Tuesday, April 30, 2013

RTE activists train guns on pvt schools

RTE activists train guns on pvt schools

Kamini Mehta, TNN Apr 4, 2013, 04.48AM IST
 
CHANDIGARH: In the wake of the standoff between the UT administration and private schools trying to wriggle out of the RTE Act, advocates in the city have accused private school managements of deliberately holding up implementation of the Act. Most private schools in the city have not been entitled to reimbursement under the Right to Education Act for the last two years, city based RTE activists pointed out. According to them, private schools have been misinterpreting the RTE clauses and court verdicts and raising queries which have already been addressed in the Act. Education secretary V K Singh confirmed the development.

Elaborating on the reimbursement issue, schools have been raising repeatedly to shrug off their responsibility under the RTE Act, advocate Amar Vivek said, "The RTE Act clearly mentions that the amount will be reimbursed to private schools to teach children under the Act. Therefore, schools can't make it a condition for not admitting 25% children under RTE."
Clearing the confusion on whether private schools have to admit 25% of children from economically weaker sections under the RTE, plus 15% of children under the obligation of land allotment or if the 15% are included in the 25%, advocate Pankaj Chandgothia, a city based RTE activist said, "Clause 2 of Section 12 under the RTE Act reads, provided further that where such school is already under obligation to provide free education to a specified number of children on account of it having received any land, building, equipment or other facilities, either free of cost or at a concessional rate, such school shall not be entitled for reimbursement to the extent of such obligation.
This means they have to admit 25% children under RTE, including the children stated under the land allotment obligation." According to the advocate, in the last three years, schools have admitted less then 15% of children, which means most of them are not even entitled for reimbursement for previous years.
Advocate Amar Vivek pointed out that hardly any schools have been admitting children under the land allotment obligation. "In all these years I have been in touch with many private schools but hardly any schools fulfilled the 15% land obligation condition," he said.
Education-cum-finance secretary, V K Singh said, "It is true that there have not been more than 15% admissions under RTE in private schools and this is the percentage up to which schools have to admit children under the law of land. This means there will be no reimbursement. However, it is taking us time to make schools understand this." Justifying the stance of private schools, president of the Independent Schools' association, H S Mamik said, "Everyone is confusing it. We are only asking the UT to clarify which notification is to be followed by schools.
Regarding percentage of children to be taught under land allotment obligation, we have received three notifications, one in 1996, which read, admit 15% students, in 2001, it read admit 5% children and in 2005, it read everyone has to admit 15% children. We are just saying that if 15% children are to be included in 25% RTE seats, we will start charging a nominal fee from those 15% children as it is not free education like RTE."
Advocate Chandgothia stated that schools have been misinterpreting the Delhi high court verdict. "The verdict passed by the Delhi high court is on the 75% seats and not on the 25% seats under RTE. The schools have taken it as another excuse. Clause 1c of Section 12 under the RTE Act clearly states that in case of schools which impart pre-school education, the Act will apply to pre-school education," he said.

RTE activists in the city state that private schools are taking advantage of the leniency of the department. They blame the department for not being able to answer queries of private schools effectively, leading to confusion. "Every state is taking strict action against schools which have failed to implement RTE but the UT administration has been extremely lenient. Had it taken strict action against one school, everything would have fallen into place, Chandgothia and Vivek asserted.

RTE deadline passes, but 90 percent schools still to comply: Report

RTE deadline passes, but 90 percent schools still to comply: Report

New Delhi,Education, Wed, 03 Apr 2013 IANS

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) As the deadline for implementing the Right to Education Act expired March 31, a group of civil society organisations have claimed that less than 10 percent schools are RTE-compliant in terms of infrastructure and teacher availability.
They have sought a pan-India review of the implementation of the act.
The organisations, which come under an umbrella group called RTE Forum, Wednesday released a report on the implementation of the RTE Act.
Funds have been allocated, but growth has been "sporadic", the report said.
"While it is undeniable that additional government resources have been allotted, more teacher posts and infrastructure sanctioned, and administrative changes brought about, these efforts have been sporadic," said the report.
"The sheer fact that less than 10 percent schools are RTE-compliant in terms of infrastructure and teacher availability is reflective of the reality of poor performance on the ground," it said.
"The tough issue of adequate financing, regulation of private providers, setting up of a transparency and redressal mechanism have not been addressed on the ground".
It also points out that India's commitment to provide education to millions of its children has "stagnated, between centre and state".
On the positive side, the report highlights that 77 percent schools comply with the neighbourhood norms as per RTE, and are within reach of the community. When it comes to infrastructure, 79 percent schools have all-weather buildings, but only 50 percent have a boundary wall.
Around five percent of the schools in the sample were run in a single room, nearly two-thirds had three or more classrooms, and only a third of the schools had seven or more classrooms.
Nearly 80 percent of the schools also had teaching-learning material accessible to teachers and students.
When it comes to playgrounds, overall, 58 percent schools reported they had playgrounds, while 58 percent said they had some kind of play material. This ratio varies among states.
While in Tamil Nadu, 82 percent schools have playgrounds, states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and West Bengal still have to provide playgrounds to 44 to 60 percent of their schools.
Safe drinking water is available in 77.8 percent schools. In states like Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, more than 75 percent schools reported that they had separate toilets for girls.
However, in Odisha, only 14 percent schools had separate girls' toilets, in Andhra Pradesh, 46.3 percent, and in Bihar, 46 percent.
Teachers recruitment remains a problem, as the study shows only 56.6 percent schools comply with the pupil-teacher ratio of 30:1.
The study also found that while the act says no teachers shall be deployed for any non-educational work other than census, disaster relief and local, state and general elections, more than 47 percent teachers were involved in activities other than these.

Students just numbers in ‘Zero Loss’ theory?

Students just numbers in ‘Zero Loss’ theory?

