The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, is a regulation about children’s Right to Education. This law is made apparent to ensure that all children between class 1 and class 8 get a free education. However, what is happening is just the opposites with the closure of thousands of schools.
This is because; the Act contains rules on the pupil-teacher ratio, teacher vacancies, penalties for conducting screening tests and punishing children. This where the schools are getting disqualified as they fail to meet the required criteria. In Maharashtra, 7000 schools are sent with closure notices. The state is also in thick of a controversy, where it did not pay reimbursement to the children belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS) when they are legitimate beneficiaries of such funds. This row has been going on for five years now.
- RTE Facing a Fatal Blow in Orissa
- What Happened to Free and Compulsory Education to the Underprivileged Children?
- A Platform where Corporate Leaders and Academicians Converge: Krea University
- Why Indian Universities Rank Abysmally Low?
Devendra Fadnavis government threatened to cancel the registration of these schools when they said they will not admit students under the EWS category till their dues were settled. Some of these schools had to take the help of law and went to court to get an interim stay. As a consequence of this, the state government has decided to apply the stay only to the schools that have gone to the court while administrators will be appointed in others.
Kerala and Delhi, too, have sent the notice of closure to 2,500 and 300 schools respectively, with a deadline of 30 March. According to data put out by the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA), as of May 2016 (the latest available consolidated data), a little over 4,000 schools have been closed since 2013 under the RTE Act while closure notices have been issued to around 7,700.
This shows the abysmal planning and vision of the laws and statutes that our lawmakers make. Although this statute was constructed with a noble intent, the vision and insights were not delved into pragmatically. The result is detrimental and objectively opposite to what the law aimed for. Although this Act was crafted during the time of Manmohan Singh government, BJP should reverse it as it has the mandate and majority in both houses of the parliament. Narendra Modi has made several changes in the regulations, but the education is one of the areas he has never given emphasis on. It is high time for him to come out of the closet and deliver what the RTE was originally meant for providing education to all!