If statistics are anything to go by, the state government will have to cover miles to ensure the proper implementation of the right of children to free and compulsory education under the RTE Act.
Three years after it came into effect, a stocktaking report of the implementation of the act across 15 UP districts showed that only 27% government primary schools fulfill RTE norms related with appointment of teachers.
The report prepared by state collective for right to education (score) — a group of civil society organisations working for implementation of the act in Uttar Pradesh —was released during at a seminar organised here at Sangeet Natak Academy on Thursday.
The report, the data for which was collected from 645 schools, claimed that teachers in 64% schools covered were deployed for non-academic activities.
“The numbers only confirm what everyone already knows - we are nowhere near achieving the standards of education and education-infrastructure envisioned in the RTE Act,” said Deepak Xavier, a representative of Oxfam India.
The study further revealed that 10% elementary schools were not situated within prescribed area while 12% primary schools were not suitable for all weather.
Besides, drinking water facility was not available in 11% schools.
The report also said that 77% government primary schools did not have functional toilets for girls while only 19% had functional toilet for boys.
This is when the state completed three years of enactment of RTE Act — the deadline of fulfilling norms — on April, 1 2013.
The report also suggested some possible steps that could help government in implementing the act.
“The state’s preparedness for proper implementation of the RTE needs to be prioritised in terms of development of infrastructure, teachers and setting up of state commission for protection of child rights,” said Rama Kant Rai, convener national coalition for education.
The study also suggested that government schools need to improve their quality: The trend of increasing enrolment in private schools and decreasing trend in government schools has emerged as another matter of concern.
“Until education is not made a political issue, incidents like the death of children in Bihar would keep repeating,” concluded Sehba Hussain of Beti foundation.