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Right to education


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Sundeep Kaur, Department of Education, Panjab University, Chandigarh

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Right to education

  2. 2. What is RTE? The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE) , which was passed by the Indian parliament on 4 August 2009, describes the modalities of the provision of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010.
  3. 3. • “Compulsory Education” defined as the obligation of the State to take all necessary steps to ensure that every child participates in, and completes Elementary Education • “Free Education” defined as freedom from liability to (i) pay any fee to the school, and (ii) incur such other prescribed expenses as may be likely to prevent the child from participating in and completing Elementary Education. There is no direct (school fees) or indirect cost (uniforms, textbooks, mid-day meals, transportation) to be borne by the child or the parents to obtain elementary education. The government will provide schooling free-of-cost until a child's elementary education is completed.
  4. 4. CHILDREN BENEFITED Approx 22 crore children fall under the age group 6-14. Out of which 4.1% i.e. 92 lakhs children either dropped out from school or never attend any educational institution. These children will get elementary education. Local and state government will ensure it.
  5. 5. OBJECTIVES  To provide for free and compulsory education to all children of the age 6 to 14 years.  Emphasis is on children belonging to disadvantaged group.
  6. 6. Protection of RTE Act : Act assigns NCPCR/SCPCR additional functions. Examine and review safeguards for rights under this Act, recommend measures for effective implementation. Inquire into complaints relating to child’s right to free and compulsory education. NCPCR/SCPCR have powers assigned under Section14 and 24 of the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act. Where SCPCR not constituted, appropriate govt. may constitute an authority.
  7. 7. Definitions: Section 2 i) Govt. Schools ii) Aided schools iii) School belonging to specified categories: (Kendriya Vidyalaya, Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sainik School etc.) iv) Unaided schools Sec. 2 (d) “Child belonging to disadvantaged group” 2 (e) “Child belonging to weaker section” 2 (f) “Elementary Education” 2 (h) “Local Authority” 2 (n) “School - 4 categories of schools”
  8. 8. Sec. 3 – Right of child to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till completion of elementary education. “Compulsory education means obligation of the state to provide free elementary education to every child of the age 6-14 years”
  9. 9. Sec. 4 – Special provisions for children not admitted to, or who have not completed, elementary education. Such children are to be directly admitted in a class appropriate to his or her age and in order to be at par with others, have a right to receive special training and shall be entitled to free education till completion of elementary education even after 14 years.
  10. 10. Sec. 9 – Describes the duties of the local authority. Sec.10 – Describes the duty of parents & guardian to admit his or her child/ward in the neighbourhood school for elementary education. Sec. 11 – States the duty of the appropriate government to provide for pre-school education
  11. 11. Sec. 12 – Extent of school’s responsibility: (1) to admit children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged group in the ‘neighbourhood’ in Class I at least upto 25% of the strength of the class. (2) an unaided school will be reimbursed expenditure incurred by it to the extent of per child expenditure incurred by the State or the actual amount charged from the child, whichever is less. Reimbursement shall not exceed per child expenditure incurred by a govt. school. (3) every school shall provide such information as may be required by the govt. or local authority.
  12. 12. Sec. 13 – No capitation fee to be charged. (The All India Catholic Education Policy, 2007 also deplores any attempt to commercialize education and acceptance of capitation fee). No screening either of the child or of the parents for admission. Sec. 14 – Age of the child is to be determined on the basis of the birth certificate issued in accordance with the provisions of the Births, Deaths and Marriage Registration Act, 1886 or Hospital register record or Anganwadi record or even an Affidavit. No child shall be denied admission in a school for lack of age proof.
  13. 13. Sec. 15 – No denial of admission even if the child does not turn up at the commencement of the academic year. Sec. 16 – No child once admitted, can be held back or expelled till the completion of elementary education. Sec. 17 – No child shall be subjected to physical punishment or mental harassment.
  14. 14. Sec. 18 – No school to be established without obtaining certificate of recognition. Sec. 19 – Schools to fulfill all the norms and standards specified in the schedule. Sec. 20 – Power of the Govt. to amend the schedule
  15. 15. • 75% from parents/guardians • Of the remaining 25%: • 1/3 members from amongst elected members of the local authority • 1/3members from the teachers of the school to be decided by the teachers • Remaining 1/3 from amongst local educationists/children in the school to be decided by the parents in the committee • The SMC shall elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson from among the parent members. • The Head Teacher/Senior most teacher of the school shall be the ex-officio member – convener. • The SMC is to meet at least once a month and maintain minutes and decisions of the meetings. • Prepare a 3 year school development plan. Sec. 21 – Every school should constitute a School Management Committee (SMC) consisting of: a) Monitor the working of the school, b) Prepare and recommend school development plan, c) Monitor the utilization of the grants received from the govt., d) Perform other functions as may be prescribed. Functions of the SMC. The SMC shall
  16. 16. Sec. 22 – Preparation of School Development Plan by the SMC. Sec. 23 – States that the qualification for appointment and terms and conditions of service of teachers shall be as laid down by the academic authority authorized by the Govt. Sec. 24 – Duties of teachers. Teachers shall maintain regularity & punctuality, complete the curriculum, hold regular meetings with parents/guardians, etc.
  17. 17. Sec. 25 – Pupil-Teacher Ratio as specified in the schedule is to be maintained, i.e., Classes I-V 30:1. Above 200 children P-T ratio shall not exceed 40. Classes V-VIII 1:35, but at least one teacher per class. Sec. 26 – Filling up of vacancies of teachers. Sec. 27 – Prohibition of deployment of teachers for non-educational purposes other than decennial population census, disaster relief duties and for election duties. Sec. 28 – No private tuition by teachers.
  18. 18. Sec. 29 – (1) Curriculum and evaluation procedure for elementary education shall be laid down by academic authority to be specified by the appropriate government, (2) (f) medium of instruction shall, as far as practicable, be in child’s mother tongue, (2) (h) comprehensive and continuous evaluation of child’s understanding etc. Sec. 30 – 1) No child shall be required to pass any board exam till completion of elementary education, 2) Every child completing elementary education shall be awarded a certificate.
