Glaring discrepancies in the implementation of the Right to Education Act across Karnataka were discussed at a State-level meet convened here on Saturday by the People Alliance for Right to Education (PAFRE).
Each district representative prepared a brief note about the ground realities of the RTE and its implementation at the workshop attended by members of PAFRE, teachers, mahila sanghas, Dalit sanghas and various non-governmental organisations that work in the field of primary education.
V.P. Niranjanradhya, facilitator-PAFRE, said apart from the 25 per cent quota for disadvantaged children, there are several other issues that are not being addressed at all. “If you go by government’s figures, about 54,000 students are still out of school. This is a huge number by itself. Issues of donations being collected, teachers being burdened with non-teaching work and rampant corporal punishment are some of the major concerns. We do not have a proper redressal mechanism in place either. The Act is not being implemented in letter and spirit.”
The discrepancies that were brought to light by the speakers will now be prepared as a document to place before the National Alliance for the Fundamental Right to quality Education and Equity (NAFRE) during the national level stocktaking meet scheduled to be held in New Delhi on April 3 and 4.
Narasimha Murthy, director of Abhivruddi, a Tumkur-based NGO, noted that teachers, slum development programme members and officials in-charge of implementing the RTE are hardly aware of the provisions of the Act.
“One major concern is the lack of proper sanitary facilities in schools. All schools are required to have a separate toilet for girls, boys and teachers. But in most institutions there is only one toilet and even that is being used only by teachers. Schools even lack infrastructure like compound walls, playground and libraries,” he added.