Right to Education

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by ejazr, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    Hyderabad and Sydney
    Will Right to Education Act help or hamper literacy for the poor?

    Many of India’s Poor Turn to Private Schools

    HYDERABAD, India — For more than two decades, M. A. Hakeem has arguably done the job of the Indian government. His private Holy Town High School has educated thousands of poor students, squeezing them into cramped classrooms where, when the electricity goes out, the children simply learn in the dark.

    Parents in Holy Town’s low-income, predominantly Muslim neighborhood do not mind the bare-bones conditions. They like the modest tuition (as low as $2 per month), the English-language curriculum and the success rate on standardized tests. Indeed, low-cost schools like Holy Town are part of an ad hoc network that now dominates education in this south Indian city, where an estimated two-thirds of all students attend private institutions.

    “The responsibility that the government should shoulder,” Mr. Hakeem said with both pride and contempt, “we are shouldering it.”

    In India, the choice to live outside the faltering grid of government services is usually reserved for the rich or middle class, who can afford private housing compounds, private hospitals and private schools. But as India’s economy has expanded during the past two decades, an increasing number of India’s poor parents are now scraping together money to send their children to low-cost private schools in hopes of helping them escape poverty.

    Nationally, a large majority of students still attend government schools, but the expansion of private institutions has created parallel educational systems — systems that are now colliding. Faced with sharp criticism of the woeful state of government schools, Indian policy makers have enacted a sweeping law intended to reverse their decline. But skeptics say the litany of new requirements could also wipe out many of the private schools now educating millions of students.

    “It’s impossible to fulfill all these things,” said Mohammed Anwar, who runs a chain of private schools in Hyderabad and is trying to organize a nationwide lobbying campaign to alter the requirements. Referring to the law, he said, “If you follow the Right to Education, nobody can run a school.”

    Education is one of India’s most pressing challenges. Half of India’s 1.2 billion people are 25 or younger, and literacy levels, while improving, could cripple the country’s long-term prospects. In many states, government education is in severe disarray, with teachers often failing to show up. Rote drilling still predominates. English, considered a prerequisite for most white-collar employment in India, is usually not the medium of instruction.

    When it took effect in April 2010, the Right to Education Act enshrined, for the first time, a constitutional right to schooling, promising that every child from 6 to 14 would be provided with it. For a nation that had never properly financed education for the masses, the law was a major milestone.

    “If we nurture our children and young people with the right education,” said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, commemorating the act with a televised address, “India’s future as a strong and prosperous country is secure.”

    Few disagree with the law’s broad, egalitarian goals or that government schools need a fundamental overhaul. But the law also enacted new regulations on teacher-student ratios, classroom size and parental involvement in school administration that are being applied to government and private schools. The result is a clash between an ideal and the reality on the ground, with a deadline: Any school that fails to comply by 2013 could be closed.

    Kapil Sibal, the government minister overseeing Indian education, has scoffed at claims that the law will cause mass closings of private schools. Yet in Hyderabad, education officials are preparing for exactly that outcome. They are constructing new buildings and expanding old ones, partly to comply with the new regulations, partly anticipating that students will be forced to return from closing private institutions.

    “Fifty percent will be closed down as per the Right to Education Act,” predicted E. Bala Kasaiah, a top education official in Hyderabad.

    As a boy, M. A. Hakeem listened as his father bemoaned the slow progress of his fellow Muslims in India. “Son,” he recalls his father’s saying, “when you grow up, you should provide education to our community.”

    A few months after Mr. Hakeem completed the 10th grade, his father died. A year later, in 1986, Mr. Hakeem opened a small preparatory school with nursery classes. He was 15 years old.

    Not yet old enough to vote, Mr. Hakeem held classes in his family’s home and enlisted his two sisters to handle administrative tasks. By the mid-1990s, Mr. Hakeem had opened Holy Town. The school has since produced students who have gone into engineering, commerce and other fields.

    “I’m fulfilling my father’s dream,” Mr. Hakeem said.

    When Holy Town opened, Mr. Hakeem’s neighborhood at the edge of the old quarter of Hyderabad had one private school, a Catholic one. Today, there are seven private schools within a half-mile of Holy Town, each charging a few dollars a month and catering to Muslim students with a largely secular education in English.

