Commission is conducting a social audit in ten states
Jasleen Kaur | October 11, 2011
Poor infrastructure, lack of teachers and quality education, and dirty, non-functional toilets - these are some of the factors crippling the education sector. A post-facto social audit of the implementation of the right to education (RTE) Act conducted by the national commission for protection of child rights (NCPCR), the designated auditor, has found acute deficiencies in most schools across the country.
In an interview with Governance Now, NCPCR's RTE commissioner Kiran Bhatty said the objective of the audit is to get the block and district level education officers to own responsibility and accountability for the functioning of the schools. She added this exercise will also get people involved directly in the monitoring of the functioning of schools.
The commission has tied up with various civil society groups for the audit conducted in ten states - Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Bihar, Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Assam.
The performance of the states, Bhatty said, varied. In most state capitals, a lot of paperwork like formation of state rules, aligning with SSA (sarva sikshya abhiyan), and recruitment of teachers has started. But what still needs a lot more effort, and may take a little time, is implementation reaching the grassroots.
Andhra Pradesh readily admitted the audit, while Bihar and Rajasthan have been trying to keep pace with the southern state. Delhi is one of the remaining that have been the least responsive so far.
Bhatty said that that the shortage of teachers is a problem across all states but in some states like UP and Bihar it is really worrisome.
She also said that one of the more damaging shortfalls in the implementation of the act is the absence of a grievance redressing system. “This system is really important for this act. Otherwise, you are just implementing a scheme as you were doing earlier.”
She said that it is important to change the whole system to achieve the target of universalisation of education by 2015.
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