04th April 2013 10:04 AM
The move to shut down 1,284 schools by the state government with low or zero enrolment could probably encourage school dropouts and child labour in far-flung rural and tribal areas. The announcement by the State Project Director of Rajiv Vidya Mission (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) to ‘merge’ government schools with zero enrolment or with a student strength of less than 10 with neighbourhood schools might have far reaching consequences due to the absence of suitable neighbourhood schools in these areas to fill the gap.
The process of ‘merger’ involves integrating teachers with a neighbouring school and then, moving students to the school. Minister for Primary Education and Sarva Shiskha Abhiyan (SSA) S. Sailajanath said students will be provided the cost of transportation in the absence of a neighbouring school within the specified radius of 1 kilometre as specified by the Right to Education Act (RTE).
But the minister’s words did not cut ice with NGOs. “If we take a look at the expenditure on transportation under the SSA budget allocations, the percentage is zero. In interior areas, there is no transportation facility nor are the roads accessible. Hence, parents are unwilling to send their children to schools farther away. Though there are plans to set up 355 model schools in the state in 2013-14, the ‘merger’ of schools discourages students in rural and tribal areas from pursuing primary education, resulting in an increase in the trend of being employed as a child labour,” observes P Ramesh Sekhar Reddy, program director of Mahita, an NGO which works in the field of development interventions.
Private schools deter the poor
The closure of schools results in few parents enrolling their wards in private institutions. In Chittoor district alone, 303 schools are up for closure this academic year of which 97 had stopped functioning around two years back. “There is a demand for English medium education in private schools. However, closing down schools in remote areas is not a solution as the size of habitations are small with an average 20 to 25 families living there and hence the number of students is less. These students cannot afford to enroll in a private school nor are the parents keen to send their children especially girls to schools faraway for security concerns as well as the money required for transport via share autos, as there are no buses,” says K.V Ramana of NGO Pragathi which works with the Yenadi tribes. A similar situation also faces Araku valley in Vizag where 46 schools are slated for ‘merger’ and 50 in West Godavari.
Tribal areas the worst hit
The fallout of ‘merging’ schools in interior, especially tribal areas, is unique. The dropout rates among SC and ST children in progressive classes increase due to the inaccessibility of upper primary schools in the vicinity. “Linking of Integrated Tribal Development Agency schemes to SSA in tribal areas works against implementing RTE in the true spirit. There are two District Education Officers appointed in these areas, one under the ITDA and one under SSA and there is little coordination between the two. Further, students usually stay at home during the sowing season of seasonal crops as well as cotton picking season and come back to school only in July though the schools reopen in June. There is no cognizance of such issues,” says S. Srikanth, project coordinator for Mahita in Adilabad district. He adds that the rule of ITDA to move tribal children to residential school system where students from a school are shifted to hostels at Gram Panchayat region in third standard results in high dropouts. “In a tribal habitation, the school has only first and second class. Separating the child at a tender age to a hostel on an average 5 kilometre away has adverse effects,” says Srikanth.
Absence of consultations
The provision for setting up School Management Committee (SMC) under RTE with participation from parents has not been adhered to and there is no provision of consultation with parents. “The school buildings after merger are usually converted into community halls or Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) centre. There should be a system of inter-linking primary education to such schemes,” observes P. Ramesh Sekhar Reddy.

90 percent schools still to comply with RTE guidelines: Report

90 percent schools still to comply with RTE guidelines: Report

03rd April 2013 03:36 PM
As the deadline for implementing the Right to Education Act expired March 31, a group of civil society organisations have claimed that less than 10 percent schools are RTE-compliant in terms of infrastructure and teacher availability.
They have sought a pan-India review of the implementation of the act.
The organisations, which come under an umbrella group called RTE Forum, Wednesday released a report on the implementation of the RTE Act.
Funds have been allocated, but growth has been "sporadic", the report said.
"While it is undeniable that additional government resources have been allotted, more teacher posts and infrastructure sanctioned, and administrative changes brought about, these efforts have been sporadic," said the report.
"The sheer fact that less than 10 percent schools are RTE-compliant in terms of infrastructure and teacher availability is reflective of the reality of poor performance on the ground," it said.
"The tough issue of adequate financing, regulation of private providers, setting up of a transparency and redressal mechanism have not been addressed on the ground".
It also points out that India's commitment to provide education to millions of its children has "stagnated, between centre and state".
On the positive side, the report highlights that 77 percent schools comply with the neighbourhood norms as per RTE, and are within reach of the community. When it comes to infrastructure, 79 percent schools have all-weather buildings, but only 50 percent have a boundary wall.
Around five percent of the schools in the sample were run in a single room, nearly two-thirds had three or more classrooms, and only a third of the schools had seven or more classrooms.
Nearly 80 percent of the schools also had teaching-learning material accessible to teachers and students.
When it comes to playgrounds, overall, 58 percent schools reported they had playgrounds, while 58 percent said they had some kind of play material. This ratio varies among states.
While in Tamil Nadu, 82 percent schools have playgrounds, states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and West Bengal still have to provide playgrounds to 44 to 60 percent of their schools.
Safe drinking water is available in 77.8 percent schools. In states like Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, more than 75 percent schools reported that they had separate toilets for girls.
However, in Odisha, only 14 percent schools had separate girls' toilets, in Andhra Pradesh, 46.3 percent, and in Bihar, 46 percent.
Teachers recruitment remains a problem, as the study shows only 56.6 percent schools comply with the pupil-teacher ratio of 30:1.
The study also found that while the act says no teachers shall be deployed for any non-educational work other than census, disaster relief and local, state and general elections, more than 47 percent teachers were involved in activities other than these.

RTE: Education forum demands PM's intervention

In view of unsatisfactory progress by schools in meeting the March 31 RTE deadline, an education forum today indicated moving to court for ensuring legal entitlement under the Act and demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention in the matter.

RTE Forum, a platform of national education networks and teachers, among others said they would demand that the Prime Minister convenes a meeting of chief ministers to ensure efficient implementation of the RTE Act.

The forum's suggestion came after a stock-taking review conducted by it in about 2700 schools spread across 17 states found that five per cent of schools still run in single classroom while 22 per cent do not have safe drinking water.

"We want the Prime Minister to call a meeting of the chief ministers and ask them to come up with a road map and conduct review meeting every six months for proper implementation of the Act.

"We do not have enough allocation for RTE implementation. Government should show the commitment," convenor of the forum Ambarish Rai said.

His comments came a day after HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju ruled out extending the deadline at the CABE meeting even as both Congress and non-Congress ruled states were in favour of extension.

Spelling out several parameters where the schools were found lacking, Rai did not rule out the possibility of "going to court".

He said "non-fulfilment of the rights is a violation of fundamental right and protection of Constitution is the responsibility of the judiciary" and demanded setting up of a monitoring committee under the court for looking into implementation of the provisions under the Act.

"There is a lot to be done to improve the scenario in many states Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh where only a small percentage of schools have separate toilets for girls," the forum said in its report.

