2 yrs on, dropouts dent RTE success stories | delhi | Hindustan Times
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2 yrs on, dropouts dent RTE success stories

Nirmal Varma, a daily-wager in Indore, dreamt of sending his daughter to the same school as his employer’s child. His wish came true through the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

delhi Updated: Apr 01, 2012 00:40 IST
Vanita Srivastava

Nirmal Varma, a daily-wager in Indore, dreamt of sending his daughter to the same school as his employer’s child. His wish came true through the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

Dhanvantri, his daughter, not only got admission in Class 1 but has turned out to be a consistent topper. RTE, which makes elementary education compulsory in the 6-14 age group, completes two years on Sunday and boasts of numerous success stories.

“There are instances of children from the low-income groups doing better than their richer counterparts. In the junior classes, complexes don’t exist and students learn from each other,” said Manoj Jhalani, former principal secretary (school education), Madhya Pradesh.

But the road ahead is dotted with major challenges, such as the drop in enrolments. In MP, there was been an overall fall in enrolments from Class 1 to 8.

"This is fundamentally because of a decline in population of children in this age group. Also, most fake enrolments have been removed," said Jhalani.

Poor attendance and high dropout are other concerns. While the Centre has increased the allocation for RTE by 21.7% to R25,555 crore in the budget, academicians feel it's not enough.

Rukmani Banerjee of NGO Pratham said: "RTE is not just about buildings, uniforms and textbooks. It must also focus on the outcomes of learning."

Anjela Taneja of Oxfam India said almost seven lakh teachers' posts were vacant at the end of 2011 and another seven lakh teachers needed training to come up to RTE standards.