While the Right to Education Act (RTE) promises quality education for all children aged between 6 and 14, this assurance has not been fulfilled in a panchayat less than 50 km from the State capital, found a sample study conducted by the Centre for Child and the Law at the National Law School of India University.
The sample study by the team, led by V.P. Niranjanaradhya, Fellow and Programme Head for Universalisation of Equitable Quality Education Programme, points to several grounds on which the RTE’s promise on infrastructural facilities has not been implemented in letter and spirit in the 15 government schools at Bannikuppe panchayat.
Though the State is mandated to provide these facilities before the end of March 2013, provision for safe drinking water, hygienic kitchens for mid-day meals or playgrounds, still remain elusive in most of these schools.
The study found that none of the schools they surveyed had an office-cum-storeroom before the implementation of the legislation. With only four months left before the deadline to provide this basic facility under the RTE, only one school has constructed the room.
While providing facilities for children with disabilities is mandatory under the RTE, the number of schools which had these provisions remained the same. Also, barring one school, none have constructed separate toilets for girls and boys after the law was brought into force.
The study found that though all schools had provision for drinking water, most of it was not safe to drink. After implementation of the Act, only three schools made provisions to provide safe drinking water. The same was true of hygiene in kitchens.