Sunday, April 4, 2010

My trouble with political spin: The Facade of Right to Education in India

Lets bust few bubbles in this govt. balloon.

1) This is not Dr. Singh or Mr. Sibal or Mrs. Gandhi's Idea.

Let me quote from my favorite book "The Constitution of India", Article 45 states:

"45. Provision for free and compulsory education for children.

—The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years."

So a law like this supposed to be made by 1950+10=1960.

2)Obviously why it took 50 years more? Surely a 13 page(that how much space it took in The Gazette of India, dated 27th August,2010) bare act could have been written earlier also?

Again I refer back to the great book, article 41 (where D. Ambedkar and his team gave a guideline on these type of silly, populist, headline-seeking, unimplementable acts).

"41. Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases.

—The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want."

Note the phrases "within the limits of its economic capacity and development" and "make effective provision", the excuse of previous government was that this was beyond its economic limits.

My problem is that this bill (well its been passed and It's an act now)is neither within economic capacity nor does it make effective provision for education.

3) Why is the the Act not applicable to Jammu & Kashmir? (Section 1, Subsection 2)

4) My problem with RTE act (Section 2, Subsection c) The attempt to define child, why 6-14 age group?

5) My problem with RTE act 2, n) The attempt to define school, uses the word school itself.Improper definition. Many lawyers and private schools will be able skirt around the definition.

6)My problem with RTE act 3, (2) "No child will be liable to pay any kind of fee.." Guardian is not mentioned. Deliberate loopholes for lawyers.

Almost all sections are worthless, Section 11, Pre-school to all (In fact many school would use it as a shield to not to admit under privileged children). Section 6, Availability of schools.

Responsibility is scattered between State Governments, Local Authority (like panchayet, municipality) and guardians. No punitive measured against the authorities or incentive given to poor in this Act.

The number of students who are presently would be at least 200 million. Neither do we have the classrooms nor do we have the army of willing teachers who can leave the city to teach them.

This is not implementable (despite the good rhetoric churned out) and that the way government and bureaucracy likes it.

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