  19. 19. Sec. 31 – The National Commission or the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights constituted under the Commission of Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, shall in addition to the functions assigned to it, monitor, enquire into complaints relating to child’s right to free and compulsory education and/or function as Appellate Authority above the local authority (Sec. 32) . Sec. 33 – Speaks of a National Advisory Council. Sec. 34 – Speaks of the State Advisory council and their functions.
  20. 20. Sec. 35 – The appropriate government may issue guidelines and give directions to the local authority or to the School Managing Committee. Sec. 36 – No prosecution for offences without previous sanction of the appropriate authority. Sec. 37 – No suit or legal proceeding shall lie against action taken in good faith. Sec. 38 – Appropriate government may make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.
  21. 21. Schedule 1. Teacher-Pupil Ratio: • I-V – upto 120 students – 1:30 upto 120-200 students – 1:40 (+ H.M.) more than 200 students – 1:40 (+ H.M.) • VI-VIII – 1:35 Full Time – Science and Mathematics, Social Studies, Language Part Time – Art Education, Health & Physical Education, Work Education
  22. 22. 2. Building : : all weather building, : separate toilets for boys & girls : safe and adequate drinking water : kitchen for MDM : playground : secured by boundary wall
  23. 23. 3. Minimum working Days – I-V = 200 VI-VIII = 220 Instructional Hours – I-V = 800 I-VIII = 1000
  24. 24. 4. Minimum Working Hours per week for teachers – 45 (including preparation hours). 5. Provide – - Teaching-Learning Equipment - Library - Games & Sports and other play materials.
  25. 25. Model Rules under the Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education Act 2009
  26. 26. Key Points: 1) The area or limits of neighborhood : Classes I – V – within walking distance of 1 km. Classes VI – VIII – within walking distance of 3 kms. 2) Where no school exists within the area or limits specified, government has to make provision for free transportation, residential facilities and other facilities. 3) In areas with high population density, the State may establish more than one neighbourhood school.
  27. 27. 4) The State has to make appropriate and safe transportation arrangements for children with disabilities. 5) The State to ensure that access of children to the school is not hindered on account of social and cultural factors. 6) The responsibility of providing free entitlement (text books, writing materials and uniforms, special support materials for children with disabilities, etc) shall be of the school in case of school belonging to specified category and unaided schools.
  28. 28. 7) The local authority shall maintain a record of all children in its jurisdiction through household survey from their birth till they attain 14 years. The record has to be updated each year. 8) Per child expenditure is defined and calculated as the total annual recurring expenditure incurred by the State divided by the total number of children enrolled in all such schools. (Govt. aided schools are not considered as govt. schools in this regard.) 9) Every school receiving reimbursement from the government should maintain separate bank account.
  29. 29. 10) Every non-government school existing before the commencement of the Act has to make a self declaration within 3 months in Form No. I to the concerned DEO regarding its compliance or otherwise for its recognition. Schools which do not conform to the norms, standards and conditions after 3 years from the commencement of the Act shall cease to function. Compliance include: (1) The school is open to inspection by any officer appointed by the appropriate authority, (2) The school undertakes to furnish reports and information as may be required by the DEO from time to time, etc.
  30. 30. 11) Every non-government school established after the Act came into force has to conform to the norms, standards and conditions stated in order to qualify for recognition. 12) Every school, other than an unaided school, should constitute a School Management Committee (SMC).
  31. 31. 13) An Academic Authority (the SCERT) to lay down minimum academic qualifications for persons eligible for appointment as a teacher. 14) The SMC shall be the first level of grievance redressal of teachers. 15) The State government should constitute Schools Tribunals at the State, District and Block levels for grievance redressal. 16) Where the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights does not exist, the State government shall appoint an interim authority - Right to Education Protection Authority (REPA).
  32. 32. Commonlyraised issues/FAQs: • Enforcement of the Fundamental Rights is the duty of the state. Now the state is enforcing it on others including the minorities. • RTE Act threatens to take away the rights granted and guaranteed to the minorities under the constitution • RTE Act does not mention the word ‘minority’ at all anywhere in the act. • Will RTEA negate/black out the Art.30? Writs are already filed and pending in the S.C. • 25% seats to be reserved for disadvantaged groups. How do you identify “children belonging to disadvantaged group”? What happens if more than 25% come for admission?
  33. 33. • Under the act, compulsory education starts at the age of 6. Normally our schools admit children in UKG or LKG depending on the age. So in our schools admission will have to be from Pre-school. • Where a child is directly admitted in a class appropriate to his/her age, he/she has a right to receive special training to be at par with others. How do you do that? • Regarding age proof even an affidavit will suffice. Now, can you insist on hospital certificate or baptism certificate? • No test or interview for admission. So what are the consequences? How will you reconcile this?
  34. 34. • Government will prescribe a common syllabus. What happens to your school syllabus? • The school has to provide entitlements (books, uniforms even transportation) to the 25% disadvantaged students. • The government is supposed to provide books for them but will not match with the text books you are using? Moreover, the books from govt. quota hardly come in time. So what’s the solution? National curriculum? • There is provision for MDM for the disadvantaged children. How are you going to handle that? • Government will reimburse all the expenses as per its norms. The school has to maintain a separate bank account for the amount received.
  35. 35. • No child is to be detained up to class 8. On completion of class 8 a child is to be given a certificate stating that s/he has completed the course. • No physical punishment or mental harassment of the child while in school. (“Spare the rod and spoil the child” ?) • No disciplinary action ; no expulsion of students is possible. • School buildings cannot be used for non-educational purpose. What does it mean?