Talking about discrimination in classes against girl child, Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and children with disability, it claimed they were not being allowed to sit on benches and not given leadership roles in classrooms.

"Further, private schools which are fulfilling the norms under the Act are charging hefty fees from the students," Rai said.

Reserving 25 per cent of seats for the weaker section in classrooms was not being properly followed by these schools, he said.

Only 7 percent schools RTE compliant: RTE Forum

Only 7 percent schools RTE compliant: RTE Forum

by Apr 3, 2013

Presenting a dismal record of the implementation the Right to Education (RTE) Act on completion of the three-year deadline to comply with the Act’s infrastructure norms and teacher availability, a stock taking report by RTE Forum, a national collective of education networks and teachers’ organisations, has estimated that only 7 per cent of the schools are RTE compliant.
The RTE Stock Taking Report 2013, which was released in the Delhi today, is based on a study conducted across 17 states and 2700 government and private schools as well as on secondary information from civil society organisations working on the field in various states.
Speaking to Firstpost, Ambarish Rai, National Convener, RTE Forum said, “The government’s view is that the compliance of schools of RTE norms is around 10 percent. But as per our assessment, RTE compliance is around 7 percent. This assessment is based on the combined findings of the study and secondary information gathered from various states.”
Issues, identified by the report, where action has been slow are ‘adequate financing, regulation of private providers, teacher recruitment, improving quality of teacher training institutes, setting up of transparency systems and redressal mechanism.”
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or the RTE Act, which came into force on 1 April, 2010 set a three year deadline to meet all norms except for the target of teacher training (for which the deadline is 31 March, 2015)
Representational Image. AFP
Representational Image. AFP
In a scenario where 8 million children are of out of school, a key requirement of the RTE Act — that of identifying out of school children, known as child mapping — the study finds, has been undertaken in 61 percent of the schools. Of these, however, only 40 percent of the schools kept a record or register of child mapping.
On the quality of infrastructure, the study states, “In India, one of the major reasons for poor education and learning outcome is the lack of sufficient school infrastructure in many parts of the country. A good number of schools still function in single or two room buildings with one teacher along with lack of other basic training infrastructure including teaching material.” As per the study, seven percent of the schools did not have black-boards and five percent functioned from single classrooms.
On the achievements made, the study highlights that 79 percent of the schools had all weather buildings and 77 percent of the schools complied with neighbourhood norms. (The National Model Rules on Right to Education lay down that there should be one primary school within 1 km reach and one upper-primary school within 3km reach).
Nearly 58 percent of the schools reported having playgrounds and 55 percent having libraries.
Drinking water, considered an important factor in attracting and retaining children in school, was available in 77.8 percent of the schools, as per the study. However, only 53 percent of the schools reported having separate toilets for girls.
With teacher vacancy hovering at 12 lakh, shortage of teachers remains a serious concern. As per the study, only a little more than half of the schools complied with the Pupil Teacher Ratio as laid down by the RTE act. (The Act prescribes a pupil teacher ratio of 1 teacher for 30 students in primary school and 1 teacher for 35 students on upper primary).
Highlighting the prevalence of social exclusion in schools, the study finds that the most predominant form of discrimination was not being allowed to sit on benches “which varied for Dalits (9.4 percent), Adivasi (5 percent), Muslim (7.3 percent) and children with special needs (7.7 percent).
The forum will submit a memorandum highlighting the key findings to the Prime Minister’s office on 4 April.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Uttar Pradesh has no money to fund school exams

Uttar Pradesh has no money to fund school exams

Isha Jain, TNN Apr 23, 2013, 03.47AM IST

(This situation has arisen…)
LUCKNOW: UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's much tom-tommed free laptop sop for students appears to have sucked away funds from the treasury to the point that it has left classrooms paperless. With exams looming, students of government primary and junior high schools (Class I to VIII) across the state have been told to bring their answer sheets from home and teachers told to write the questions on blackboards.
This situation has arisen because the state government has not made any budgetary provision for these annual examinations, slated to begin from May 7. The practical examinations for these students will begin from April 25. More than 1.4 crore students enrolled in over 1 lakh government primary and junior high schools will be affected by this.
"The government is absolutely mum on the examination expenditure,'' said a source. The issue was raised at the meeting of assistant directors (basic education) last week but the government gave no assurance that funds would come in for schools to buy enough answer sheets to see through the annual exams.
When TOI asked basic education secretary Sunil Kumar about the examination fund, he evaded the question. Instead, he said: "There is no concept of annual examinations in primary schools. Students are assessed throughout the academic session.''
The basic education director, however, contradicted the secretary. "Although students are not failed till class VIII, we hold the annual examinations to assess the quality of students and then plan improvement," said director Basudev Yadav.
Paucity of funds has left no scope for getting question papers printed and answer copies to be distributed to the students. While no top official is paying heed to it, Basic Shiksha Parishad has already asked the government schools to prepare question papers based on the model papers for Classes I-V and VI-VIII. The sample papers are already uploaded on the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) website.
"The government has decided to impart free education to all from classes I-VIII. But it hasn't allocated any funds for the examinations. Earlier, we used to get sports fee or development fee from the students which helped us in conducting the exams. But after the government banned this amount, conducting examinations has become a burden,'' said a primary school teacher.
A basic education official explained: "Teachers in some schools shell out money from their pocket to provide answer copies to the students. But mostly, students have been asked to get their answer copies.'' Another worry is where will the money come from for providing mark sheets too the students. "A similar situation prevailed last year but there were some funds which helped us. This time, it's nearly impossible to provide mark sheets to the students,'' said a teacher.
Per child cost of answer-copies
According to government officials, the cost of holding annual examinations isn't much. While students of classes I-II do not use more than two answer-copies, those from Classes III-V take around four to 10 copies. Students of Classes VI-VIII use maximum 15 answer copies. Taking this into consideration, the amount spent on a primary school student doesn't exceed Rs 10 while for a junior high school student, it comes to Rs 15.

Monday, April 22, 2013

'UT must take over schools breaching RTE norms'

'UT must take over schools breaching RTE norms'

TNN Apr 20, 2013, 04.39AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Pointing out to the alleged laidback attitude of the Chandigarh administration in tightening the noose around private schools flouting the Right to Education (RTE) norms, members of Citizens Voice group said the managements of schools which are openly evading the high court orders and RTE norms must be taken over by the Union Territory administration. Additionally, the minority status being sought by some prominent schools on the basis of 20 per cent Sikh students in their school will also be challenged by the group members.
"Schools are bound to admit students in the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category in every class and not just in the first or entry level class. The UT administration is acting against public interest to benefit private schools and thereby trying to wrongly suggest that admission under EWS category is limited only to the entry level class," members of Citizens' Voice emphasized this during a public interaction at Lala Lajpat Rai Bhawan on Friday.

