States opposing RTE are not interested in education for all: Sibal | india | Hindustan Times
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States opposing RTE are not interested in education for all: Sibal

In a strong message to states who have expressed inability to provide funds for implementing the Right To Education Act, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal today said this posturing shows they are not interested in ensuring education for all.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2010 16:45 IST

In a strong message to states who have expressed inability to provide funds for implementing the Right To Education Act, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday said this posturing shows they are not interested in ensuring education for all.

"If the state says it does not want to contribute, the message to the people of the state is that they are not interested in education," Sibal, who is visiting Australia, told PTI.

The minister's views came in response to statements from chief ministers of two major educationally backward states demanding full funding from the Centre for implementing the RTE Act which came into force on April one.

The Act, which has made education a fundamental right of every child, will require an investment of Rs 1.71 lakh crore for the next five years for implementation.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar have demanded that the Centre meet cent per cent financial requirements under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act.

Education is primarily a state subject and the states should take more responsibility in providing education to the children, Sibal said.

"This is a central scheme through which we are trying to be part of a national endeavour in education. I think the states will decide what to do on this," Sibal said.

The HRD Ministry is pushing for a fund sharing pattern of 55-45 between the Centre and the states for implementing the Act. The Finance Commission has already provided Rs 25,000 crore as assistance to the states for the next five years for meeting requirements of the Act.

However, Mayawati has said that Rs 18,000 crore would be needed in one year for implementing the Act. The state will have to arrange around Rs 8,000 crore for the purpose. It would be difficult for the state to arrange this sum, she has said.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said the state government was irrevocably committed to implementing the Act but the Centre meet cent per cent financial requirements.

Incidentally both Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are the most educationally backward states in the country. Against the national literacy rate of 65 per cent, the literacy rate of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are 56 and 47 per cent respectively.

At present, over three lakh children in the 6-14 years age are not studying in any school in Uttar Pradesh. The scenario in Bihar is even worse as there is huge demand supply gap of teachers.