  36. 36. • Every school, other than an unaided school (exempted under Model Rule 13), must have a School Managing Committee (SMC). • 75% of the members must be parents/guardians of the children. Remaining from local representatives of the people, teachers representatives etc. 50 % are to be women. • Prima facie it appears that only one person, namely the School Head can represent the management. Doesn’t it violate the minority right under Art. 30? • What happens to the existing Governing Board? With this the virtual control of the school will be with the SMC. • Are they qualified, competent to carry out these responsibilities including financial affairs such as school development plan, annual accounts of receipts and payments etc.?
  37. 37. • No school can be established without obtaining certificate of registration. • Existing schools, too, have to obtain registration. • Recognition once granted can also be withdrawn on condition of non fulfillment of norms, standards, conditions etc. Hence there will always loom large the fear and threat of de- recognition under some pretext or other. • No tuitions are allowed. Can our schools tighten the noose on our teachers in this regard?
  38. 38. • Doesn’t the idea of admitting children to the ‘neighborhood school’ take away the freedom of parents/guardians to choose the school of their choice?. Will the govt. servants, politicians etc. do the same? • No prosecution of any offence under the act without previous sanction of an authorized officer. That seems to give a ray of hope. • The school has to furnish such reports and information as may be required by the DEO including copy of the audited report. The school is also open to inspection by any officer appointed by the govt. or local authority. This can be used as a sword of Damocles. It’s a clear and blatant violation of Fundamental Right of Minorities.
  39. 39. • No explicit reference to child labour: Clause 8 casts a compulsion on the State to provide free and compulsory education to every child. • Explanation to Clause 8(a): ‘compulsory education’ means obligation of the appropriate Government to provide free compulsory education and ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of EE by every child. • Therefore it is far better way of curbing child labour – by legally declaring that every child has to be in school.
  40. 40. • On the inclusion of private schools: Forefront of all controversies. One view: Article 21-A states that ‘the State shall provide free and compulsory education’ means that schools which receive no financial aid from the Government should be kept outside the purview of the Bill. Another view: ‘State’ does not merely mean governmental system, but includes government and private systems. Private fee-charging schools are an impediment to the concept of ‘common school system’, and should be brought within the ambit of the legislation. The Bill avoids both these extreme positions: provides for 25% admission to children belonging to weaker sections & disadvantaged groups in the neighbourhood
  41. 41. • Adequacy of norms and standards: This is a beginning. Clause 20 of the Bill also provides for the Central Government to amend the schedule by adding to or omitting from the schedule. As we progress the norms and standards can be enhanced. • Inclusion of parents in the compulsion laws. Why is there no provision for punishment for parents? : Most children who do not attend school are from weaker sections and disadvantaged groups. Penalising their parents would be tantamount to penalizing poverty. Many children are first generation learners, deprived of a learning environment at home, and drop out because of difficulty in coping with the curriculum. Inflicting penalties on parents because their children have have been pushed out of the education system would be discriminatory.
  42. 42. • Why no detention, no examinations? Wouldn’t quality suffer?: Examinations are known to produce mental trauma. Fear of failure, particularly at a tender age, leads to loss of self esteem. • ‘No detention policy’ does not imply abandoning procedures that test the learning abilities of the child; • ‘No detention policy’ implies putting in place a continuous and comprehensive procedure of child evaluation and recording it so that the teacher can use it as a guide in helping each child reach desired levels of educational achievement.
  43. 43. • Issue of finances: Mechanism of central and state funding: Bill provides that (i) Central Government shall prepare the estimates of capital and recurring expenditure, (ii) Central Government shall provide to the State Governments a percentage of the expenditure as GIA of revenues. This percentage shall be determined from time to time in consultation with the States, (iii)Central Government may make a request to the President to make a reference to the Finance Commission to examine the need for additional resources to be provided to any State Government for carrying out the provisions of the Act. Finance Commission allocations, specific to elementary education, would be welcomed by the States, as they would provide for direct central funding without being dependent on central schemes
  44. 44. • Why only 6 – 14; why not 0 – 18 year? According to several activists, “The Bill allows only children between the age 6-14 to get the privileges, which we think is so shallow.” They think that leaving out early childhood care and education, and senior schooling seriously limits the right to education. They explain: “0 to 6 years is considered to be the formative years in the child’s upbringing. We don’t see a reason why a child of this age group should be excluded. And India has signed the U.N. charter which states clearly that free education should be made compulsory to children of 0-18 years old.” The act excludes 157 million children below six years of age and children between 15-18 years.
  45. 45. • Disabled were left out of education Bill but now added through an amendment: The chances of 20 million children with physical and other disabilities to get the right to education has been jeopardized, as the Right to Education Bill excludes them. Although the earlier draft of the Bill had made specific mention of children with disabilities, the Bill tabled in the Lok Sabha has erased those references, activists say. Activists say that India was the one of the first countries to ratify the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in October 2007, which says “State parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education or from secondary education on the basis of disability.” Now they have been added through amendment but learning disabled are still left.
  46. 46. • Requirement of qualified and trained teachers: The elementary education part of our system already suffers from shortage of teachers and a fairly large number of teachers of this segment are untrained. To get trained and qualified teachers within stipulated period is not only going to prove a Herculean task but appears to be almost impossible. A gradual and systematic influx of teachers would have been better approach. Teachers will be at the core of implementation of RTE that seeks to work towards a heterogeneous and democratic classroom where all children participate as equal partners. There are 57 lakh posts of teachers at primary and upper primary level.
  47. 47. • Currently, more than 5.23 lakh teacher posts are vacant. To bring the pupil-teacher ratio to 30:1 as prescribed by the RTE Act, 5.1 lakh additional teachers are required. Already, there are 5.1 lakh schools with a pupil-teacher ratio of more than 30:1. On top of that 5.48 lakh untrained teachers at the primary and 2.25 lakh at upper primary level have to acquire necessary qualification within five years of the RTE Act coming into force. • The states with high percentage of untrained teachers and inadequate teacher education capacity are: Assam (55.13% untrained teachers), Bihar (45.5%), Chhattisgarh (31.32%), J&K (43.34%), Jharkhand (32.16%), Uttar Pradesh (25.87%) and West Bengal (32.15%). States like Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand have very low percentage of untrained teachers. They also have adequate capacity for teacher education.
