ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Right to Education

Intergenerational Effects of Educating Girls on Empowering the Next Generation

The study was undertaken with financial support from a consortium of funders, including Bank of America Foundation, Chanel, Kiawah Trust, Tata Trusts, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development through grants awarded to Dasra, Mumbai; their support is gratefully acknowledged. Funding agencies played no role in designing the study, collecting, analysing, and interpreting the data, writing up this paper, or submitting it for publication. The authors are grateful to Sreya Bhattacharya, Shivani Gupta, Shailja Mehta, and Harihar Sahoo for their comments and support and to Dasra, Mumbai, for permission to use the data.
 

Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in West Bengal

Literacy and education are vital developmental indicators for a nation. With more than 200 million children, India has the world’s most extensive primary education system. While primary school enrolment has increased significantly, learning levels remain low. To strengthen foundational literacy and numeracy, the West Bengal government launched “Shishu Aloy” a model Integrated Child Development Services centre in 2015. But the shortage of trained anganwadi workers is the major drawback of this programme in rural villages of West Bengal.

 

What’s Ailing Primary Education in Rural India: A Case Study of a Government-run Primary School in Allapur Village, Telangana

Almost a decade after the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 was passed, it becomes pertinent to review and analyse the levels of implementation of the RTE Act, 2009 and constraints in its effective implementation. This study observed an increase in the overall enrolment rates in a government-run primary school in Allapur village in Telangana; however, the lack of basic amenities like toilets, safe drinking water and unhygienic surroundings is a matter of concern. The quality of education was far behind as there was a shortage of teachers, lack of innovative practices of teaching, reluctant school administration authorities and lack of motivation from the parents. These problems need to be addressed to promote the right for quality education for each child. We learned from the observations that providing a school building and midday meals is not the solution. What is needed is a focus on how to make the community realise the importance of quality education in primary years and instil the habit of using toilets and safe drinking water to maintain proper hygiene in the foundation years. 

Financing the Right to Education

An assessment of the resource gaps for fulfilling the right to education across Indian states presents a disconcerting picture. The gap between normative requirement and actual expenditure is particularly large in the poorer states, requiring not only a higher overall fiscal push, but one that would address the unequal positions of the states. Since equalisation is the primary mandate of the Finance Commission, it should address the inequalities in provision of elementary education, which is a merit good plus a core constitutional guarantee. To meet the special needs of the 16 focus states with the largest additional requirement vis-à-vis their revenue base, it is important that the Fifteenth Finance Commission responds with specific purpose grants of an adequate magnitude for elementary education.

What Does the Right to Education Need to Achieve?

In the context of the Right to Education, it is essential that the government (i) lays down a clear financial road map based on a normative framework with clearly stated and transparent norms that apply equitably; (ii) recognises the unequal financial position of the states and the crucial role of the centre in forging long-run development goals; and (iii) approaches finance in relation to social policy.  

Derailing Right to Education in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh has one of the lowest enrolment rates for economically weaker section and disadvantaged category children under the 25 percent reservation clause in the RTE Act. Yet the state government has issued multiple regressive notifications that inhibit these children from seeking admission under this clause. These notifications not only fail to satisfy the equality principle under the Indian Constitution but are also beyond the jurisdiction of the parent statute. 

The Road to English

Students of English from the economically weaker sections in private schools in Delhi now go through an extended phase of muteness and incomprehensibility before they finally pick up the language, almost by osmosis. The US education system, which promotes bilingualism as opposed to diglossia here, has some lessons for India if the attempt is to make English learning more easy, enjoyable, and useful.