    Their emergence roughly coincided with the economic liberalization that began in 1991. For decades, government officials had blamed rural apathy for India’s high illiteracy rates, saying that families preferred sending their children into the fields, not the classroom. But as the economy started taking off, public aspirations changed, especially among low-income families.

    “In India today, demand is not really a constraint for education — it’s the supply,” said Karthik Muralidharan, an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego, who has studied Indian education. “Parents are seeing education as the passport out of poverty.”

    The rising demand created a new market for private schools, and entrepreneurs big and small have jumped at the chance to profit from it. Corporate educational chains opened schools tailored to higher-income families, especially in the expanding cities. Low-cost schools like Holy Town proliferated in poorer neighborhoods, a trend evident in most major cities and spreading into rural India.

    Estimating the precise enrollment of private schools is tricky. Government officials say more than 90 percent of all primary schools are run by or financed by the government. Yet one government survey found that 30 percent of the 187 million students in grades 1 through 8 now attend private schools. Some academic studies have suggested that more than half of all urban students now attend private academies.

    In Mumbai, so many parents have pulled their children out of government schools that officials have started renting empty classrooms to charities and labor unions — and even to private schools. In recent years, Indian officials have increased spending on government education, dedicating far more money for new schools, hiring teachers and providing free lunches to students. Still, more and more parents are choosing to go private.

    “What does it say about the quality of your product that you can’t even give it away for free?” Mr. Muralidharan said.

    Most low-cost private schools also follow rote-teaching methods because their students have to take standardized tests approved by the government. But some studies suggest that teachers in government schools are absent up to 25 percent of the time. Poor children who attended private schools scored higher on reading and math tests, according to a study by Sonalde Desai, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, and other scholars.

    “There is not much teaching that happens in the government schools,” said Raju Bhosla, 32, whose children attend one of Hyderabad’s low-cost private schools. “I never even thought about putting my kids in government schools.”

    Across Hyderabad, work crews in 58 locations are expanding government schools or constructing new ones. To education officials, the building spree signals a rebirth of the government system, part of an $800 million statewide program to bring government schools into compliance with the new law.

    For Mr. Sibal, the national education minister, government schools had atrophied because of a lack of money. Under Right to Education, states can qualify for more than $2 billion to improve facilities, hire new teachers and improve curriculums, he said.

    “All these changes are going to transform the schools system in the next five years,” Mr. Sibal predicted. As for the tens of thousands of private schools opened during the past 15 years to satisfy the public’s growing hunger for education, Mr. Sibal said, “We’ve given them three years time,” referring to the 2013 compliance deadline. “We hope that is enough.”

    Skepticism abounds. Elite private schools, already struggling with requirements that they reserve slots for poor and minority students, have filed lawsuits. But the bigger question is what will happen to the tens of thousands of low-cost private schools already serving the poor.

    James Tooley, a British scholar who has studied private education in India, said government statistics grossly underestimate private schooling — partly because so many private institutions are not formally registered. In a recent survey of the eastern city of Patna, Mr. Tooley found 1,224 private schools, even though government records listed only about 40.

    In Hyderabad, principals at several private schools said inspectors regularly threatened them with closings unless they paid bribes. Now, the principals say, the inspectors are wielding the threat of the Right to Education requirements and seeking even bigger bribes.

    Mr. Anwar, the private school entrepreneur trying to organize a lobbying campaign, estimated that roughly 5,000 private schools operated in Hyderabad.

    “Can the government close 5,000 schools?” he asked. “If they close, how can the government accommodate all these students?”
     
    Nagraj likes this.
  2.  
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Kapil Sibal is as impetuous and fickle as the wind!

    The idea is noble, but it has not been thought over with a rationale mind.

    The stipulations are utopian.

    If the teacher student ratio is as dictated, the school will not be economically viable and the teachers will not get the right remuneration for their services. Thus, the best of teachers will not be available and instead there will be the type that the govt primary schools have, who play truant since they have a second profession going alongside.

    If one goes clause by clause of the RTE there would be much to state.

    Like every other Govt initiative seen in UPA II, they are all utopian and unworkable, but damned good to garner votes!

    The UPA II is but a Dream Merchant and most of its composition is of Carpetbaggers!
     
  4. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,893
    Likes Received:
    3,688
    Location:
    Bengaluru
    UPA-II seems intent on bringing back 1991 days with foolhardy schemes like RTE, NREGA and FSB...
     