  48. 48. • No standard definition of teacher qualification : The existing elementary teacher education programs (known variously in different parts of the country as JBT, D. Ed., PTC, BSTC, etc) lack a bench mark and proper definition. Teachers trained for secondary classes (classes IX, X, XI, XII) are considered eligible to teach middle classes (VI, VII, and VIII). But teachers trained to teach the elementary classes are only eligible to teach classes I – V. Even the Supreme Court has accepted this argument. Now the TRE Act is for the kids in the age group 6—14 studying in classes I – VIII. So a clear definition of teaching eligibility is required so that a teacher can teach all these eight classes. This will also help administratively as well as keep teachers motivated.
  49. 49. • Reservation of seats in unaided private schools: The act talks about 25% seat reservation in private/public unaided school for lesser privileged children. The fees of these students will be borne by state government. The fee will be reimbursed at government rate. There will be a wide gap between the cost of education per child and the reimbursement by the government. Who will bear this deficit portion ?obviously the remaining 75% of the students. For a certain class of society who provides education to their kids in these private school already by stretching their means this extra burden might prove too much. It's like providing benefit to one at the cost of other. Would improving the standard of the government school be not a better and more justified option?
  50. 50. • Status of poor kids in the private schools. A glaring question is: how interested are the parents of the poor kids to send them to the private schools even if the education is free of cost? The kids will be suddenly exposed to a different living standard. Will they be treated with dignity and equality by their peers and teachers? Will it not be traumatic for the poor kids to cope with that? Moreover, what about the overhead expenses such as uniform, books, stationery, etc of attending a private school? The chances are high that the parents themselves would feel intimidated at the thought of sending their kids to private schools.
  51. 51. • Input oriented Act: The Act is deemed to be excessively input- focused rather than outcome-oriented. The bill guarantees for the admission of the children, but does not promise the quality of education. • Admission according to age but no facility for bridge courses. The act stipulates that the child should be assigned the class according to age, which is a good step because wasted years can be saved; but no bridge course is suggested that can prepare the child to adjust to the admitted class.
  52. 52. • Automatic passage to next class may be counter productive. As per the act, every student will be passed to the next class. This can promote indolence and insincerity among children towards their studies and carelessness and laxity among the teachers. The Act will create a system with no incentive for students to try to improve themselves, or to behave with a modicum of restraint. It compromises their ability to withstand pressure and compete harder in order to excel. This will create a generation of drifters who have never tasted hard work or competition. And what happens when the kids turn 14? Leaving aside some notable successes, there will be millions who have just gone through the system without gaining much – and valuable formative years of life wasted.
  53. 53. • School recognition. Section 19 of the Act requires all schools except government schools, to meet certain norms and standards relating to infrastructure, pupil-teacher ratio, and teacher salaries on the basis of which they are required to get recognition within three years. This clause penalizes private unrecognized schools, although they provide similar, if not better, teaching services compared to government schools, while spending a much smaller amount. They are susceptible to extinction in three years.
  54. 54. • School management Committee a burden for parents. The Act requires every government and aided school to form a School management Committee (SMC) which will be most comprised of parents and will be responsible for planning managing the operations of the school. SMC members are required to volunteer their time and effort. This can be a burden for the poor parents. And for the aided schools, the SMC rule will lead to a breakdown of their existing management structures.
  55. 55. • What are problems with the Act and its implementation? Many activists feel, that exempting private minority schools from admitting poor students is the biggest drawback as many private schools will exploit this. Bachpan Bachao Andolan, an NGO, conducted a study across 9 states last year to understand the impact of the Right to Education Act and discovered some disturbing trends.The names of a large number of students were enrolled but they were not in schools. Bodies which are to implement the Right to Education Act haven't even been set up in many states. • How will children of migrant families receive education? There are two options; if children migrate with parents, particularly small children, the schools in the migrated areas have to admit all children even if they can not produce transfer certificates. Or if the parents demand that their children be given education in their native place while they are away for work, appropriate governments/local authorities shall have to ensure the availability of free residential schools •
  56. 56. • What about a child without parents or guardian? Section 2(k) only defines the parents of a child, and section 10 also refers to parent’s duty in ensuring education of their children. However since under Section 8 (explanation (i)), the ‘compulsion’ is on the state and not on parents, the appropriate government shall have to take the responsibility to ensure education of children without parents. • Why compulsion not on parents? In a country like India where such a large majority of parents are poor, migrate for work, do not have support systems, putting compulsion on them, with punishment, would imply punishing them for being poor – which is not their choice. As the well- known educationist J.P.Naik once jocularly remarked, if parents are sent to jail for not sending their children to schools, there may be more parents in jails than children in schools!
  57. 57. • If parents don’t send children to schools…? Section (10) of the Act makes it the duty of the parents to ensure that their children go to schools, without prescribing any punishment. This implies that SMC members, local authorities and community at large must persuade reluctant parents to fulfil their duty. For child labour and street children, the government would have to ensure that they are not compelled to work and provide schools for them, perhaps residential in many instances. Parents and communities who traditionally forbid their adolescent girls from going to school, or indulge in child marriage would have to be persuaded, or the child marriages act would need to be invoked against them. Civil society interventions would be crucial here.
  58. 58. • Is the Act targeted only for weaker sections? No, it is universal. Any child who is a citizen of India, rich or poor; boy or girl; born to parents of any caste, religion or ethnicity shall have this right. If a rich parent decides to send his/her child to a school owned by the government/local authority, that child would also have a right to all the free entitlements. Only those children who are sent by their parents to a school that charges fees (private aided/unaided) will surrender their right, as per Section 8(a) of the Act, to free entitlements; they can not claim reimbursement from the government for their educational expenditure (except for the obligatory 25% quota for children of disadvantaged groups and weaker sections to unaided schools, described later).
