The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 provided right to have personal textbooks by every children in a class within elementary education system. These books need to be distributed among children on time, i.e. beginning of every academic year. But the realities are different. All the children do not receive their entitled textbooks, and among those who receive, majority of them receive well after start of the academic session. According to a survey conducted by the RTE Forum in 457 schools in 10 states, textbooks were not available on time for around 50% of schools. According to DISE 2013-14 data, around 27 % of government management elementary schools in India did not received books at all in the academic year, the worst three non performing states for textbook distribution in terms of percentage of schools (children) which have not received textbooks at all are Kerla (70.72%), Delhi (49.33%) and Chandigarh (43.76%)
What would be ones’ immediate reaction when someone comes to know about learning assessment survey outcomes which say that children are far behind from their grade appropriate learning, and then come to know about free textbook availability? Without textbooks it is really hard to even imagine that children would get the required learning levels. Off-course, there are various factors, but non-availability of personal textbooks and workbooks is one of a major factor which hindered quality outcomes. And among children, the worst sufferers are children from the marginalized communities and the first generation learners, as most of them do not have confidence to ask for entitled books and related amenities.
RTE is a hope of 198.9 million children of India who are currently enrolled in primary schools. If the textbooks would be provided late to these children, who are already deprived, it would further aggravate deprivation and may result in dropping out from school. They are waiting for us who can help them, at least to get their free textbooks on time. Let’s act on it, let’s find whether all the children of nearby govt. schools received free textbooks by now, if not, write to State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), or take it up jointly with us.
Proposed Campaign Spike
Goal of the campaign: To ensure free textbook and workbook to every child under RTE system on time, i.e., first week of academic year
Objectives of the Campaign
- To highlight the issue of delay of textbooks in Delhi with linking the issue at national level
- To mobilize and engage 5 lakhs people to ask government to ensure timely textbooks
- To identify and address the issue of delay, and quality of subject content, printing and paper of the textbook
Strategies for the campaign
- Generating public support on issue of the textbook under RTE System
- Engaging key stakeholders- Children, Parents, SMC members, Teachers and officers
- Activating and engaging statutory process and bodies
- Engaging MLAs on ensuring textbook and workbook on time
- Linking the issues of textbook with other states and take-up it at national level
I. Generating public support on issue of the textbook RTE System
- Mass mobilization through online and offline medium
- Online Medium- Face-Book, Twitter, Youth Ki Awaz, change.org etc.
- Offline Medium- Street shows, community meetings, Cycle rallies, wall writings, talk show, discussion/debate, distributing IEC materials etc.
- Mobilization through mainstreamed media- Print and electronic Media, AIR etc.
II. Engaging key stakeholders- Children, Parents, SMC members, Teachers and Policy Makers
- Capturing children voices on textbook issue
- Policy debate on status of availability of textbook availability and state preparedness
- Community interface with policy makers on availably of textbook
- Influencing meetings with policy makers at district level, state level and national level
III. Activating and engaging statutory process and bodies
- Activating GR mechanism notified under RTE framework for textbooks
- Engaging national and state commission for protection of child rights (NCPCR/SCPCR)
- Online/offline petition for textbook availability
IV. Engaging MLAs on ensuring textbook availability on time
- Identifying and contacting MLAs and MPs who have interest and potential to take-up the issue
- Recording the statements of MLAs/parliamentarian, if received, and place it in public domain
- District level public hearing with MLAs on textbook availability
Expected Coverage: 500000 people through online and offline medium
The supported fund of RTE Forum will be utilized by Pardarshita in achieving the following milestones in this campaign:
- Mohall Sabhas in 5 districts of Delhi would be organized to decentralize the issue and get support from the people at ground level.
- A State level launch event of the campaign will be organized
- A state level closing event for the campaign will be organized
- Street shows in all the districts, and at some place of importance will be organized
- Mass mobilization of people to bring their attention on the issue by displaying banners, posters, distributing pamphlets and other IEC materials in identified focal points of Delhi by engaging volunteers.
- Sharing the findings and status report with government officials, ministers, MPs and MLAs and capturing their commitments.
- Compilation of campaign learning, findings and people’s demand to make an advocacy tool for the forum and other organizations working on the issue of Education.