There is no adherence to the Right to Education Act either

For all the talk about the Right to Education Act, the idea of school for many city children constitutes nothing more than a single room in which multiple classes are managed by two or more teachers.

According to the information available with the district education officials, a total of 52 schools—48 primary and four high schools-- in the city are being run in rent-free premises. While the term ‘rent-free premises’ also includes space provided by voluntary organisations, most often it means nothing more than community halls in respective localities.

For school accommodation, the Right to Education Act prescribes an all-weather building with at least one classroom for every teacher, an office-cum-store-cum-head teacher’s room, separate toilets for girls and boys, a kitchen where mid-day meal is cooked, and a playground, all enclosed within a boundary wall.

However, majority of the government schools in rent-free buildings, and even in some rented premises, lack in these facilities.

Needless to say, those running in community halls are devoid of most of the amenities.

While the State government has increased rent admissible for school buildings from Rs.5 to Rs.10 per square foot since last year, it is insufficient to procure accommodation in locations where there is need for a school, says District Education Officer A.Subba Reddy.

While such is the situation, construction of additional class rooms under Rajiv Vidya Mission has reportedly run into rough weather due to various reasons including non-availability of sites, court cases, and the unwillingness of contractors to carry out works.

“Finding government land in the city has become quite difficult. We are being given sites in dump-yards, wells, and some times even lakes, where no contractor is willing to take up construction. At a few locations, we are facing court disputes, while at some others, the local people are not allowing construction,” the Project Officer, RVM, P.Suseendra Rao said.

Against the 892 classrooms sanctioned for primary schools at 145 locations in the city during the past two years, only 206 have been completed so far. Many classrooms sanctioned for the year 2011-12 have not been even grounded, reportedly due to paucity of sites.

While nearly 350 classrooms in 58 locations have been sanctioned for high school buildings during last year, only about 85 have been completed so far.

Progress is tardy even where the projects are grounded, as sand prices have skyrocketed recently , Mr. Rao said.

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