Social activist Hemant Goswami said that soon various citizen groups would be moving a 'contempt of court' petition in the high court against officers of the Chandigarh Administration as well as the schools for violating the high court order, which clearly mentioned that 15 per cent students from economically disadvantaged sections of society have to be admitted in each and every class being run by the school, which comes to 15 per cent of the total strength of students in a school.
Advocate and social worker Nitin Goyal pointed out that private schools have been trying to escape from admitting EWS students on flimsy grounds just to save their 'elitist tag'. Goyal said, "Most states have started taking tough action against private schools violating the RTE Act, but the UT administration has still been trying to persuade the violator schools, which sounds comical since the schools have blatantly refused to fulfil their obligations.
Goswami claimed that a legal notice has been issued to the administration officers, including the administrator and the education secretary, alleging contempt of court and corruption within the administration. Sunny Mehta of National Students' Union of India (NSUI) said students of Panjab University have formed a group to fight against private schools not following RTE provisions.

Cuttack ready to Act on RTE quota


Cuttack ready to Act on RTE quota



CUTTACK: The district administration has taken initiative to ensure proper implementation of the rule reserving 25% seats in private schools for children belonging to economically-backward sections under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

The administration had conducted a survey in the district and prepared database of the children, who are eligible to get benefit under the rule. Till now 8,200 such children have been identified in the district and private schools in respective areas have been given a list of the eligible students so that the students will not face problems while getting admission, official sources said.

"There are around 84 private schools in the district, including Odia and English medium, and we have provided them a list of eligible children under the catchment area. Till now, 500 children have been admitted to different private schools and we are monitoring the situation very closely," said district project coordinator of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan Bijay Rath.

"The state government has decided to implement the RTE Act from this year and accordingly we have taken measures to ensure that the rule is implemented in letter and spirit. We have issued direction to private schools that if any irregularities or violation are found, then appropriate action will be taken against them. However, till now we have not received any complaint against any private school," said collector (Cuttack) Girish S N. He further added that the database was prepared with an aim to ensure that the private schools cannot deny admission to eligible students citing that they don't belong to their catchment areas.

The district officials are also convincing poor parents to admit their children in private schools. "Many poor parents are not willing to get their children admitted to private schools as they feel that their wards will be deprived of government benefits like midday meal, free textbooks and free school uniforms. But we are convincing them that they will get similar benefits in private school too," said a district official. However, the private schools are not happy over the rule. "The state government is yet to decide how much fees of the poor students, admitted against the 25% quota, will be reimbursed and how it will be done. In such circumstances, it is quite difficult to implement the rule," said principal of a school on condition of anonymity.

RTE rescues kids denied admission

RTE rescues kids denied admission

Kamini Mehta, TNN Apr 3, 2013, 05.52AM IST

CHANDIGARH: As many as 173 students under the general category, who could not make it to any of the city private schools in the pre-primary classes, might soon get lucky. The UT education department has asked the private schools to follow Right To Education (RTE) Act and convert the vacant seats and merge them into general after April 10.
At present, there are more than 400 seats in 48 private schools that are lying vacant. To fill up the vacancy, the department had called for applications under the EWS category from March 22 till 28.

The department has already forwarded to the schools 227 registration forms which they have collected and ordered schools to admit the eligible children. The department officials said that the schools are just shielding themselves by giving excuses for not admitting the EWS children.
The private schools have openly refused to admit EWS children following Delhi high court's verdict which states that RTE Act applies to children who are between 6 and 14 years of age.
Director Public Instructions (schools) Upkar Singh said, "This year, the schools were told in advance that they have to keep the seats vacant till April 10 so that efforts could be made to fill them. Post this date, they would be free to convert the seats. After April 10, the schools only have to send a notification to the department the number of seats still vacant and that they will be offering these seats to General category children on April 15."

Leeway signal for schools on RTE act

Leeway signal for schools on RTE act

New Delhi, April 2: The Centre appeared to throw a lifeline to thousands of unrecognised private schools facing closure because of failure to comply with Right To Education Act norms within a three-year deadline that ended today.
Action should be initiated against those schools that “have not moved an inch” but states may be lenient towards others, Union HRD minister M.M. Pallam Raju said after a meeting to review the 2010 act’s implementation.
The majority of the private schools would have taken some action and there are “very few” that “would not have budged an inch”, said a member of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), the apex advisory body on education at whose meeting Raju did today’s stock-taking.
The minister himself hinted as much. “The RTE Act does not permit extension of the deadline. The states can be a little lenient on the procedure of closing the schools. If some schools have not moved, action should follow.”
The act came into force on April 1, 2010, and was to be implemented within three years.
Under the law, unrecognised private schools were to get recognition from local authorities within three years. To get such a tag, the schools had to meet infrastructure norms and pupil-teacher ratios specified in the act.
At present, there are nearly 2.5 lakh private schools in the country. Of them, around 50 per cent could be unrecognised and technically face closure, said CABE member Vinod Raina.
But state education ministers who attended today’s meeting appeared sceptical about such a prospect. “We have to give some more time to the private schools to comply (with the regulations). Twenty-five per cent of the schools in Madhya Pradesh are private schools. Without private schools, we cannot implement the RTE Act,” said state school education minister Archna Chitnis.
Chitnis’s Maharashtra counterpart R.J. Darda wondered what the course of action should be. Raju then came up with the “budge an inch” suggestion. “I will urge the states to make some example by taking action against schools which have not budged an inch.”
Experts viewed Raju’s statement as a respite. A CABE member said it could help almost all unrecognised schools evade closure by showing some initiatives for complying with the RTE regulations.
“The majority of the private schools would have taken some action. There are, maybe, very few schools which would not have budged an inch. So a few schools may be closed by following procedures,” the member said.
Parth Shah, president of the NGO Centre for Civil Society that works on RTE issues, described the minister’s comment as a relief. “I welcome the minister’s statement. You cannot close down the private schools without creating alternative facilities. If you close (them) down, it will defeat the purpose of the RTE Act,” Shah said.
He said the government should continue to put pressure on private schools to comply with the norms.
The procedure for closure involves inspections by experts, issuing notices and giving the schools an opportunity to present their case. The process takes about a year.
The education ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Haryana expressed concern about another area — weak assessments in government schools against the backdrop of the RTE Act forbidding detentions up to Class VIII.
These ministers felt there should be examination and proper evaluation of learning outcomes. “There should be screening at every level. Children are not motivated to study as there is no examination pressure,” said Haryana’s Geeta Bhukkal.

