Monday, 01 April 2013 | SR | Bhopal | in Bhopal
Madhya Pradesh government has failed to provide sufficient number of teachers, teaching aids and necessary infrastructure in the government-run elementary schools even as the time period provided under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 for provision of these necessities expired on Sunday.
The RTE Act, which came into force on April 1, 2010 had laid down certain minimum norms regarding Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR), provision of libraries and other necessary infrastructure including toilets, drinking water facilities, play ground and boundary wall to be made available in all the schools by March 31, 2013.
According to the District Information System for Education (DISE) 2011-12 provisional data, 49 per cent primary schools do not fulfill PTR norm of 1: 30 and 47 per cent middle schools do not fulfill PTR norm of 1: 35 as required in the Act.
There are 19,297 single teacher schools in the State against the RTE Act norm that all primary schools should have at least two teachers and middle schools should have at least three teachers.
Rewa district has the highest concentration of such schools in the State. In terms of infrastructure, nearly 29,000 schools lack separate toilet facilities for girls and boys. It should be noted that lack of functional toilet has been identified as a major factor in pushing girl students out of school.
Similarly, against the RTE Act norm that each school should have at least classroom for each teacher, 4071 schools are run with only single room. 55 per cent of the schools do not have a functional library for the students.
Survey done by a voluntary organization had earlier revealed that the learning outcome in government schools has come down over last few years coinciding with the implementation of RTE Act.
Rajya Shiksha Kendra (RSK) Commissioner Rashmi Arun Shami, when asked by The Pioneer that if the government has another deadline to provide these facilities, said that the State Government has no such deadline.
"The Act provides for resource sharing between the Centre and State government. So, as and when the necessary resources are made available, the department will provide the infrastructure. Meanwhile, we are trying to provide our best within the means available at present," she said.
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) State Field Office Chief Tania Goldner said, "The passing of RTE Act was a historic moment for children of India. Madhya Pradesh has made progress in this area, but we have challenges both in terms of infrastructure and learning levels, which needs urgent attention."
"The Act specifies a three year timeline for meeting provisions related to the rights of children, teachers, schools and monitoring with a focus on child friendly and child centered curriculum while the provisions related to training of untrained teachers have been given an extra two years and should be met by April 2015. The need now is to focus resources to make this Act a reality for children," she added.