Right to Education of every child; dream yet unfulfilled
Even after 10 years of announcement of Right to Education (RTE) law re-enforced under Parliament Act of India on August 4, 2009, the situation is grave in the mountain state of Uttarakhand. The official data in Uttarakhand estimates it has hundreds of children who do not go to school or are drop outs.
Education became a fundamental right of every child in the age of 6 to 14 years through the 86th amendment by inserting a clause in the Indian Constitution in 2002.
But still as per child census 2016-17 census, Out Of School Children(OoSC) in the six to 14 years age group from Haridwar shows that total of 479 children are not attending school out of which children with special needs are 161.
A glance at the past shows that India has been focusing on education since initial years in the post-independence era. In 1949, recognising the urgency of catching up with scientifically advanced countries, the Indian government appointed a higher education commission and implemented its recommendations.
However, elementary school education did not achieve a priority treatment. This was the first and crucial missed opportunity as it would have contributed to building an egalitarian society consistent with the ideals of Indian constitution.
In 1966 the National Education Commission produced a detailed blueprint for achieving an educational revolution.
Most of its recommendations dealing with elementary school education were not implemented due to some political compulsions of the time.
Different priorities like eradication of poverty and the like needed to be addressed.
But now even after 70 years of independence the education for every child is not realised.
Amid a considerable shortage of educators and dilapidated primary school buildings, many challenges are staring the Haridwar district administration in the eye.
Single teacher schools are a big challenge before the administration. RTE Act specifies that any school with enrollment upto 60 students at primary level must have at least 2 teachers. Very few students enroll at primary level, and those who do, drop out before reaching secondary level.
The District Education Officer (Basic) Brahmpal Saini said, “The major problem of school dropouts and non-schooling is in minority and labour classes. The parents of minority class prefer sending their children to madrassas where they are deprived of formal education.
We are trying to bring them to the main stream by giving accreditation to these madrassas. As far as the children of labour class are concerned, most of them engage their children in work.
Many labourers who are working in quarrying areas move to their work site after 3-4 months. Similar is the case with farmers who work as labourers on farm lands.
They keep shifting to Uttar Pradesh border areas with change of harvesting crops which in turn affects their proper regularised education. Education guarantee schools (EGS) and residential schools with bridge courses have been initiated which provide them education at the work site.”
Monday, 15 April 2019 | RADHIKA NAGRATH | Haridwar
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