Get ready, itís school time
Right to Education Act is a historic step but there are some rough patches
EDUCATION BY HAAMID BUKHARI
Apex court giving RTE a validation certificate and binding almost majority of schools (excluding minority institutions) across country in obligation to keep 25% quota for weak socioeconomic children is a huge step for prosperous India. By Judicial decisions, RTE has been read into Right to life in Article 21. A child who is denied right to access education is not only deprived of his right to live with dignity, he is also deprived of his right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined in Article 19 (1) (A).
Deep introspection and contemplation into the new feature of this act creates division among thoughts. The act makes obligatory for all schools (both private either funded or aided by Govt or any local body and Govt schools as well) to induct 25% students from poor and economically backward families for free and compulsory education.
This RTE 2009 act seeks to remove all psychological barriers, which a child has to face while seeking admission in reputed schools. But there may be two apprehensions.
How would this act affect the psyche of poor kids, who will study in AC class rooms but live in slums. During day they will sit with the rich but at night have to sleep with their poor parents. This regular rotational shift will badly affect their psychology, develop depression, anxiety and may even compel them to stay away from schools. There will always be an inferiority complex among these 25% kids when their other class fellows belonging to rich families will come to school in luxurious cars, possesses scientific gadgets, wear branded clothes and play with expensive video games and tablets. Uniform colour will be the only common trait.
The second apprehension is the rise of fee in private educational institutions. Undoubtedly private schools provide quality education but never compromise on charges. They demand exponentially high fee without any checks. From this session (2012-13), when they have to leave 25% of their seats for free, they may increase the fee for remaining 75 seats in order to compensate the loss.
Government must not rely fully on private sector. There could have been other possible reforms under the ambit of "Sarva Shiksha Abiaan". Upgradation of basic standard of Government schools, maintaining pupil-teacher ratio as 30:1 and regular check by administration on functioning of these schools etc. Certain viable solutions may be implemented for making RTE a complete success.
In order to get a license (recognition from state boards and central board of school education) for running a private school in India, the school must be legally compelled to provide free and compulsory education, separately to 25% of the students belonging to weak socioeconomic sector. At least for a year, there must be separate classes for these students at a different timing. These schools with Govt's assistance can introduce vocational courses like additional skill acquisition programme (ASAP) for these students so that they can overcome their psychological barrier and in later years can freely mix with the other students. In this vocational course, students may be taught ethics, moral values and more focus could be on personality development. State education departments can monitor and keep regular check on these private schools for smooth implementation of this programme.
Back in 2005-06, Government of J&K sponsored 8 children from Govt schools for their admission and studies in Delhi Public School, Srinagar and this year all of them passed class 12th exam with flying colours. Even teachers aren't aware about their free uniform, books, education etc. Such steps will certainly change the overall education setup of this country without creating a divide between different sections of society.
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Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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