Unaided schools accuse BMC of harrasing them over RTE norms

Unaided schools accuse BMC of harrasing them over RTE norms

Puja Pednekar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 03, 2013
First Published: 01:25 IST(3/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:27 IST(3/4/2013)

Advertisement
After many non-SSC schools, recently, received a circular from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asking them to follow admission norms under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the institutions have complained that they are being illegally targeted by municipal education officers.
The schools, which do not receive aid from the government, are exempted from the RTE Act 2009. But on March 21, the institutions, both unaided minority and non-SSC schools, were shocked to receive a circular issued by BMC education inspectors stating that they will have to admit 25% students from economically weaker families and disadvantaged groups.
The schools have complained to the Unaided Schools Forum that represents 200 institutions from the city. After the complaints, Subhash Chandra  Kedia, secretary of the Unaided Schools Forum has written to the education authorities complaining about the harassment from BMC officers.
In 2000, the school education department had issued a circular saying that the non-SSC schools have to directly report to the state school education department and their education inspectors. “The BMC has no authority over the non –SSC schools in greater Mumbai. And yet the officers continue to trouble our schools,’’ said Kedia.
Also, a circular issued by the state government on March 15 reiterated that the unaided minority schools do not have to implement the RTE act including the 25% quota admissions, he added.
Tauheed Shaikh, the BMC officer who issued the circular told HT that he had wrongly sent the circular to such schools.
“We understand that the schools are not under our purview. Circulars were sent to these schools by mistake,’’ he said.
Kedia added that the circular worried schools, and they have sent the details asked by the circular to the education department. ''If the BMC sent us the circular by mistake, they should have sent a clarification as well,'' said Kedia.

No extension in RTE deadline: HRD Minister

No extension in RTE deadline: HRD Minister

New Delhi,Education,Immigration/Law/Rights, Tue, 02 Apr 2013 IANS

New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju Tuesday said there will be no extension in Right to Education Act (RTE) deadlines but left the decision of action against non-complying schools on state governments.
Talking to reporters after a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), the minister said it was the general consensus in the highest advisory body on education that the deadline should not be extended.
"Though some states demanded extending the RTE deadline, as of now, there is a consensus in CABE that the deadline for RTE should not be extended," the minister said.
The deadline for implementation of RTE Act was March 31, 2013. However, a lot of states are lagging behind with schools lacking infrastructure, qualified teachers and other things.
Raju said the responsibility of taking action against schools for non-compliance of RTE Act was with the state governments. He, however, assured that non-complying schools will not be shut overnight.
"It is in the hands of state government to take action. There will be a process to it, there will be an inspection, then the schools will be sent notice, they can explain why they are not complying with the norms," Raju said.
He, however, added that action should be taken against schools which are in bad shape, or fail to follow the guidelines even after warnings.
The minister also said that the a lot has been achieved since the RTE was implemented.
"We have gained in creation of infrastructure, though more needs to be achieved. We are lagging behind in teachers' training, but there have been sincere efforts. But there is a positive spirit among the states to implement the act," he said.
Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh sought extending the deadline of RTE, while Maharasthra had sought the government to clarify its position on the issue.
Speaking in the meeting, several states had complained over not getting enough funds.
Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Jammu and Kashmir were among the states that complained that they were running short of funds for teachers' salaries as well as the reimbursements to private schools for giving admission to children from weaker economic sections.
In response, Raju said the budget had to be cut in the last fiscal due to economic slowdown, but assured the states of adequate funds this year.
Some states complained that the provision of no detention till class 8 was affecting the quality of education as well as attendance. To this, Raju said that a committee has been formed to look into this aspect of RTE, adding that no detention did not mean there should be no exams in schools.
Earlier, in his address at the meeting, Raju urged states and union territories to implement the landmark act.
The minister said that 12,000 more schools had to be constructed under the RTE, and added that reducing gender and social gaps was the key areas of focus for the government.
"A plethora of reforms is needed in the education sector. The debate has shifted from access to quality of education," Raju said.
The other important issues discussed in the meeting included the proposal of creating a national testing agency to hold all entrance exams, and including NationaL Cadet Corps and the National Service Scheme as elective courses at college level.

Basic failure

Basic failure

April 3, 2013:
While the implementation of the right to education (RTE) act has not been satisfactory in terms of admission of students from the underprivileged sections of society in many parts of the country, there is another area of concern relating to the infrastructural facilities in schools. When the Act came into force in April 2010, it mandated that all schools should set up the necessary facilities for education in three years.

These included buildings, an office for the headmaster, one class room for every teacher, drinking water facilities, separate toilets for boys and girls, a kitchen, boundary walls, a playground, a ramp for disabled students and adequate number of teachers. According to reports a large number of schools have failed to provide these facilities by the deadline of March 31 this year, and therefore they face the threat of closure.

The government has refused to extend the deadline. Union HRD minister Pallam Raju has said that 90 per cent of the schools have met the required norms. He also said that some government schools were also among those who are yet to put up the required infrastructure. But data from many sources and anecdotal evidence show that the 90 per cent figure quoted by the minister is an exaggeration.

Some estimates have put the level of non-compliance at between 40 and 50 per cent. The minister did not make it clear whether the funding for the defaulting schools would be discontinued and they would be shut down. This should not happen because millions of students would then be left without schools, defeating the very purpose of the universal and compulsory education programme.

The government should have monitored the progress of  schools in building the necessary infrastructure in the last three years. Even in many schools where the facilities have been provided they are not up to the required standards. The minister has said the enrolment rate has gone up to 96 per cent. While this is welcome, if it is correct, this will benefit students only if the quality of education, which depends much on the infrastructure and facilities available in schools, is good.

Students are found deficient in basic literacy and numeracy skills even after years in schools. The minister has himself admitted that shortage of teachers is a serious challenge. While most aspects of the implementation of the programme need to be strengthened, more attention should be paid to the basic requirements.

