News and views about the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 and other legislation, schemes and policies impacting the Right to Education of India's Children.
NEW DELHI: Members of Delhi RTE Forum wish political parties contesting the coming assembly election had
gone beyond "sadak-bijli-paani (road-power-water)" in their campaigns.
Civil society organizations, parents and children who form the forum
have found that, while their manifestos promise still more "populist
schemes", they lack a roadmap for implementation of the Right to
The forum had launched the 15-day 'vote for
education' campaign starting November 11 and collected one lakh token
votes from the public. The group also met party members and noted their
"lack of seriousness." "All of them said 'ho jayega' or 'kar denge',"
says Bharat Singh of Bal Vikas Dhara, an RTE forum convenor. "They are
clearly not thinking about this as seriously as we are."
activists would argue there is enough reason to be worried. As Singh
points out, there are over two lakh kids still out of school. "The
issues we had three years ago still continue," says Rajeev Kumar of NGO Pardarshita and
another forum convenor. He adds that School Management Committees-put
together in a rush this year as the RTE Act implementation deadline was
approaching-don't function the way the act envisioned. "Neither
principals, nor community members, nor teachers know what exactly the
functions of SMCs are," says Kumar. And, as the forum's national
convenor, Ambarish Rai points out, after the deadline for RTE
implementation was up, no new "roadmap" was drawn.
taken by the authorities currently in charge do not bode well. One move
that'll be most strenuously resisted by this group at least will be any
attempt to "privatize" government schools through
public-private-partnership projects as the South Delhi Municipal
Corporation proposes to do. "The poor can be educated only through a
public system," observes Rai
. There's a shortage of 20,000
teachers, most of the training for teachers is in the private sector and
should be closely monitored and they should increase the budget for
education." The other matter for concern is the go-ahead given to
private schools to start second shift. "Why should there be a second
shift in private schools?" asks Annie Namala, another convenor.