NEW DELHI: At National Stocktaking Convention 2016-17 held yesterday, the need to bring pre-primary and secondary sections under the ambit of Right To Education (RTE) Act was discussed. At the event a status report on the extent of implementation of the legislation was also published. UNICEF representative in India Louis Georges Arsenault emphasized that in order to implement the Act in its true spirit pre-school and secondary education should also be included in its boundaries. He said that the RTE Act contains the necessary provisions to promote inclusive education in India.
According to Press Trust of India reports, the opening remark was given by Ambrish Rai, the national convener of the RTE forum which has released the status report on RTE. Talking about the shortcomings in the implementation of the Act, he said that only 9.5 percent of schools in the country had implemented the act so far and still millions of children lacked the opportunity to education.
He further cited the number of government schools which were closed down due to merger. Highlighting the commercialization of education and poor condition of school infrastructure he said that reforms in the RTE Act were the need of the hour.
Suman Sachdeva of CARE India presented the highlights of the report. The report also focuses on the various achievements of the STE Act. Referring to the 11th ASER report, the report highlighted that in 2016, 68.17% of schools surveyed had functional toilets in comparison to 47.2% in 2010.
Former diplomat Muchukund Dubey emphasized that it was impossible for an uneducated India to be skilled India. He said that there was considerable lack of commitment from high political levels to implement the RTE Act. He also advocated inclusion of pre-primary and secondary education in the ambit of RTE and said that India was the only emerging economy which had not yet universalized education.
Stuti Kacker, the chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Right, put emphasis on the need to ensure safe environment in schools for children and protection against sexual harassment in schools.
The RTE Forum is a collective of education networks, NGOs, teachers and RTE activists who are working collaboratively for improvement in public education system in the country.
(With Inputs from Press Trust of India)
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