RTE Act: RHETORIC VERSUS REALITY


Published On: Sun, Mar 31st, 2013

RTE Act: RHETORIC VERSUS REALITY

April 1, 2013 marks the three years of Right To Education (RTE) Act implementation in our country. It is mentioned in the Act that all the norms and standards of RTE Act will be fulfilled within three years of the commencement of the Act. March 31, 2013 is the deadline for fulfilling all the norms. But, free, compulsory and quality elementary education for every child in public schools has not been fulfilled. Fortunately, Orissa was the second State after Sikkim to form rules on RTE Act but flaws and lopsided implementation have stood far from the desired targets.
As per the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2012, 96 per cent of all children in the 6 to 14 years age group in rural Orissa were enrolled in schools out of which 89.6 per cent were enrolled in public schools. As per Section 12 of RTE Act, the school and Mass Education Department has issued orders to all private unaided schools to admit in entry level classes at least 25 per cent children belonging to economically weaker section but this has gone wallow as there is no system to reimburse the school fees charged by the schools yet.
Issues of teachers
The issues of teachers in our State are many. The State has over 35,928 primary schools and 20,427 upper primary schools. Out of the total teacher strength of 1,67,948, some 79,715 no. of teachers are either Sikshya Sahayaka or Ganasikshaka. The recent phenomenon of recruiting contractual teachers instead of regular teachers has badly affected classroom teaching. The salaries of the contractual teachers are generally a fraction of the salary of regular teachers. Each of the around 7,000 elementary schools of our State is run by a single teacher. As a fallout, teachers are demonstrating throughout the year. Teachers’ absenteeism is also a major cause which affects teaching in classrooms. Again, the school is a dream for 4,560 villages in our State.
Orissa is a tribal dominated State. There are 11 primitive tribal groups who have no access to other language except their local dialects. A high level committee of the State Government had decided to make available textbooks and create teachers post in tribal languages in order to mainstream them into schools, but this has not been given due weightage for the reason best known to them.
Status of the State as per
RTE Compliance
According to the data revealed by the Orissa Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA), Orissa has been lagging behind from being an RTE compliant State. Thirteen per cent of school classrooms, 66 per cent in terms of girls’ toilet in schools, 46 per cent in building ramp, 74 per cent in opening library in schools and 66 per cent in building boundary wall have not been complied with RTE norms in elementary level. In order to fulfill the needs of teachers as per the norms, the State has to fill up the vacancy of around 13,000 teachers in schools.
Budgetary allocation and spending
In 2012-13, there was an allocation of Rs 6,525.40 crore for education in the State which has been increased subsequently. But if we compare the increase with the inflation and increased share of child population in a year, the increase pales into insignificance. There is under-utilisation of SSA funds. While Rs 2,680 crore was allocated for SSA, only 50 per cent has been spent till December 2012. Last year, an allocation of Rs 94.43 lakh was made for school libraries; only 28.70 per cent of the funds have been spent. While Rs 80.61 crore was allocated under Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV), our State has been able to spend only Rs 23.72 crore. The percentage of fund utilisation till December 2012 was 83.7 with respect to fund available and 49.99 per cent with respect to Annual Work Plan and Budget. In the field of infrastructure, 51.80 per cent of fund has been utilised and 67.95 per cent of fund utilisation has been witnessed in textbook supply. Similarly, the Government’s target was to provide drinking water facilities to 5,972 schools last year but not even a single school had been provided drinking water facilities till January 2013. Therefore, under-utilisation and lack of monitoring mechanism have given birth to a huge gap between budgeted expenditure and actual spending in education.
Challenges and loopholes
Despite some initiatives taken in our State to perk up the standard of elementary education, there are several challenges ahead if education is really to see its step up. Quality learning at classrooms in public schools is still a far cry. Knowledge on basic arithmetic, numeric counting, class-wise learning capacity of school children in our State are very scary. The institutional support mechanism and policy reform have not been addressed properly, because there should be a State level advisory committee on education which has not yet been formed. In order to tackle the problems of child labour, juveniles in conflict with laws and street children, there must be a convergence to monitor these issues and mainstream the deprived children into schools. The State Government has not yet defined out of school children in the RTE Rules which means the Government does not want to enroll them.
School Management Committee and local authority had been seen as tools for school governance in RTE Act but their performance is not yet agreeable for effective school management and bringing children into schools respectively. Therefore, the State Government must make necessary arrangements to ensure their actual participation in school management. The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) has been formed to protect the children against violation of their rights but the performance of the SCPCR is very poor. The State Government has no solid data on the number of child labourers as there is no survey undertaken on child labour after 1997. Orissa has ranked one in missing children cases in India which is a major issue of concern. Looking at these inefficiencies, can we say that RTE Act has really turned out to be a justiciable right for the children?
Naba Kishor Pujari

Govt schoolchildren gear up for another roofless summer

Deepa Sharma Sood, Hindustan Times
Ludhiana, April 02, 2013
Having spent months shivering in the morning chill, the 90 students of Government Primary School, Kutcha Number 16, Fieldganj, Ludhiana, cannot heave a sigh of relief even in summer.
The sunny mornings would prove to be of little respite to these children, as they spend day after day
in a school, which has no roof, classrooms, toilets or drinking water facility.

The students would have to go through another gruelling summer as temperatures reach 35 to 40 degrees, making it difficult to even sit on the floor, which is another problem, as debris of broken walls lie scattered on it. Established in 1929, the school has been functioning without these basic amenities since 1995. But the poor state of affairs has failed to move the state government.
Making matters worse, there are only four teachers handing Classes 1 to 5, coercing teachers to teach multiple classes simultaneously. That's not all. The school does not have an entrance gate or a proper boundary wall, allowing anybody to enter the school premises, leaving students and teachers unsafe. Stray animals also enter the school of free will, putting little children in jeopardy.
Students are also forced to spend the day among flies and stench, as the school ground has become an open garbage dump for nearby residents.
All this is in clear violation of the Right to Education Act, which mandates that every school have proper classrooms, toilets, drinking facility, let alone a roof in the school.

