Monday, March 17, 2014

Rahul Gandhi's Amethi worst performer in RTE norms

Rahul Gandhi's Amethi worst performer in RTE norms

LUCKNOW: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi may be promising employment to youth, but education standards at grassroots level in his constituency, Amethi, are the worst in Uttar Pradesh. Only 1% schools in Amethi comply with the Right to Education Act (RTE), lowest in the state, reveals a study conducted by RTE forum.

Countrywide figures, too, are unimpressive. Only 8% schools have complied with the RTE norms despite the deadline for its implementation ending about a year ago.

The study, based on nine RTE indicators, shows average performance by UP in comparison to bigger states (in terms of population). In UP, only 7.5% schools are following RTE norms. Maharashtra, with 20.1% schools, is the best among the big states followed by Karnataka (18.2%), Tamil Nadu (17.3%) and Gujarat (17%).

Even though new classrooms have come up, 59.67% of children study in schools that still fail to meet the pupil-teacher norms. The mechanism for redressal of complaints is also weak, says study.

The RTE Forum says that while the RTE Act mandates that all teachers in the country are to be trained by 2015, there are still 6.6 lakh untrained teachers in the country, while five lakh teaching posts are vacant. UP alone needs 3 lakh teachers - maximum in the country - in schools, Union ministry of human resource development said. Other states facing acute shortage of teachers are Bihar (2.60 lakh) and West Bengal (1 lakh).

Forum convenor Ambarish Rai said, "Irrespective of the party in power, no state has fully implemented RTE. Starting from north to south, east to west, the situation is bleak. Be it Gujarat or Maharashtra, UP or Karnataka, RTE indicators are hardly being followed." At the fourth national stocktaking convention, where the report was released, he said the trend is the same everywhere.

He added that they have released the report ahead of Lok Sabha elections because inadequate facilities in schools have angered people. "They want quality education high on agenda of the political parties," he said.

RTE indicators used in the study included drinking water supply, ramp, boundary wall, playground, library, girls and boys toilet, teacher-classroom ratio, student-classroom ratio and people-teacher ratio.

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