Tuesday, April 9, 2013

‘RTE compliance not true’

‘RTE compliance not true’

31st March 2013 08:23 AM
While the State government made claims of high percentages of Right to Education (RTE) compliance, experts and education activists on Saturday debunked the claims by narrating experiences of how schools across the State are miles away from basic compliance.
Speaking at a State-level seminar organised by Mangalore-based People’s Alliance for Right to Education (PAFRE) on the eve of the deadline set for enforcement of the RTE (March 31), educationist V P Niranjan Aradhya said the government’s figures of compliance are far from truth. “The life of the RTE is its schedule that mandates schools to have basic infrastructure. As of 2011-12, government figures say that 98 per cent schools have toilets for girls, 96 per cent have electricity, 55 per cent have playgrounds, 78 per cent have ramps for physically-challenged, 99 per cent have libraries and 100 percent schools have drinking water. We know this is far from the truth,” said Aradhya, a fellow at the Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University.
He said the RTE has become confined to the SC/ST children and the 25 per cent reservation, something he called “modern untouchability.”
Figures challenged
Citing Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’s figures, PAFRE activist Venkatesh from Mandya said the district has 99 out-of-school children. “The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has announced that there will be no residential special training in Mandya. This figure is impossible as  the number was more than 1,000 last year. We have challenged this.”
Rajendra Prasad from Ramanagaram said 1,039 government schools (out of 1,401) have separate toilets for boys and girls after the High Court order. “Meagre grants were released, existing toilets were painted anew and portrayed as new toilets. Also, the concept of a library here seems to be of an almirah with books placed in the corner of a room,” he said.
In the Government Primary School in Hallikere, Davangere, there are only three teachers for 280 students. “Of them, one manages the mid-day meals scheme, one is on deputation to another school and the other one teaches. Also, there are no toilets in the school,” said activist Manjunath.

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