  5. SLASH

    SLASH Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,156
    Likes Received:
    458
    We need more government and private colleges giving B.Ed degrees. Education should come under federal system. A good investment of around 50000 crore every year for the next two decades can take our education system to the level found across the world.
     
  6. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    9,252
    Likes Received:
    3,347
    Location:
    Brussels
    New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday upheld the constitutional validity of the right to education (RTE) act that mandates unaided private schools to keep 25 percent seats for students from economically and socially weaker sections of society.

    However, the court made it clear that this quota would not be applicable to unaided minority institutions.

    The apex court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justice Swatanter Kumar upheld the constitutional validity of Section 12 1C of the RTE act that provides 25 percent reservation for students from weaker sections of society.

    However, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan, in a dissenting judgment, held that the mandate under RTE providing for reservation of seats was not constitutionally valid, thus none of the unaided schools, be it majority or minority, could be compelled to earmark 25 percent seats in their institutions for weaker sections.

    The court said the judgment will come into force from Thursday itself, but the admissions already made will not be disturbed.

    The Supreme Court was giving its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the RTE law that requires private schools to earmark 25 percent seats for poorer students.

    A batch of petitions by the Society for Unaided Private Schools, Independent Schools Federation of India and others had contested the provision in the law under which they had to reserve 25 percent seats for economically weaker sections in their schools.

    The schools contended that the reservation for children from vulnerable sections of society violated their right to run educational institutions without the state's interference.

    The schools' contention that the reservation for poor students would drain their resources was contested by the government.

    SC upholds seats for poor under Right to Education
     
  7. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,465
    Likes Received:
    1,923
    Location:
    La La Land
    Great decision by the honourable court. This is the first step in the direction to ensure good education for kids belonging to economically disadvantaged families.
     
    sayareakd likes this.
  8. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,020
    Likes Received:
    1,695
    What a mis carriage of justice, it is not the private citizen's job to eradicate the poor, it is the job of the government and the poor people themselves.
    The Right of freedom and the right to personal property is not slashed away from people who run educational institutions, this will lead to more interference by the government in the sector, India's growth today is completely the handiwork of kids from CBSE and other quality education, and this will be un done.


    What is the Communist Party if there are no poor people, what is the use of Congress Party if there are no vote banks?
     
  9. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,020
    Likes Received:
    1,695
    If the government wants good education of economically dis advantaged students, then it should increase its own number of schools and its own quality of schools, but they cannot do that because of unions and corruption. What a sad day for education in India.
     
    Aayush likes this.
  10. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,020
    Likes Received:
    1,695
    The worst going to be affected by this, is the majority community run schools, since they dont have the same protection from this law as the minority community. Pseudo Secularism wins again.
     
  11. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,465
    Likes Received:
    1,923
    Location:
    La La Land
    All government funded institutions have to comply with this law I guess.
     
  12. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,020
    Likes Received:
    1,695

    but this not issue, its about the government asking private institutions to take up financial burden by private organizations, its like the government asking you to give some money to your neighbor because he is not as rich as you, on a daily basis. its unfair.

    Also, if you read Kapil Sibal's statement from October 2010, he has already exempted the minorities from the said provisions and many others. Such as the influence of local body members in the running of Private institutions,

    That is a politican will sit in the governing body of a private org, even though the government has not spend on pie for them.

    Private Schools will become like Government Schools,
     
  13. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,195
    Likes Received:
    2,223
    i want to ask to question first who is going to pay for the tution fess of poor in privated scholols . is poor themself or gov would pay. if its poor then i cannot think any poor has money to afford to pay for the fees of such private schools.

    second minority led schools has been exempted form such law . now there are two types of miniority def in india . one by language and other by your religion . for eg UP/BIHARIS would be consider minority in maharashtra and if they start school under this pretext then they would be exempted from such law .

    so wont such exemption would lead rise to increase in number schools which would lead by such people(eg thakur public schools in mumbai or in banglore)

    third most of minoritey leaders clamis to be brothers of poors(read sc /st) so why they hesitate to give admissios to poor in name that we are minority :frusty::frusty::frusty::frusty:

    fourth i hate the very idea of freeships
     
  14. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    9,252
    Likes Received:
    3,347
    Location:
    Brussels
    Fees of these poor children will be reimbursed by state based on PPP model.

