‘There is no political will to make RTE work’
HT interviews Ameeta Mulla Wattal - educationist, vice chairperson of National Progressive School Conference (NPSC), she ehads Springdales School, Pusa Road.delhi Updated: Apr 02, 2013 23:49 IST
Why have most schools failed to implement RTE provisions?
The Act has remained static. In Delhi, the onus for education of disabled and EWS students has been shifted to private schools without giving us any form of independence in terms of fund-raising.
Private schools account for only 20% of the country's total schools. There is no political will to make RTE work. The magnifying glass has been turned on Delhi while neighbouring states are yet to notify the laws. As for special educators, if schools are unable to find them, special training should be given to existing teachers.
Does teacher education require an overhaul?
Yes, because those who have undergone training are unable to even pass the Central Teacher Eligibility Test. There are few qualified teachers available. The incentives these teachers get are not very high. The teachers have no awareness about RTE. In government schools, the student-teacher ratio is skewed.
Was the three-year deadline unrealistic?
In three years, RTE has just raised people's awareness and desire for quality education. But government schools, which should be addressing it, are unable to meet the demand. We must change our attitude toward elementary education.
Is shutting down schools that don't meet the requirements the solution?
The government can't afford to shut down these schools. In any case, people have lost faith in the government schools (other than Kendriya Vidyalayas and Pratibha Vidyalayas). The solution is to raise the standard and number of government schools.