Lucknow, 20th December, 2016: RTE Forum and State Collective for Right to Education (SCoRE) organised a “National Convention on Right to Education: Sustainable Development Goals and Implementation of RTE Act, 2009 on 20th December, 2016 at ICCMRT Hall, Lucknow. (Press Release in Hindi copy)
Mr. Ambarish Rai; Convener- RTE Forum in his address mentioned that It is evident that, even after six years of enactment of RTE Act, its implementation status is very poor with less than 8% (6.4% in UP) of RTE compliant schools. Even though, at present government does not have any planned roadmap for its effective implementation. Without strengthening RTE Act, 2009 and its complete implementation within a new time limit, it will be difficult to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). In context of UP, we demand that the state government must enhance its budget on education up to 25% of State budget. Education has to be made a political agenda and should be in the priority of the Nation’s development indicators. We can use the opportunity of upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and other states to draw the attention of political parties for their public commitment on education and mobilize masses for the same. Approximately 45% students are moving towards private schools which is a big issue for civil society as well as state govt. to think upon and take necessary action. WE have prepared a 15 Points manifesto which will be shared with different political partices so that they can incorporate them in their political manifesto.
Speaking on the occasion Ms. Juhie Singh, Chairperson; SCPCR said “Commission has been formed with the prime objective of ensuring rights of children and will ensure grounding of RTE Act in the state. Teachers of Government schools are committed and dedicated towards their expected role and responsibilities. There are several people passed from govt. school are successful in their life. Commission members are making spot visits to different districts so that no child shall be left of their rights. In this move active participation of all SMC members are required. In case of any denial of rights or complaint related to children any parent can approach us easily. SCPCR will act on the complaint immediately and try to resolve that as soon as possible. SCPCR is very prompt and serious for ensuring effective implementation of ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act. No child of the age group between 6-14 years will get denied of their rights.
Addressing the participants, Prof. Muchkund Dubey; former foreign secretary, GoI mentioned that to achieve Sustainable Development Goal, its pertinent to put conscious efforts in achieving Goal 4 which emphasizes on Inclusive and Quality Education and equal opportunity of learning to every child. He added that Right to Education Act should be core focal point of New Education Policy to implement it in its true sense. Both the deadlines (2013 & 2015) for compliances of provisions of Right to Education Act has been completed, Govt. need to be serious and prepare an action plan with a revised deadline to ensure all the provisions of RtE Act. He said that no country in the world can be a superpower or developed without making its all citizens well educated. At present India is very far from several developed and developing countries in terms of its expenditure on education of total budget. The government must enhance and ensure its budget appropriately to implement all the indicators under RTE Act in all schools with a new timeframe.
Mr. Sharad Chand Behar (IAS) - Former Chief Secretary- MP in his address mentioned that we have moved from Millennium Development Goal to Sustainable Development Goal, still lots need to be done and for that a robust action plan is required.
Prof. Roop Rekha Verma; Ex- VC; Lucknow University emphasized that govt. should focus on a road map for common schooling system. For fulfilling the provisions of Right to Education Act, it is very crucial that all the stakeholders come together in a participatory mode.
Mr. Ram Pal Singh; All India Primary Teachers’ Federation, mentioned that teacher plays a critical and key role in ensuring quality education to all children. Teachers must be qualified, dedicated and devoted in ensuring quality education. But at present, more than 10% schools are single teacher school; PTR is very poor and doesn’t fulfill the provision mentioned in RTE Act. Teachers are being engaged in non-academic activities reflecting devastating effect on quality education. Teachers are integral part of education system as provider of education. Teachers must get a supportive and enabling environment under which they can give their best to the students and the society.
Dr. Niranjan Aradhya; educationist and activist, National Law School- Bangalore said that the new education policy being framed by the central government lacks its focus towards implementing the RTE Act in full spirit. It doesn’t address the basic concerns of disadvantaged and deprived sections of the society who need quality education with equal opportunities. He said that education is a tool for social change and upliftment and we can achieve real development of the society and the country only by making education inclusive for all. We have to strengthen our SMCs and developing appropriate linkages of communities with schools, teachers and education.
Among other eminent speakers Ms. Tahira Hasan; All India Progressive Women’s Association; Ms. Renu Shukla; President- Anganwadi Supervisors Association; Mr. Kapil Dev Kesari; Dalit Action Group; Mr. Rama Kant Rai; National Coalition for Education; Dr. Veena Gupta, Educationist has also shared their views. In the occasion nearly 250 representatives from different districts of Uttar Pradesh which included members of SMCs, civil society organizations, social activists, educationists were present.
Binod Sinha/ Prashant Prakash / Rajesh Kumar/ Khalid chaudhry