    Real challenge is not finance, its about keeping these registered poor children in school. Dropouts are way too high.
     
    sayareakd likes this.
  15. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,195
    Likes Received:
    2,223
    ok gov would pay the bill so how are going to decided who is more amongst equal(= poor) in same aera.??

    and also this means 25% less seat avaliable to general public which indirestly means rise in donations rate in mumbai :frusty: :frusty: :frusty:

    one more question how this children from weaker section of society would cope with others children in private elite school
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
    Koovie likes this.
  16. SLASH

    SLASH Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,156
    Likes Received:
    458
    It is the middle class which will have to face the music again. The amount of donation will increase by 25%. How can they government put its burden on private institutions. If it were 5-10% it could be understandable. But 25% is way too much. It is already difficult for a middle class family to send their child to good private school due to lack of seats. Now if you cut the number of seat by 1/4 it will become impossible. The rich will still pay and get in. Where will the child belonging to the middle class go?

    Time to get BPL card.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  17. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,195
    Likes Received:
    2,223
    congrees and its mindset of popalism always increases corruption . how are they going to select poor child some kind of entrance exam or recommendation letter from MP/MLA/local co-orprators
     
  18. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    5,326
    Likes Received:
    1,493
    This will give exempaary results in Andhra Pradesh
     
  19. Aayush

    Aayush Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    117
    Location:
    Delhi
    Language will be a barrier with these kids.
    And these kids parents will then make noises about discrimination.
    Instead of burdening private schools,why not improve govt schools?
    I think it would be a financial burden too.My last school fees was 13000.Many of those kids parents would be earning less than this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  20. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    9,252
    Likes Received:
    3,347
    Location:
    Brussels
    Yeah don't burden Private schools. Let the kids wait till Govt builds more public schools. They can wait for years then.
     
  21. Son of Govinda

    Son of Govinda Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    80
    Private schools to reserve 25 percent seats for poor

    India's elite private schools ordered to reserve quarter of places for poor - Telegraph

    The order was made by the country's Supreme Court after some resistance to the government's Right to Education bill 2009 which made primary education compulsory for all children more than 60 years after the country became independent.

    The lack of compulsory education and the priority given by the government to higher education institutes has been blamed for high levels of illiteracy in the country.

    More than one in three Indians and half of Indian women are illiterate, which campaigners say reflects the fact that half of India's children do not go to school. Of those who do, half drop out before the age of 11 from schools where absenteeism among teachers is rife.
    The Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill will create a three year school building programme and end the powers of government officials to award places to favoured families.

    Campaigners say the proof of the government's commitment will be in its funding for new schools and training for thousands of new teachers in a sector where many expect to be paid without turning up to teach. Officials will also have to persuade millions of parents that their families will be wealthier in the long run if they send their children to school rather than work.

    But the impact of the bill will be felt most keenly be India's elite private schools, many established in the 19th century and modelled on Britain's public school system where some of the country's wealthiest children will for the first time be taught alongside those of some of the country's poorest families.
    Several private schools mounted a legal challenge to the bill, but their objections were overruled by India's Supreme Court in a move which heralds a caste and class revolution in some of the Indian establishment's most cherished institutions.

    Although traditional boarding schools in the Himalayan foothills and hill stations in the south – which charge around 3,000 pounds per year – are exempted, those with day pupils will have to open up places to the poor -some of whom survive on 34 pence per day.

    These include some of the country's old colonial schools, like Bangalore's Bishop Cotton's, which have educated some of India's leading public figures since independence. Nandan Nilekani, the founder of India's leading information technology company Infosys is an old boy, as was Lord Colin Cowdrey, the legendary England cricket captain.

    The court's ruling was welcomed by India's education minister Kapil Sibal, who said "we must remember that education must be child-centric and not institution-centric."

    Although the bill has aroused resentment in many of India's leading private schools, Ameeta Mulla Wattal, principal of Springdales, one of New Delhi's leading private schools, said she welcomed the ruling.

    "After 64 years of wait, India can dream of educating its children. But the government has to do a lot of hand-holding to private schools to make RTE a success. Children have to be given equal opportunity to quality education," she said.

    But she warned the government will have to ensure it funds the changes and help recruit new teachers.

    The support poor children receive must include help with books, uniforms, and computers, she said, to stop 'ghettoisation'
    "It will be a challenge for us to erase the divide between have and have-nots in a class room," she said.
     

Share This Page