  59. 59. • Would home based education to the severely disabled come within the purview of the Act? As the Act stands, education would be inclusive for all categories of disability, including severe and profound. • What about children not in schools right now? The Act, at Section 4 lays down that all children who are out of school, as never enrolled or drop outs (in the 6-14 age group), would have to be admitted in age appropriate class in regular schools, and they would have a right to complete elementary education even after crossing age 14.
  60. 60. • What if children admitted after age 6 complete age 14 before completing class 8? They would have the right to get free education till they complete class 8, even if they exceed age 14. This would apply, for example, to a 13 year never enrolled child who may take 5 years to complete class VIII, up to the age of 18 years, or more. • What about age proof and transfer certificates? In the absence of a regular birth certificate issued under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1886, a certificate based on hospital record, anganwadi record or an affidavit by the parents/guardian would suffice (Model Rule 9). However, under section 14(2) of the Act, if none of these are available, including a notarized affidavit, a child would not be denied admission, meaning if the parents say the child is six years or more, admission would have to be given, while any of the above mentioned documents is simultaneously arranged.The head teacher would have to immediately issue a transfer certificate to a child moving away from the school, or face disciplinary action in case of delay.
  61. 61. • Who will bear most of the expenses? How will the center and state sharing be determined? A sharing pattern will be arrived at through mutual negotiations between the central and state governments. The SSA norms and sharing patterns will need to be reviewed. For example, the RTE-SSA harmonization committee’s report has already recommended a 75:25 sharing pattern between the center and the states instead of the present 55:45 sharing ratio under the SSA. • What does the reference to Finance Commission in section 7(4) imply? It implies that on the basis of a reference by the central government through the President, the Finance Commission could sanction monies directly to states for the Act, which would be in addition to the sharing ratio of the centrally sponsored scheme operating the Act. It provides an additional window for central funds to be allocated to states that need them most. The 13th Finance Commission has since made allocations of Rs 24068 crore over a five year period specifically for elementary education. This will help States meet their 15% state share towards SSA – from the sliding scale of 65:35 in 2008-09 to 50:50 in 2011-12, but may be inadequate to meet the RTE requirements.
  62. 62. • Will all double shift schools become single shift? The implications of the number of hours for which a school shall function per day indicate that. This would go a long way in forcing children out of labour since double shifts allow them to go to schools as also to engage in labour. • What will happen in places where government land is not available for building a neighbourhood school? Many states face this problem in urban areas in particular, but in rural areas too, as in Bihar where most of the land is in private hands. Since a school is a fundamental right of children now, the government will have to hire accommodation for schools, or consider acquiring or buying land, as it does for other projects of national importance.
  63. 63. • Whose responsibility is it to ensure children, particularly of the disadvantaged groups, are not discriminated against? Legally, of the appropriate governments, local authorities and the schools; monitored by the SMCs, civil society groups and the NCPCR/SCPCRs. Model Rule 5, (3) and (4) explains this in clear terms: (3) The State government/local authority shall ensure that no child is subjected to caste, class, religious or gender abuse in the school. (4) For the purposes of clause (c) of section 8 and clause (c) of section 9, the State Government and the Local Authority shall ensure that a child belonging to a weaker section and a child belonging to disadvantaged group is not segregated or discriminated against in the classroom, during mid day meals, in the play grounds, in the use of common drinking water and toilet facilities, and in the cleaning of toilets or classrooms.
  64. 64. • Who will ensure good quality education? The governments and the academic institutions under them, like the NCTE, NCERT, SCERTs and so on, by ensuring that the norms and standards of the schools are adhered to within three years, all teachers are professionally trained in a maximum of five years, curriculum, content and process follows principles laid out in Section 29, a comprehensive and continuous evaluation system is in place, and children learn in an atmosphere free of fear, anxiety and trauma. The governments would be well advised to seek collaboration from university education departments and civil society groups that have experience in quality elementary education in this effort. These would be monitored by the NCPCR/SCPCRs and civil society institutions. In addition, as per the model rules 21(3), the appropriate governments must undertake systemic quality reviews periodically through institutions of renown, which are not confined only to testing children’s achievement scores, but include assessment of teacher quality, curricular issues, social discrimination, infrastructure and other parameters that impact on quality. The involvement of institutions of higher learning on a continuous basis would be critical in this respect.
  65. 65. • What if the teacher remains absent or does not teach properly? Disciplinary action can be taken against the teacher (Section 24(2)). Under Model Rules 18(2) (a), it is prescribed that the service rules of teachers should mandate the accountability of teachers to the School Management Committees. • How long do governments have to ensure the PTR as given in the schedule? There is a certain ambiguity about this in the Act. Section 25(1) says that the PTR ratio shall be maintained in each school within six months of notification of the Act. However for implementing the schedule of norms and standards of the school, that prescribes the PTR ratio, a three year time period has been given. States like Bihar, UP, Assam and Orissa that need to recruit a huge number of new teachers could use this ambiguity by sanctioning all the required posts and redeploying teachers in the first six months, and complete all the recruitments as early as possible, within the three year time frame.
  66. 66. • What will be the redressal mechanism if a child is denied admission, beaten up or discriminated against? One may assume that a number of complaints would be settled at the school and SMC level itself, through the intervention of civil society groups. If that does not happen, the next step would be for the complaint to be filed with the local authority. The complainant could appeal to the SCPCR if the action of the local authority does not redress the complaint satisfactorily. • Can NCPCR/SCPCR act on their own, even if a complaint has not been filed? Yes, both the NCPCR and the SCPCRs can move on their own, suo moto, without any one specifically filing a complaint. As per Model Rule 25, SCPCRs shall set up child help lines, accessible by SMS, telephone and letter for receiving and registering complaints.
