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

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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.

Has the Right to Education Been Realised in Jharkhand?

This article focuses on the status of implementation of various provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act in six tribal-dominated districts in Jharkhand.

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.
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