Thursday, January 23, 2014

Andhra schools fail to comply with RTE norms, says report

Andhra schools fail to comply with RTE norms, says report

TNN Jan 17, 2014, 04.45AM IST

HYDERABAD: A recently released pan India report on the status of schooling and education of children in rural India has revealed that Andhra Pradesh continues to flout several norms of the Right to Education Act (RTE), depriving thousands of children in rural AP of basic civic needs while at school.
According to data collected from government schools across 21 districts in the state and compiled in the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2013), only 65% of the surveyed schools have provision for potable water. Worse, 19% of the schools do not have a toilet facility, a clean drop from the 16% recorded in the report in 2012. Also, only 43% of the schools are found to have a separate toilet in usable condition for girl students. "Currently, it is the state government that is deciding on the number of toilets which have to be built, whereas this decision should ideally be made at the panchayat level. The entire process of infrastructural development needs to be decentralized for full utilization of funds and development of school amenities," said Venkat Reddy of M V Foundation.
Apart from basic amenities, the ASER report also stated that only 64% of the surveyed schools had playgrounds (as against 67% last year) while the percentage of schools with a boundary wall or fencing was an unimpressive 48%. This again is one percent lower than the figure registered in 2012.
Attendance too of enrolled students at these schools was found to have slipped a few notches __ from 78% in 2012 to 74.9% in 2013, when surveyors visited each sampled village on a select day. Meanwhile, teacher-student ratio continued to remain an issue with only 46% of schools complying with the RTE Act specified ratio, a dip from the 56% compliant schools in 2012.
As per the RTE Act, lower primary schools are expected to have one teacher for every 30 students in lower primary schools and one for every 35 students in the upper primary schools.
"On one hand there is a severe dearth of teachers while on the other hand hundreds of teachers remain unemployed. Unnecessary politicization in the recruitment process and lack of rationing teachers across schools is the cause of this mismatch," Reddy said.

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