gfiles magazine

October 19, 2012

humour mk kaw
Right to Education a farce
Today, when we survey the educational scene in India, all we see is an awful mess. The reason is the absence of a single cohesive, integrated vision which can sift through the reports of numerous expert committees and come up with workable, pragmatic solutions. Things are done in such a tearing hurry that no one has time to think through the repercussions of decisions already taken.
  • Take, for example, the Right to Education Act. When it was passed, it looked like the long-awaited culmination of hopes and aspirations of millions of illiterate children. But when we examine the practical implementation of the Act in the field, we find that it has many lacunae:
  • It would be apparent to the meanest intelligence that you can have total coverage of all out-of-school children only if you declare a large majority of our schools as neighbourhood schools.  The principal and staff of such schools will then be legally responsible to physically bring each out-of-school child to school. In practice, the whole concept of neighbourhood schools is missing. Lip service is paid to the concept by awarding some points to distance of residence from school. Even in this watered down version, parents take the school managements for a ride by giving false residential addresses.
  • As my maid servant’s daughter was eligible to attend school, she went along with her husband to a school run by the Government of Delhi a few yards from my house. Even though they had filled in forms and submitted numerous proofs, they were no closer to admission. Then my daughter-in-law accompanied them but to no avail. Finally, I had to go myself to the principal. He was reluctant to give a positive decision and I had perforce to reveal my identity as the former Education Secretary in the Government of India before he obliged. What sort of right is this that takes so much effort to enforce and that too in Greater Kailash-I in the heart of New Delhi?.............READ MORE

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