  67. 67. • What kind of powers do the NCPCR/SCPCR have? Can they punish? Under the NCPCR Act 2005, the NCPCR and SCPCRs have quasi-judicial powers whereby they can investigate, summon and recommend cases to the courts. They can not, however, pass judgments and hand out punishments. • What about the courts? Which court can one go to and who can go? As a law flowing out of a fundamental right, it is justiciable from the lowest to the highest court of the country. One can file a case in the lowest civil court, or the Supreme/High Court, depending on the nature of complaint. • Is there any role for NGO’s/civil society groups in monitoring? NCPCR has already initiated moves to work through civil society groups in a variety of ways. Independent of that, NGOs and other civil society groups can on their own bring violations to the notice of authorities and courts. An example of that is the civil society group Social Jurist working in Delhi. They can ensure opening of neighbourhood schools, monitoring teacher availability, and help in local redressal mechanisms.
  68. 68. • What if the problems are not at local levels, like unavailability of funds, insufficient teacher recruitment and so on? Since the ‘compulsion’ in the Act is on the governments, the NCPCR/SCPCR and the courts shall have to investigate where the onus of a particular violation rests, and judge accordingly • Who makes the Rules; centre or state governments? Since both the central and state governments are involved, both shall have to make rules. The central rules have already been finalized, and a set of model rules for the states have been circulated by the centre to the states. The states can either accept the model rules as circulated or make appropriate changes in them. Finally, the central government has to place the rules in the Parliament, and the states in their respective legislatures. The rules can be modified by the centre or the states as and when necessary.
  69. 69. PTIMUMBAI,APRIL4,2010|UPDATED14:40IST RTEActfacesinfrastructure,HRhurdles:Experts • Hailing the implementation of the Right to Education Act years after it was first conceived during a convention in 1932, education experts have said infrastructure and human resources would be the two major hurdles for the Act."Where the Act has the potential of turning India into a superpower by educating our youth, we have to be very careful to see that it is implemented well," CEO of Pune based Global Talent Track (GTT) Dr Uma Ganesh toldPTI. Some state governments have already raised flags stating that they are not ready to implement RTE as they lack the infrastructure, she said.Ganesh said when the human resources scenario in India was taken into account, the student and teacher ratio in the country stood anywhere between 50:1 to 80:1."With the 30:1 ratio stipulated by the Act, we will require at least 12 lakh additional trained teachers in next six months," she said. Appointing teachers should not be a problem as we have the advantage of a large population. However, finding quality teachers is certainly a concern as they will be responsible for shaping futures of millions of youths, she added. The concern is deepened by Annual Status of Education Report 2009 (ASER 2009), released on 15th January this year, which states only 50 per cent of Class V students in the government schools are capable of reading at Class II level," Ganesh said.
  70. 70. ​Staffshortagetakestollonqualityof education: Rupa Giri, TNN|Mar11, 2013, 05.11 AM IST RANCHI: Education seems to be low on the government's priority list with 40,000 vacant seats of teachers and the future of 45 lakh students studying in government schools at stake. According to provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the student-teacher ratio should be 30:1 in Classes I to V and 35:1 in Classes VI to VII. But the schools are violating the RTE provisions and jeopardizing the career of lakhs of students in the state. With about 43,000 government schools in the state, there are 27,000 recruited teachers against a total of 67,000 sanctioned strength. Beside, 90% of the schools are running without headmasters. According to an HRD official, the teachers' eligibility test (TET), an examination meant for recruitment of teachers in the state, has not been conducted for the past two years. Though the department announced the date of the test several times, but the exams were cancelled. Member of the Jharkhand Primary and Secondary Teachers' Association Parsuram Tiwari said, "We are facing a lot of problem in teaching large number of students at a time because of staff crunch. " The shortage of 40,000 teachers in the state is adversely affecting the education system as a whole. The department says that they will recruit teachers but they fail to do so each time, added Tiwari. This apart, teachers have to look after the midday-meal scheme and various other programmes and are even engaged in various government programmes along with elections. In all this, the students are the one worst affected. Tiwari said that TET was conducted in 2011 against the vacancy of 18,600 posts generated against a total of 25,000 vacant seats. In the advertisement announcement, there was a provision of taking two sets of examinations. The candidates passing TET would have to take another exam. But only 5000 teachers passed the examination. The HRD then made a sudden announcement that they would not conduct the main exam as the candidates passing the examinations are less as compared to the vacant posts and that they would be directly recruited. Seeing this, several candidates challenged the decision of the HRD in court, owing to which the state government's efforts to fill up the vacant posts of teachers suffered a major setback when the Jharkhand high court cancelled TET conducted by the Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC) in 2011. Hearing the writ petition filed by Anjuman Tarique Urdu, a division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Tatia and Justice P P Bhatt ordered for cancellation of the recruitment process. The petitioner had alleged that the TET was not conducted as per the laid norms of the NationalCouncil for Teacher Education (NCTE). District superintendent of education in Ranchi, Jayant Misra said, "In order to meet such a crisis of teachers, the HRD in collaboration with the Jharkhand Academic Council will conduct TET." According to him, exams will be conducted by the end of October. DSE even added that to cope with the situation teachers from urban areas are deployed in the rural areas and para teachers have also been appointed. However, the HRD department officials said TET exams would be held soon. The dates are yet to be announced. Singh denied quoting on the topic. He said, "I cannot say anything about it unless I see the report myself."
