Thoughts on RTE


Right to Education policy has been into effect for last one year. It seemed to be an ambitious project of the Central Government. If it can be implemented successfully that is going to bring a revolutionary social impact in our next generation.

India, from a sociology perspective, is going through demographic explosion. Our average death rate has came down drastically compared to the post independence time but the birth rate has increased considerably. But this is not true across the country. Some state are exceptions. Especially Kerala, where the birth rate has come down to 1.8. This is less than the replacement number 2. But some other parts of the country like Bihar, MP, UP, etc are having birth rate of 4. So this requires a fool proof education system which can equip our future generations so that the country as a whole can get benefited out of th e demographic explosion.

But RTE is having some inherent problems which should be addressed at the earliest. Else it will just qualify enough to add as a poll campaign agenda for the ruling parties and opposition parties. Ruling party will mark it as a credit while opposition parties will try to project the demerits of it.

What is the problem ?… Even though central government has brought in this ambitious bill, it didn’t reserve enough monitory resources for implementing the same. The central Government is trying to persuade the State Governments to allot funds for implementing  this bill. But the State Governments lead by the different parties mostly regional parties having different agendas and RTE may not be at the top of priorities. Also state like Kerala needs the bill not in the current form. They have already implemented RTE in a different form and according to their budget. Even Kerala might need to reform the education system to align with the RTE proposed by Central Government.

One of the proposal of RTE is to improve the student Teacher ratio, which requires another 10 million teachers in another four years. But do we have sufficient Teacher’s Training Institutes to cater this need. Do we have that many number of youth ready to work in the teaching profession(in the wake of other employment opportunities which is offering much higher pay packages). Will we be able to improve their quality just by recruiting them to the system. Don’t we need to revisit the syllabus of the Teacher’s Training Programs itself. What about the current teachers Pool. How are they going to get accustomed to the change. many questions with vague/diplomatic answers. That will not serve the purpose of RTE.

Central Government should proactively step-up into the implementation activities of RTE as it is their child.  Abandoning of this project half way is going to have long standing ripples in every sector of India in the forthcoming years. If India need to be a developed country by 2025, If India need to be a world leader by 2025, If India needs to use its youth in a productive manner implementation of RTE should successful.

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