-day meals in schools where we can enjoy nutritious food with our friends.

Additional requests:

  1. Creating awareness among school staff on COVID appropriate behaviour.
  2. Training our teachers on creative ways of online learning and supporting our mental health issues.
  3. Bringing education policy changes in the COVID times

About the Charter of Demands

More than 1500 children from different states of India came together for an online  session facilitated by Pratyek (A Civil Society Organisation that convenes NineisMine Network, a network of child rights organisation across India). These children are active members of children’s parliament and have been engaging in multiple advocacy initiatives. Majority of these children hail from marginalized and vulnerable communities.

The facilitated session took them through a set of questions which were designed with Save the Children team which consisted of what sort of support they would like to receive from stakeholders (teacher, principal, parents etc.), what did they miss the most during online education, what all demands they would like to place to government stakeholders and much more. The solutions and demands feature in the Children’s Charter of Demands.