NCPCR advocates RTE action-plan for Delhi

National capital and many other states yet to notify RTE rules

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | May 2, 2011



The Delhi government claimed to be the first state to implement the right to free and compulsory education (RTE) act. But even after a year of its implementation the state government is yet to notify the rules.

National Commission for Protection of Child Right (NCPCR), the government body monitoring the implementation of the act, says government schools here lack facilities while both teachers and administration are insensitive to the issue. The commission will soon have a meeting with the government in which it will present a plan of action for the implementation of the act.

RTE commissioner Kiran Bhatty says, "Education officers do not even know much about the act. It’s quite a sad state.”

Bhatty says the state government should adopt a plan of action soon to achieve its target by 2015, the year set up by the HRD minister Kapil Sibal for universalisation of education.

“There is shortage of teachers and training schools. And then there are lot of urban problems as well like street children, migrant workers. So things need to be done in a larger context in Delhi,” Bhatty added.

The act requires complete overhaul of the system and mindset which, Bhatty says, cannot be done overnight. “Many changes are happening at the policy level in some states. But yes if we go further down, at the ground level you don’t see any change.”

So far, only 13 states have notified rules. States like Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are performing well. There is a good response from Haryana government on complaints filed. But states like Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have hardly started working in this regard.

Cases related to corruption, violation of laws, willful negligence, inefficiency and callousness of teachers and officials while implementing the Act are common with the commission. Bhatty says regular cases and complaints show that people are getting to know about the act.

“We are handling various kinds of cases. Like one of them in Bhilwara district where teachers asked students from backward class to pick the body of a dead dog in the school premises. We are investigating this case.”

The commission is happy with the proposed grievance redressal system by the HRD ministry. Bhatty says this will actually make a difference in implementation. “Earlier there were just schemes on education policies. It was hardly taken seriously. But now it’s an act and we have to ensure that it is properly implemented. For this grievance redressal mechanism is a must.”

The commission has also started a pilot project on social audit process in one district each of 10 states including Delhi, Haryana, Assam, and Uttar Pradesh.  It is developing a monitoring methodology for the act.

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