Whether itís good or bad, the Right To Education Act will definitely have a strong impact on the future of India. RTE or our ĎRight to Informationí has the power to change the face of Indian economy and everything else that has a say on the future of this varied nation. However let us know what exactly the RTE means and how can it change things.
Meaning of RTE
According to the RTE every Indian child in the age group of 6-14 years has the right to free education. The government has to compulsorily make arrangements to see to it that every child gets complete primary schooling (till class 8). It is required to improve the infrastructure of the rural areas, allocate sufficient funds and also see to it that students attend school and the fund allocated is fruitfully utilized. However the government cannot necessarily force and child to attend regular school. What it can do is spread awareness through various means which will include various incentives like mid day meals, scholarships and others. The children are the future citizens of this developing nation and thus it is imperative for any government to see to it that they are able to take up responsibility.
To make Infrastructure Better
The guidelines of the RTE which are to be implemented within three years from now include several necessary measures. Firstly the government should ensure a proper school within 5 km of every Indian neighborhood. The school should have sufficient number of qualified teachers to teach upto the fifth level. The school building needs to be an all weather building liaised with a kitchen, a storeroom and one room for every teacher apart from sufficient number of classrooms. For every 40 children there should be at least one teacher and a head is necessary if the number of students exceed 100. The school should provide the children with safe drinking water facility and a well stocked library that will include not only the study materials but also story books, magazines and newspapers. A playground too is necessary where students will be able to have modern recreation facility. Sports material, equipments and other necessary things need to be provided to the students for free.
Raise Standard of education
The curriculum of the school is to be standardized by the central government and time to time reform measures are to be implemented via the head teacher and other teaching staff. For innovation and capacity building, the centre needs to needs to provide necessary technical support and innovative resources.
Advantage for the weaker sections
For the betterment of the rural areas private schools are directed to have a reservation of 25% of the seats for the backward section of the community. The government will duly reimburse the fee but the schools are not to charge anything from the poor students. This is to be put into practice from the 2011 academic session in every Indian school. Vulnerable groups are to be identified and given due support within this time period.
To improve School regulation and management
The schools which fall fully under government regulations are to be managed by the SMC (School Management Committee) set up by the central authority. Within the next three years all schools (private and government) need to meet the requested norms and get their RTE registrations done. Failing this, the school will have to be forcibly closed.
Immediate impact on Common man's Life
Talking about the immediate impact on the life of the commoners, the first thing that the Right to Education will ensure that every child get a seat in a proper school. Admission cannot be denied on any grounds. Screening tests for admission in private schools are to be totally done away with for the backward class candidates. Teachers registered under the RTE cannot provide separate private tuitions and generate private revenue. Students will have to be promoted in the elementary classes regardless of their results. The students who have crossed 6 years of age and did not have the opportunity to attend schools will be given special classes in government schools to speed make up for the time they have lost.
However, for all this to be implemented a huge fund is necessary. Teachers need to be trained and many school buildings need to be built from scratch or upgraded. Appointment of about 12 lakh new teachers under a certain regulation needs great management and funds. The centre is to contribute 65% of the fund in each state and the rest 35% is to be handled by the state government. An expenditure of INR 1,70,000 crores has been estimated over the next five year period. However, the prime minister and the HRD ministry are confident about the allocation.