Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Right to education have to wait even after July 5


Bangalore: Right to education (RTE) in Karnataka is likely to remain stalled even after July 5, the day fixed by the state government to implement the RTE Act.
The implementation is certain to run into a plethora of problems as the state is waiting for a response from the Centre on sharing the financial burden of enforcing the law.
Primary and secondary education minister Vishveshwar Hegde Kageri said, "We have brought the financial implications of implementing the RTE Act to the notice of the Centre several times, but it has been of no use. The Centre is not bothered about it.
Without financial support from the Centre, it will be difficult for us to implement the RTE Act in a full-fledged manner."
Officials from the education department said hundreds of crores of rupees is needed to implement the RTE Act and the state has communicated this to the Centre several times, but to no avail. The state has blamed the Centre for the failure to implement the RTE Act in a full-fledged manner.
"We have enforced RTE provisions which are not a financial burden for the state government. But to implement some rules we need financial support from the Centre," said a senior education department official.
"From the day we received draft RTE Act rules, we have been communicating with the Centre on the financial burden it has to share. The Centre should make known what exactly is its idea about the financial support as soon as possible to avoid further delay in the implementation," Kageri said.
Among the RTE provisions implemented in the state are: proclamation of a complete ban on corporal punishment, changing of the teacher pupil ratio from earlier 40:1 to 30:1, directive to schools not to deny admissions and not to conduct entrance test at the time of admissions.
A major RTE provision pending implementation in the state is the neighbourhood concept under which private schools will have to earmark 25% of their seats for children from economically weaker sections in their vicinity with funding from the state government. According to department officials, the state will have to spend at least Rs800 crore to implement this provision.
According to department officials, the government needs to spend at least Rs12,000 per child every year under this concept. "We have arrived at this figure based on the expenditure being incurred for children in government schools. If these calculations are extended to private schools, the expenses will only be more," the official explained.

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