A HISTORIC law - Right to Education (RTE) Act, which promised free and compulsory education up to Class 8 was implemented on April 1, 2010, with an address to the nation by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
The act promised free and compulsory education to every child. It was reflected that this is a much needed act boost to the country’s education sector. But, big question today is- Do we have an environment of studying in our schools? We introduce laws and acts in a hurry and forget it too at the same speed. Prime Minister has paid only lip service and the responsibility of effecting the act is forgotten by his government. Is not his education minister aware of the conditions of schools or is just ignoring the fact?
It is shocking to note that what children think about RTE Act and its implementation. For them it is just TV news and students are too helpless to address their problems.
In India, condition of government-run schools is pathetic to the extent that most of the schools are situated in places which are not conducive for education and the whole atmosphere is unhygienic. In most of the schools, the classes are held in tents, in the open space and in the corridors. The conditions of these tents are also very pathetic and are forcefully made to stand by bricks and stones.
Many students attend classes at the risk of their lives. Wherever there are permanent structures, classrooms are very dirty and there is no proper lighting and fans. The students use tat patti to sit as there is no arrangement for desks in these schools. Some students even sit without tat patti. In many schools the window panes hang in the air with a very weak support and there are no glasses to protect students from cold or hot weather conditions. There are lots of garbage and dust inside and around the classrooms/corridors of the schools and students often asked to sweep their classrooms and corridors themselves.
In most of the schools, the toilet blocks are too dirty, smelly and there is no proper arrangement for water. There are hardly any water tanks and there is no proper facility of water supply inside the school and state government never bothered to provide water tanker.
There is also a shortage of teaching staff and there is no conducive educational environment. The mid- day meal facility is too irregular in most of the schools. It shows that the absence of basic amenities in these schools adversely affects the quality and standard of education, which results initially in large number of children absenteeism and thereafter large number of dropouts. This is raising big issues on India’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) - or Education for AlL and our new born RTE act.