  71. 71. Parentsgivefakeincomecertificatesto claimRTEseats: SruthySusanUllas,TNN|Mar16, 2013, 03.05 AMIST BANGALORE: Helpless at the large number of fake income certificates schools are receiving from parents trying to claim the 25% quota under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the schools' association submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner to order a probe into their veracity. According to RTE, parents whose annual income is below Rs 3.5 lakh are eligible for free seats in private schools. Ever since the rule came into force, private schools have been bombarded by applications from allegedly poor parents.However, school managements found many of the income certificates to be fake. "Some parents came in swanky cars and applied for the RTEquota. Sometimes, the discrepancies are glaring in the income certificate. Like a parent whose income certificate said Rs 10,000 per month, but paying Rs 7,000 as house rent," said a chairman of a prominent chain of schools. "This defeats the purpose of RTE. The needy still don't get seats. Instead, the opportunities are grabbed by someone else. The deputy commissioner of Mysore has ordered verification of all income certificates issued by various tahsildars. We have requested a same procedure for Bangalore," said LR Shivarame Gowda, president, Karnataka Federation of Independent School Managements ( KFISM). The association also submitted many case studies to the DC to prove its point. "We have requested a suitable officer to look into the problem or a Corps of Detective probe," he added
  72. 72. AwarenesssendsRTEadmissionapplicationssoaring PavanMV,TNN| Mar7, 2013, 04.25 AM IST MANGALORE: When RTE awareness is still low in Bangalore, Dakshina Kannada district has shown the way. There is a rise in applicants seeking admissions for first standard under Right to Education (RTE) quota in unaided schools in the district for the forthcoming academic year. The Department of Public Instruction has received 1,306 applications for admissions to 161 unaided schools for 2013-14 as against 829 applications in 2012-13. Of the 1,306 applications, the department has received the highest number of applications - 241 from Mangalore south and lowest number of applications - 95 from Belthangady. As many as 1,709 seats have been reserved in 161 unaided schools under RTE quota here for 2013-14. The RTE Act was introduced in 2012-13 to provide free education to underprivileged children in private schools and 1,682 seats were reserved under RTE quota. Sadananda Poonja, education officer, said: "Last year due to lack of awareness about RTE quota, 50% of the seats remained unfilled. The rise of applicants for admissions in 2013-14 is due to increasing awareness about RTE." To create awareness about RTE, the department has been conducting street plays and workshops in different parts of the district for the past one year and has been distributing booklets pertaining to details of RTE. Sadananda said that till date the Department of Public Instruction had received the highest number of applications from unaided schools requesting for registration under RTE in the state. "163 schools from DK district have registered under RTE act," he added. Applications received for admissions Bantwal: 383, Belthangady: 95, Mangalore North: 218, Mangalore South: 241, Moodbidri: 86, Puttur: 180, Sullia: 103 Bantwal: 354, Belthangady: 74, Mangalore North: 460, Mangalore South: 284, Moodbidri: 118, Puttur: 341, Sullia: 78
  73. 73. DoorStepSchoollaunchesRTEenrollmentdrive: SwatiShinde,TNN|Mar17,2013, 03.44PMIST PUNE: City-based non-governmental organization, Door Step School (DSS) has initiated a campaign to enroll students from lower economic group in civic schools in order to make Right to Education (RTE) Act more meaningful. The campaign has been titled every child counts''. Citizens who come across children in the age group of 6-14, in their respective localities, streets, footpaths can report their deprivation to DSS. The NGO has also launched a website for suchfeedback in order to enable it to take practical steps aimed at getting the children registered for primary education. "There are various reasons for an eligible child being deprived of his right to education. Apart from social aspects, even non-availability of a birth certificate can impede the school admission process for the underprivileged segments," said Rajani Paranjpay, founder-president of DSS. "Our focus is to target six-year-olds for mainstream school admission for primary education," Paranjpay said, adding that the involvement of citizens in the project has been encouraging. The 'every child counts' campaign has issued an appeal to all Pune citizens to make use of the DSS website and make their own contribution to help children enroll in schools and make the RTE more relevant to the deprived population.
  74. 74. Karnatakawantsfreeeducationupto18yearsofage: Indo-AsianNewsService|Updated:August02,201218:10IST Bangalore: Karnataka government was pushing the Centre to amend the RTE Act to extend the provision of free and compulsory education up to the age of 18 years, from the present 6-14 category, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri said today. Replying to a short duration discussion on implementation of RTE Act in the state, he said the Centre should share with the states, the financial burden of implementing the provisions. The expenditure on implementing the legislation would run into thousands of crores of rupee in the coming years, and the Centre should clearly spell out on its share, Kageri said. The Minister warned action against private managements refusing to implement the act, adding, the government would not accept "discrimination" (against students admitted under RTE Act). Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, V Sreenivas Prasad, H C Mahadevappa and N L Narendrababu (all Congress) lauded the act, and underlined the need to implement it strictly. Participating in the discussion, former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said quality of education at primary level in government schools is below-par, making parents to send their children to private institutions. Expressing the view that the present generation of primary school students have tremendous IQ levels, he argued that teachers with mere TCH won't be able to impart quality education to the children, adding, successful completion of degree course should be made mandatory for them. Yeddyurappa said the students are so bright and talented that he was not able to answer the questions posed to him by his grand-children. He said standards in government hospitals and schools needed to be improved to the level of private ones. "People don't go to government hospitals because there is no guarantee that they will go back (return healthy)".
  75. 75. ASER study • However, our collective enthusiasm for the court's decision would turn out to be misplaced if anyone bothers to do basic math. According to a study published online by Dr. Wilima Wadhwa of Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), enrolment in private schools in 2008 was 22.6 per cent. While this figure is likely to have increased since, over 70-75 per cent of our children still attend government schools. Even as private schools reserve 25 per cent of seats for economically backward children, the vast majority will still be schooled in government-run institutions. Moreover, most children in rural areas attend government schools. According to the District Information System for Education 2010-11, as many as 84 per cent of children in villages attend government schools. If the RTE Act has to be implemented in letter and in spirit, the government cannot ignore the quality of education it provides under its roof just because it has “won” the reservation battle with private institutions. Even as the government makes private schools “socially responsible,” it still has to bear the onus of educating the majority of children. Further, the assumption that private schooling is superior to a government education is based on the fact that children in the former tend to outperform the latter in examinations. But that is a superficial reading of facts. Once we scratch the surface, we find that other factors also contribute to children's better outcomes in private schools, as indicated in a study conducted by Dr. Wadhwa. When parental education, tuition classes and economic disparities are controlled for, the difference in reading scores between government and private schools falls drastically from 20 per cent to five per cent. • In addition, we have to recognise that private schools differ vastly in terms of the quality of education they provide. This is why there are serpentine queues from the early hours of the morning for admissions into kindergarten in a few reputed schools. The scramble for seats is evidence of the dearth of quality education. Just herding children into private schools is not going to ensure their learning unless teachers are sensitised and trained to deal with children with different profiles. According to a study conducted by Wipro and Educational Initiatives, there are significant differences in the scores of children attending schools affiliated to the various national and State boards. Besides, children in the “top” private schools also exhibit rote learning and prejudiced thinking on sensitive socio-cultural issues.