While the state government has been issuing notices to private schools for not implementing the RTE Act, it has turned a blind eye to its own schools.
Talking to Hindustan Times, a teacher, at the condition of anonymity, said, “The school ground has become a garbage dump, where nearby residents regularly throw garbage. Moreover, the boundary wall of the school has been broken for years, but nobody has bothered to repair it.”
The teacher added, “We face problems be it any season. While children shiver in the winter, they have to silently endure the scorching days as well. With no roof, rains make it impossible to hold classes, therefore school is closed during monsoon. Lack of infrastructure forces the school authorities to make the students sit on floor, which is also broken.”
She rued that the school did not even have proper drinking water facility or a toilet, compelling students to relieve themselves in the open, or go home.
When contacted, state education minister Sikander Singh Maluka, said, “The matter of the school land is sub judice, as some locals claim that they own the land, though it belongs to the government. But, we will take permission from the Punjab and Haryana high court to construct classrooms in the school. We will also work towards providing basic facilities, like drinking water, toilets and infrastructure in the school.”
Another schoolteacher, who wished not to be named, said, “We don't understand what is important for the higher authorities - land or education of these children. The government must shift the students to another school, which has at least basic facilities.”
What the law says
According to the RTE Act, each school must have at least one classroom per teacher, separate toilets for boys and girls, drinking water facility, kitchen where mid-day day meals are cooked, barrier-free access for disabled children and office-cum-store for the head teacher.

Only 15% UP schools meet pupil-teacher ratio: Survey

Only 15% UP schools meet pupil-teacher ratio: Survey

TNN Apr 3, 2013, 05.02AM IST
LUCKNOW: Contrary to the Central government's figures on the status of Right To Education (RTE) implementation, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) findings published by an NGO, Pratham, show that only 15.6% schools in Uttar Pradesh have the pupil-teacher ratio in compliance with the RTE norms. The data given by HRD ministry puts this figure at 38.57%.
While the government has been silent on "out of school" children, the ASER findings state that the drop out rate is maximum in UP, with 6.4% children having no access to schools. In 2012, 81.3% of all schools visited had drinking water which is above the all India average of 73%. Nearly 52.5% schools were found having useable toilets while about 83% of schools visited had separate provision for girls' toilets. The mid-day meal was being served in 85.6% schools. Besides, the appointment process of 72,825 teachers is stuck after the alleged Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) scam. Training of teachers is far from reality.

Experts say though RTE has boosted enrolment in schools, but the learning outcomes are still very low. "The focus is on infrastructure issues like building, enrolment, teacher-student ratio, mid-day meals but focus on education, a child's ability to read, write and learn is not visible,'' said a primary school teacher. tnn
Survey on RTE
On the completion of three years of RTE Act, Voice of People, an organisation working on RTE conducted a survey on 255 schools (215 primary and 37 upper primary) in 40 blocks covering 18 districts.
Key findings are:
1. Only 68% schools have separate classrooms for each teacher. 4% schools have single classroom.
2. 9% upper primary schools have proper furniture.
3. 50% schools do not have useable toilets. 9% schools have no toilet facility.
4. No drinking water facility in 13% schools.
5. 38% schools have no boundary or fencing, 9% schools have damaged boundary walls.
6. 42% schools have no play ground, 64% lack staff rooms.
7. Merely 8% schools have separate room for library.
8. Only 40% have first aid kit.
9. Pupil-teacher ratio was 1:46 in primary schools and 1:59 in upper primary schools. The ideal ratio is 1:30 and 1:35 for primary and upper primary respectively.
10: There are only 68% and 89% permanent teachers in primary schools and upper primary schools respectively.

“NCPCR not serious in monitoring RTE act”

“NCPCR not serious in monitoring RTE act”

Having served his last day in office as RTE’s national coordinator on March 31, the day the deadline for implementing various RTE norms got over, Dhir Jhingran talks about what’s working, and what’s not, at the national commission for protection of child rights
Jasleen Kaur | April 03 2013
Arun Kumar
Dhir Jhingran: The RTE division should be headed by someone from the government, and not by a consultant brought in from outside..

Author Profile

After working in the ministry of human resource and development (HRD) for nine years and more than 20 years of work in the education sector, Dhir Jhingran was appointed as the national coordinator of right to education (RTE) act at the national commission for protection of child rights (NCPCR).
An IAS of 1986-batch Assam cadre, Jhingran resigned from the post within just six months of appointment. Significantly, his last day in office, March 31, was the deadline for implementation of various norms under the act.
Also significant is the fact that Jhingran is the second national coordinator of the RTE division to leave work midway through his term. Exactly a year before, Kiran Bhatty, the consultant who established the division in 2010, put in her papers along with five members on March 31, 2012.
Though Bhatty refused to get into details, she said it was important to have specific roles and duties for a department to work efficiently (read an earlier interview with Bhatty here).
In an interview with Jasleen Kaur, Jhingran now explains the reason behind his premature resignation from the RTE division of NCPCR, and the problems with the enforcement of RTE act.
Excerpts from the interview:

What forced you to quit?
I don’t think there is enough commitment on part of NCPCR as an organisation to be an effective agency to monitor RTE. It’s not about the chairperson — she is very committed — but as an organisation, it is not committed to RTE.
I think the problem lies somewhere in the fact that NCPCR is strongly controlled by the women and child development (WCD) ministry. (In fact) it is seen as a WCD subordinate office, whereas the RTE division is funded by the HRD ministry. Besides, though NCPCR is mandated to be an autonomous body, that mandate is not backed up by funds or strong commitment of the organisation.
Some members are (also) very critical of the RTE and raise issues about earlier problems in the division. I somehow feel they (these members) do not want the RTE to be effective.
But the situation really worsened after the new member-secretary, Ashish Srivastav, joined. I feel he is not convinced that NCPCR should be working for RTE. We had a meeting with the MHRD and we came to know that he is also talking to the ministry whether there is a need for the NCPCR to monitor the implementation of the act.

What really went wrong?
We took several new initiatives in the six months I spent there. But the last two months were only about taking unnecessary permissions, clearances, funds and so forth from the commission.
There have been cases where it was very difficult to get permission even after several rounds of discussions and file movements. So it was not really a great environment to work. Having worked in the government for 26 years I am least interested in doing these clerical things.

What are the problems you faced while working in the division?
I am a trained official and I understand rules of the government. So when I am finding problems, it means there are huge issues involved. There is a problem of intent in not allowing things to work. I came here to work but it’s sad to be leaving so early.
One can fight on principles or policies but not on such basic issues. It’s a very harassing way of working. I would definitely blame the member-secretary, apart from the contradictions within the commission. I think the member-secretary has failed to provide the support that was required (of him). I understand there are problems between the WCD minister and the chairperson; (that) they somehow do not see eye to eye.
I have worked here very independently in the six months and the chairperson, in fact, insulated me from a lot of interference that may have come from the WCD ministry. She played a very positive role but how much can she alone do? It’s not worth (the effort) if the organisation is not committed to it. The NCPCR should see it as a great opportunity for its role in RTE but you need a strong organisation to take up things.

