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Tag: RTE

Education Becomes a Fundamental Right of Every Child

RTE becomes a law from today, April 1st 2010, making education a fundamental right of very child in India (official Act). It took 60 years but nevertheless it’s here and now onus lies with the government, NGOs and public  in general to oversee the proper implementation of Right to Education. PM Manmohan Singh addressed the nation today regarding this new fundamental right. This was again for the first time any PM addressed the country on introduction of a specific law, but then again  it was no ordinary law, it was introduction of a new fundamental right. I am very excited about RTE but also keeping my fingers crossed.

HRD Ministry has set some Model rules for RTE implementation as well as clarified the definition of neighborhood school. As per the model rules finalized now, a neighborhood school for class I to V means an institution that exists within one kilometer. For class VI to VIII, neighborhood schools will be within three kilometers. The rules also ask the states to upgrade the existing class I-V schools to include classes VI-VIII.The model rules also state that the period of admission can be extended six months from the date of commencement of the academic year. Only schools run by a society, not-for-profit trusts and open to government inspection can be given recognition. The schools should not be used for commercial or residential purpose except for employees. (Source TOI)

The challenge lies in improving the quality of education and not just increasing the enrollment of children. Quality of education lies in the quality of teachers and improved infrastructure which requires adequate funds from Center and State both. Currently, more than 1.2 million additional teachers will be required for proper implementation of RTE across the country. But not being a skeptic here, I am very excited and it’s a great step forward. Next step is monitoring the implementation of this act as well focusing on improving the quality of primary education in India. Say what you may like to say about Sonia Gandhi and her minions but she along with Dr. Manmohan singh has been instrumental in making laws like RTI, RTE, NREGA a reality.

Well now time to talk about some of the things missing in the RTE:

  • – Only kids from age group 6-14 come under RTE, what will happen to who graduate from 8th class? What abut kids  below age of 6?
  • – No clear mention about facilities for kids with disabilities. The act mentions only mobility related disabilities, so what about kids with listening and vision disability?
  • – No mention about how to get back those kids into school  who are involved in child labor
  • – RTE provides for 25% reservation for children of low income group in private schools, that will cover the fee and possibly books but what about other expenses in these private  schools. RTE does not mention anything abut it and without those expenses kids from lower income group can not cope up in these schools.
  • – Adequate funds for implementation of RTE is another issue. But here is an interesting fact mentioned by Dr Viond Raina that many states such as UP, Bihar, Assam, West BEngal and Orissa are not even able to use up the allocated funds (there is an excess of Rs 10000 crores underutilized by these states from previous year). So, maybe funds will not be that much of an issue, proper implementation is an issue.
  • – Proper training of teachers is a must. The bill stipulates for hiring and deploying of teachers in next 6 month from now. More than 1.2 million additional teachers will be required to meet RTE requirement of student to teacher ratio (30:1). These teachers need to be trained in next 5 years to national norm.
  • -Also, another concern is that RTE allows for govt school teachers to be deployed in activities such as election duties, census etc. So who will teach kids in these schools esp in the schools with just 1-2 teachers?

There is a lot of scope for improvement and many amendments need to be made in coming times. Organizations like Asha and other NGOs need to keep pushing for that and we also need to monitor the implementation of this act with the help of our project partners and volunteers back home. But anyway, its a next step in forward direction.  RTE is in effect from today and we need to monitor its proper implementation and see how things unfold. Quality of education in Govt schools is of most concern and lets hope that it is given due importance by hiring and training teachers properly.

Leave a Comment March 31, 2010

Budget 2010 and Right to Education

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee presented the Union budget yesterday. Funds allocated to school education were increased from 26,000 crores to about 32,000 crores which corresponds to about 4% of GDP. RTE act becomes effective from April 1st 2010 which needs about 72,000 crore for its proper and complete implementation.  Even though the increase in school expenses is about 16% compared to last year, still a long way to go for RTE to become fully implemented and successful , but still hope for the best!!

1 Comment February 26, 2010

School Chale Hum- RTE to become effective from April 1st

An awesome video promoting education for all in India… Let’s hope Right to Education law gets implemented effectively. “Diluted version” of original Right to education Act becomes effective from April 1st this year making education a fundamental right for all the kids in age group between 6-14 years… (source PTI)

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Leave a Comment February 24, 2010


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