  76. 76. Three factors abroad: • Thus, we cannot overlook the fact that our educational system, both government and private, is in need of serious overhaul. In 2007, McKinsey and Company published a report that analysed why some school systems in the world ranked highly in international assessments of literacy, numeracy and problem-solving year after year. Top performing countries included Belgium, Finland, Japan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Singapore and South Korea. While the countries sported vast differences, both culturally and politically, three factors regarding their education systems were common to all high performing nations. • First, a teaching job in these countries, unlike in India, is a high-status profession. In addition to receiving salaries comparable to other well-paying jobs, teacher training courses are highly selective and admit only the cream of graduates. • Second, teachers are provided intensive training and new recruits are mentored on the job. In our country, teachers tend to work in isolation and inexperienced teachers are expected to handle a class on their own without additional guidance. • Third, in the top-performing countries, schools try to offer the best possible education for every child by supporting those who lag behind. These schools monitor student performance closely and intervene when children fall behind by employing special educators who are trained in remedial instruction.
  77. 77. A U.S. study A study in the United States revealed that the vocabulary of a three-year-old child of professional parents was 1,100 words whereas, a child whose parents were on welfare had a vocabulary of just 525 words. Under the RTE, poor children were admitted in 2011 into Shri Ram School, New Delhi. An article in the Wall Street Journal quoted the principal, Manika Sharma as saying: “The teachers have come into my office and broken down. They say, ‘Help us. There is no learning happening for the other affluent children. What we achieved in one week with kids before is taking three weeks.'” Writer John Gardner aptly says, “The schools are the golden avenue of opportunity for able youngsters but they are also the arena in which less able youngsters discover their limitations.”. Schools need resource personnel who can counsel and help these children realise their potential. In addition to supplementary remedial classes that help students bridge the academic divide, all children should be sensitised on getting along amicably. As private schools open their doors, educators have to ensure that children from poor homes do not feel threatened by their more able and affluent peers, both academically and socially Even as the child who comes to school in a chauffeur driven car, studies alongside the chauffeur's child, the government cannot shy away from upgrading infrastructure, enhancing teacher quality and promoting educational attainment in public schools. As a society, we need to make a concerted effort to achieve educational excellence, both government and private. Private educators and the government have to work synergistically to loosen the shackles of our strictly stratified society.
  78. 78. SUGGESTIONS • Right to education bill is a historic move and a major achievement by India government. But the Act will serve its purpose only if the hurdles that keep poor kids away from the school are removed. • Give incentives for schooling: In the poor families, kids are seen as helping hands, the more the better. They help in household chores and in the farm, besides earning money from labor jobs. Their contribution is quite significant for the survival of the family as a whole. Sending them to school takes this support away from the family. Hence, in order to educate them the following steps are absolute necessity: • Monetary support to parents for sending kids to school. For example, Rs 100 per month for each kid as long as they are enrolled in the school. • Mid-day meal schemes. This is another wonderful idea to send kids to school and provide them nourishment too. Parents certainly love this idea, as seen from the running of Anganwadis in the state of Chhattisgarh.
  79. 79. • Establish ownership and responsibility Particularly in the rural and poor areas, people’s representatives – MPs, MLAs, Sarpanchs’ – should be made responsible for smooth functioning of the schools in their areas. • Local relevant NGOs and other organizations may also be involved. They can provide support through the School Management Committees. • Focus on teacher training programs • The quality of teachers is the backbone of any teaching program. Untrained or unmotivated teachers can mar any program, no matter how ambitious it is. Creating a standard training program to train and generate quality teachers is crucial for the RTE Act to produce meaningful results
  80. 80. • “Lack of interest” is responsible for major school drop-outs. HRD ministry’s 46th Round of the National Sample Survey (NSS) statistics of 2005 show that the drop out rate by class VIII is 51% mainly due to lack of interest. This disinterest is due to lack of stimulating environment and poor infrastructure in government schools at elementary levels. Additional factors, such as adverse teacher/student ratios and the perceived irrelevance of schooling also add to the high drop out rates. • Use computer and satellite technology to create awareness and interest • Create mobile units that pay visits to different schooling centres, particularly in remote areas and show relevant films to both the teachers and the students. This will help sustain interest and arouse curiosity. Even visiting once in a fortnight or month would serve the purpose.
  81. 81. CONCLUSION Thus, it can be concluded that, Education is a fundamental human right, without which capabilities for a decent life and effective participation in society are less likely to be developed. Since the RTE Act has provided us the tools to provide quality education to all our children, it is now imperative that we, the people of India, join hands to ensure the implementation of this law in its true spirit. The Government is committed to this task though real change will happen only through collective action and we must come forward willingly for the same. This Act has put India in the same league as U.S.A. and 130 other Nations as far as the right to education is concerned. Nothing can change overnight but there is a ray of hope. A hope that if all these hurdles and shortcomings are overcome and the loopholes removed, then this will become the road leading towards an Educated India, a Proud India. “SARVA SHIKSHA WILL BE USED TO PUSH RIGHT TO EDUCATION”
  82. 82. BIBLIOGRAPHY • Ali, S (2012). School Education: Strict Rules Bar Orphans from RTE Benefits, The Times Of India. Retrieved from 25/news/31398228_1_rte-act-orphans-caste-certificate on 5th March,2013 on 15th March,2013. • All About Right to Education Act in a Nutshell(2012). Retrieved from Education-Act-in-a-nutshell on 9th March,2013. • Giri, Rupa (2013) . Staff Shortage Takes Toll on Quality of Education. The Times Of India. Retrieved from 11/ranchi/37622551_1_tet-vacant-posts-teachers on 13th March,2013.
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