Do you think forming an independent body to monitor RTE could help?
NCPCR and state commissions are supposed to be autonomous bodies but the problem is, we are not serious about our institutions. What’s the logic of creating an alternative body when you have got these institutions which are statutory provided for. They are under the acts of parliament.
But we create institutions and do not invest in them and weaken them for purpose. In many states, the SCPCRs (state commission for protection of child rights) are given such a low status and salary that they cannot actually be effective in monitoring. So the answer is not the new institution but to recognise that such institutions should work autonomously in real sense.
One of the things that can be done is to provide funding that is not tied to any ministry. For example, if we are monitoring MHRD, I should not get funds from MHRD; I should get it from elsewhere — like the planning commission or somewhere. Right now, MHRD approves the work plan and we are supposed to monitor that, which is a little complex situation. The other thing, specifically for the RTE division, is that I feel it should be headed by someone from the government.
Most people working here are consultants; I was also employed as a consultant. But it cannot work (that way). It’s a structural arrangement that is bound to fail. Someone from the government should head it. We are all within NCPCR but to be at the mercy of a person in the administration, who one fine day decides that nothing should be approved, is ridiculous.
As an institution, NCPCR has never taken full responsibility of RTE. Some members keep opposing RTE. These are all dynamics about who is aligned with WCD ministry and who is against the chairperson, or for her. But that should not affect the functioning of the division which has to monitor RTE. I could not travel much in the last two months because it was all about signing files and notes, which was not my job.

Last year, when the RTE act completed two years, there was no one heading the division. And now, when it is completing the third year, there would be no one heading the division…

It’s a bad situation. It’s unfortunate that I have to leave so soon. But one good thing is that the member who is now put in charge of the RTE is very serious about the work. Hopefully she would take more responsibility of what the national coordinator was doing till they get someone. And the commission should give complete support for RTE, and not any individual.

Do you think the HRD ministry should play a more serious role in implementing and monitoring the RTE act?
The HRD ministry does monitoring of its own also. There are lots of reports that MHRD collects from the state government. But, yes, they have to be very specific about what has happened, what needs to be done and (should) regularly issue clear instructions to the states… so that the NCPCR can monitor those deadlines.

The RTE Act 2009: Inequality in India

The RTE Act 2009: Inequality in India

Posted: 07/04/2013 21:23

The Right to Education Act 2009 seemed to herald a new era of more widespread equality in Indian society, with the right to an education recognized for all children between 6 and 14: three years on, inequality in the school system seems to have widened rather than showing any tendency to disappear. The reason of this blatant failure are varied and lie in how the state school system is organised and run: it was largely inefficient before the RTE, it's basically in shambles now- teachers don't turn up for lessons, the facilities are poor, there is no running water in the school buildings, only the children of the very poor and illiterate attend state school. Granted, attendance numbers have dramatically increased, but the quality of teaching seems to have plummeted, and a myriad of private schools, largely illegal, has sprung up all over the country. Pupils that attend such schools cannot sit state exams, so parents enroll their children in both state and private schools to get around this problem.
Is quality education effectively the reserve of the rich? Enshrined in Section 12 of the RTE Act makes it compulsory for every private, unaided school to reserve 25% quota of seats of entry to pupils from poor or disadvantaged backgrounds: such places are subsidized by the government. This is seen by Indians as truly revolutionary, as for the first time quality education is available to the poor. In a country where the gulf between rich and poor is getting wider, education is seen by parents as the only way out for their children out of the slums and poverty, but quality private education was until now largely inaccessible to the poorest strata of the population, rendering their escape from poverty seemingly impossible. Section 12, interestingly, has been met with strong resistance by the 'elites', who don't seem to be too gracious about sharing their school with the less fortunate: this has led to manifestations and a general outcry by many of the 'educated'.

India has effectively a two tier education system which actually worsens social divides: there seem to be 'two countries' in Indian society. The RTE attempted to address such divide, but how strong is a reform, if it's not supported by addressing the very issues that have created the problem? If the state sector offers such a pathetic service, one should first and foremost invest at a structural level to make state school attractive to parents and truly inclusive: qualified teachers and headteachers, facilities that offer clean, organised spaces with water and food available, a service that is reliable, efficient and accountable. Charities such as Save the Children already attempt to address the above points: why is the Indian government not investing in state education? State schools will only be attractive when they will offer a service that is as good or comparable to the one offered by elite schools.
It seems to me that the legislator's aim was indeed to increase attendance to state schools: it's not clear to me why such obvious structural problems have not been addressed in first place. If the structure is not improved and fast, it's likely that the RTE will remain largely ineffective. One reason could be that the strict rules of the 'caste' and class system are still well entrenched in the mentality of the class that legislate, making it difficult (and indeed probably perceived as threatening) for this minority to empower a majority that has traditionally been relegated to manual labour and menial work.
One major problem is also that education has become a 'business': when parents are ready to pay hefty fees to get their children through education because state provision is poor, then you have a system that indirectly encourages illegality and elitism. De facto, in a global modern economy nations need 'skilled labor' to remain competitive and literacy is a minimum requirement. Financial and macro-economic considerations aside, it's important to relate to our fellow human beings in a humane and egalitarian way, and it's simply morally wrong to keep part of the population subjugated through ignorance. Knowledge is after all power: power of choice. Nations that fail to educate their people incur in a great loss: and not only from a human point of view, as it's blatantly unfair to deprive part of the population of the opportunity to develop new personal and work-related skills that could elevate the individual to a more satisfying and interesting lifestyle. It's also a great loss for the country from an economic/financial point of view: a country that can offer skills and talent is a country that is dynamic and alert, and can find a space on the world stage.
Resources
ICBSE (2009) Right To Education Act (2009) [Online]. Available from:
http://www.icbse.com/right-to-education-act
Education World Online (2010) RTE Act 2009: What the Top Principals Say [Online]. Available from:
http://www.educationworldonline.net/index.php/page-article-choice-more-id-2269
Teacher Plus (2011) RTE 2009: Cementing Inequalities [Online]. Available from:
http://www.teacherplus.org/debate/rte-2009-cementing-inequalities
Department of Education (2012) The Equality Act 2010 [ Online ]. Available from:
http://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/policiesandprocedures/equalityanddiversity/a0064570/the-equality-act-2010