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Right to Education: A long path to walk on


PRATHAM DWIVEDI | New Delhi, April 18, 2012 09:56
Tags : Right to Education | Supreme Court | constitutional validity | private unaided schools |

Right to Education: A long path to walk onThe recent decision of the Supreme Court upholding constitutional validity of the Right to Education Act, 2009, that mandated private unaided non-minority schools to reserve 25 per cent of seats for underprivileged children, has once again started an unending debate in different quarters.

Private schools have strongly objected to the ruling and their associations are holding numbers of meetings, while the parents on the other hand haven't welcomed the decision too and have come out on the road to protest the fee hike that ensued.

Though most private schools are in denial mode and reluctant to speak on the issue, Charu Kapoor, the principal of Ganga International School in Delhi, welcomes the decision. “We have already given admission to the students under this act, it is a good move by the government. Underprivileged and children from economically weaker section should also be representation,” She said.

But Kapoor sounds a note of caution, saying that to implement the act effectively the government should bear the entire fee burden for these children and if this is not possible then government should allow private schools to use government colleges for evening classes.”

However, most of the children in rural areas ( where nearly 70 per cent of Indian population resides) attend the government schools. According to District Information System for Education 2010-11, as many as 84 percent of children in villages attend government schools. These government schools are below the standards which the government expects for the private schools.

Speaking on the issue, J. S. Rajput, former director of NCERT says, “ 90 per cent of government schools do not meet the standards required under RTE Act. If their schools can't meet the standards how can they transfer their responsibility to private schools.”

Supporting the apex court ruling, he said “I welcome the Supreme Court judgment”. “ Those who are running private schools can't go on increasing the fees. They should contribute in the process of nation building and they can't shed their social responsibilities by denying to implement the Act.”

Implementation seems to be the biggest challenge for this act. On one hand the government schools are facing huge shortage of teachers and infrastructure in remote ares, the private schools have scores of issues to count.

“Teaching children from affluent families and underprivileged one at the same roof children may create a lot of problems such as gang fights, teasing, name calling which may emotional turmoil that may prove difficult for the teachers to handle,” says Avdhesh Sharma, a Delhi based psychiatrists.

“The children coming from rich families will show off the way they dress, the way of transportation used and the way they talk, unless the children coming from the weaker section are not mentally prepared they may feel deprived and it may lead to a long term scarce in psyche of the children,” He added.

It has been more than six decades since independence that the nation is yet to provide quality education to all in the society and implementation of such laws has been a big hindrance.
If the coming generation is to be benefited from RTE kind of laws, then the government of the need to implement the Act in an honest manner and at the same time without disbalancing private education system.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017