Improvement in implementation of RTE: Report

Improvement in implementation of RTE: Report

Schools register additional enrolment of over 18 lakh at primary level

 A government report has indicated an improvement in the implementation of the Right to Education Act in the last two years with the schools registering an additional enrolment of over 18 lakh children at the primary level across the country in 2010-11.

According to the report, prepared by the HRD ministry, over 13.52 crore children were enrolled at primary level across the country under the RTE Act in 2010-11. Last year, about 13.34 crore children had been enrolled in primary schools.

However, the lack of teachers continued to remain an area of serious concern as it was affecting the quality of education. The pupil-teacher ratio at the national level came at the required 30:1, but it was still found to be varying from 40:1 to even 90: 1 in several states, Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said while releasing the report on Saturday.

While the accessibility to primary education has gone up, the annual average drop-out rate was also found to have come down to 6.8 in 2010-11 from 9.1 recorded last year.

“There has been an over five per cent decline in drop-out rate in Bihar, Jharkhand, Nagaland and Utter Pradesh,” he said. But, “sadly” the drop-out rate has gone up in some states in Haryana and Mizoram. “We will have to find the reasons behind the increase in drop-out rates in these two states,” he added.

The minister noted that the RTE rules have been notified in all the states and Union territories, except Karnataka and Goa. Governments in Karnataka and Goa are also in process of notifying the rules. “I hope they will do it soon.” With the rules bring notified, Sibal told the state governments to proactively share, the responsibility of the implementation of the law guaranteeing free and compulsory education to children between six and fourteen years of age, with the Centre.

“Since the act came into force, we have sanctioned a total of 6,82,788 teachers’ posts and over 4.96 lakh classrooms under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). Allocations for the implementation of the law has also been now increased to 25,000 crore. We did our duty. Now states, who have notified the rules, are required to fulfill their responsibilities,” he said.

The minister said that a “10-point agenda” has also been charted out for the states as they are in a position to carry forward the mission and objectives of the implementation.
Under the agenda, the states are required to fill up the vacancy of teachers, initiate efforts for curricular reforms to improve quality of education, and put all “child-centered provisions” of the Act into practice in schools “including prohibition of corporal punishment, detention and expulsion”. They need to create the required infrastructure for the implementation of the law and complete all spillover and fresh works required to provide drinking water facilities and toilets to the children as per a recent directive of the Supreme Court.

“They have to implement and monitor admission of children from disadvantaged groups and weaker sections under Section 12 (1) © of the Act,” Sibal said.