Tardy implementation exposes State government’s insincerity
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, February 1: The Right to Education (RTE) Act seeks to universalise primary education in the country by granting it as a fundamental right. As in other states, it is also being implemented in Assam. But thanks to the insincerity of the Tarun Gogoi government, implementation of the RTE Act has become a mockery in the State.
Most people of the State are still uware about the educatiol rights granted to them by the RTE Act and schools are taking advantage of it. This is because no publicity has been given to the rules and regulations under the Act.
Poor student–teacher ratio, infrastructural shortcomings and lack of basic facilities in schools continue to dog primary education in the State, putting a question mark on the proper implementation of the RTE Act.
According to the survey titled ‘Annual Status of Education Report 2014’, conducted by Pratham, a prominent NGO at the tiol level, on the country’s primary education (from Class I to Class VIII) scerio, the required student–teacher ratio of 30:1 is being maintained by only 34 per cent schools in Assam. The rest of the schools do not have the required number of teachers for their students. “70.1 per cent schools in the State have the required classroom–teacher ratio. As per the Act, one teacher is a must for each classroom,” the survey stated.
Pure drinking water must be provided in all schools in the country but 19.4 per cent schools in Assam don’t have this facility. “Interestingly, though 15.4 per cent schools in the State have drinking water facility, there is no water for drinking,” the survey added.
About toilet facility, 8 per cent schools in the State don’t have it. The survey stated: “Though 33.3 per cent schools in the State have toilet facility, all of these are not usable.”
As per the RTE Act, it is mandatory for every school to have separate toilet facility for girls, besides proper toilet facility for all students. “There is no separate toilet facility for girl students in 22.8 per cent schools in the State,” the survey revealed.
Sadly, 54.7 per cent schools in Assam do not have library facility for their students, but as per the RTE Act norms, library facility is a must for a school for the betterment of students.
When it comes to availability of kitchen sheds for cooking mid–day meal in all schools across the country, Assam fares slightly better. “Kitchen sheds for cooking mid–day meal are available in 88.7 per cent schools in the State.”
At a time when the Assam government is boasting about progress made in the education sector, poor implementation of the RTE Act is a testimony of the dismal state of affairs in school education. It is obvious that no progress has been made in this sector in the past few years.