As one walks through the schools in villages or economically backward regions in India, one instantly starts noticing the extreme education inequality in India. Students in tattered uniforms, rundown school building, musty and dim classrooms cluttered with creaking benches with nearly 50 students accommodated in these small and dingy rooms. This situation is quite contradictory to the parallel urban society running in India, where even a 5-year-old plays with an iPhone and knows how to operate an iPad.
The schools claiming to be English language schools are supposed to prepare the students to compete in the global environment. However, it is quite visible that not only a very few students but also a very few teachers can speak some English in these schools. Some of the 4th standard or 5th standard students are not able to recognize any English alphabets at all.
Is the Right to Education (RTE) Act actually a solution to these problems? “ The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Actor Right to Education Act (RTE), which was passed by the Indian Parliament on 4 August 2009, describes the modalities of the provision of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution.” India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010.
As per the Act, all the children belonging to EWS (Economically Weaker Section) society should get admission in the schools in their vicinity. But the schools in villages and in EWS areas probably will not be able to give them anything more than a mid-day meal organized by the government. The overall growth of a child is stunted in such an institution.
Even though the Act has provisions for compensating private schools for admission of children under the 25% quota, it also has stringent requirements like all children to produce caste and income certificates. The orphan children will never be able to produce such kind of documents. So what is the government doing about it? Moreover, most of the public schools are still not agreeing to this idea of EWS students studying in their schools even after government making RTE Act mandatory for every school.
Food for Thought - "The government has been quite active in preparing and implementing the RTE Act but is someone actually considering the effectiveness of this Act in the EWS regions of India?"