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.
A view of the audience during a panel discussion on ‘India has Forgotten
About Research and Development’ at the second edition of the ThinkEdu
Conclave in Chennai on Thursday | P JAWAHAR
Though the implementation of the Right To Education Act (RTE) has
caused enrolments to go up in schools, it has caused learning to
plummet. This was the consensus at a panel discussion titled ‘The
National Policy on Education Needs to be Redrawn’, at the ThinkEdu
Conclave organised by The New Indian Express here on Thursday.
the RTE Act in 2010, the average number of government schools has
increased from 1.18 to 1.66 per village. The share of private schools
has gone up from 16 per cent to 24 per cent, and over 96 per cent of all
children in the 6 to 14 age group in India are enrolled in schools. The
irony is that the learning level of Class V and VIII students has gone
down in the last few years,” said Rakesh Mittal, Co-chairman of the
Bharti Foundation. He attributed the disparity to the ‘no detention
policy’ clause under the RTE Act.
Mittal said, “When you have no
exams till Class 8, not only do the students stop taking their studies
seriously but also the teachers stop preparing for the classes.”
R Govinda, Vice-Chancellor of National University of Educational
Planning and Administration said, “India spends one of the lowest when
it comes to investing in quality teachers,” adding that the teacher is
the primary resource when it comes to education, if not the only one.
a similar sentiment, J S Rajput, former Director of the National
Council Of Educational Research And Training (NCERT), said, “If you
compare the 1992 policy on education with the 1996 one, not one word has
been changed on the section of teachers.”
A new National Policy
on Education did not seem foremost on anybody’s mind. Instead,
private-public partnership was put forward as the need of the day.
need to be the change,” said former IPS officer, Kiran Bedi, who took
the audience through slides of a sprawling slum that she had come across
as the Police Commissioner in North Delhi. “I think it had as many
children as it had flies,” Bedi recalled. “But we brought together the
entire community of rich men and women in the area, and started 165
Other hurdles on the path of education identified
were social discrimination and high dropout rates. Bedi shared with the
audience her successful 3 S formula - Siksha, Sanskar and skills- that
has been most effective in tackling the problem.