BANGALORE: Will Right To Education (RTE) Act improve quality of elementary education and will the drop-out rates in primary school be arrested? there were some of the questions that were put forth during a discussion held here, on Friday.
Speaking at the seminar on RTE, organised by Janandolana, organising secretary of All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) D Ramesh Patnaik said, “RTE does not provide quality education at the elementary school level. There are no measures to put an end to the paucity of teachers in primary schools. In several government schools there are just one or two teachers for classes one to five.”
Patnaik pointed that there is no provision to check on the drop out rates at the elementary school level. He said, “The RTE also embarks on the factor of reimbursement, which means that the government will pay the private institutions for the 25 per cent reservation according to RTE. This reimbursement policy does not show any intention of regulating of private institutions but instead enhances commercialisation of education.”
While the RTE clearly states that capitation fee at schools cannot be collected, it also gives the private institutions the freedom to impose fee without any upper limit during the time of admission. “RTE does not even remotely mention the inclusion of common system of schooling,” Patnaik said.
Writer and former professor G Ramakrishna said that RTE does not envision the improvement of education quality. “The Act must introduce a common system of education and must endorse various methods of teaching to improve the education quality at the elementary school level. RTE must curtail discrimination even as it implements the 25 per cent quota of admission in private institutions as the children eligible for the quota will mainly come from economically poor background,” Ramakrishna said.
He added, “Government schools do not have enough students and teachers in the villages across the State. RTE will now encourage students to migrate to various private institutions in pursuit of English medium schooling, which again does not assure quality education.”