It will take India another 87 years to make every school RTE compliant: Progress inching at an average of 1% per year

Convention on the implementation of RTE Act 2009

9th National Stocktaking Convention on the
implementation of RTE Act 2009

13th March 2019, Constitution Club of India

15th March 2019, New Delhi,: The 9th national stocktaking convention of RTE Act 2009 organized by the RTE Forum at the Constitution club of India brought together more than 450 education activists, academicians and researchers across the country working on children’s education. A report card of the progress on school education in general and RTE implementation in particular was shared. Some of the highlights of the same included

  • Only 12.7% schools comply with the provisions of the RTE
    Act
  • While the manifesto committed the government to spend 6%
    GDP on education, the investment never crossed 4%. Per child investment on
    school education lowest among BRICS countries.
  • 18.8% teachers lack requisite academic qualifications as
    India stands at the threshold of the extended deadline for all teachers to gain
    formal qualifications by 31st March 2019. There are also
    approximately 10 lakh teacher vacancies in India. While the manifesto
    emphasized science popularization, only 50.3% secondary schools had a teacher
    who was at least a maths graduate.
  • Despite the BJP Manifesto promising making all education
    institutions technology enabled, only 16% schools had a functional computer in
    2016-17.
  • Only 22% schools have disabled friendly toilets and these
    are not gender disaggregated
  • 56% of
    allocation on Flagship scheme on Girls’ Education “Beti Padhao Beti Bachao” has
    been spent on advertising. In 2019 these funds were further cut from an already
    inadequate Rs.255.9 crore to just Rs.100 crore
  • Government failed
    to deliver on its promise of a New Education Policy at the end of five years
  • Lack of emphasis on foundational investments in early
    childhood education which is critical for universalization of education till
    secondary level as promised in the manifesto
  • Progressive dilution to the RTE legislation through three
    amendments, including the abrogation of the centre’s responsibility to ensure
    no child is detained.

The upcoming General Elections 2019, give a big opportunity to India’s citizens to demand right to education for all children from birth to 18 years from their political leaders. Setting the context at the consultation Ambarish Rai, National Convener, RTE Forum said, “This is a watershed moment where citizens have to come together to ensure education becomes a prime agenda for the elections. Governments must take steps to compensate for almost a decade of inaction on ensuring the right to education.” Prof. Narendra Jadhav MP Rajya Sabha was the Chief Guest of the Convention. He said that, “education in at the heart of the process of social transformation and empowerment of India’s marginalized communities.  It is critical to strengthen India’s schools to ensure every child receives quality education”. 

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