In the past one week this one topic might be the one having highest number of search hits after the Obama’s ambitious Health Care Bill. Every tom dick and harry has got a take on this one. Astonishingly even after being discussed at length, the importance of the matter never subside.
Lets put it this way: I am speaking on behalf of the government.
I am answering your queries. (Disclaimer: I will be going to any extend possible).
So guys Shoot!!
What has been government doing all these years? Why now?
For many years, elementary education was governments main motive. Government now understands that the demand of education has grown by leap and bounds. Administrators across the country were making sure that enrollment, availability of schools within walking distance, provisioning for infrastructure and deployment of teachers. In short government has realised that time has come for the government to act upon the social evils and shortcomings of the local governments.
What are the alternate uses of this Act?
Bringing the “invisible” children to the mainstream. Government of India recognises that there are many migrant and street children who live in extremely vulnerable situations. Many of these children are formally enrolled in a school but either dropped out or never have been there. It pre-supposes that child labour will be eliminated.
The namesake ‘School’???
Again back to square one, what is the use of schools if students are not willing to attend or not in a position to attend. This answer to this answer will give insights as to why education in India is in a state of great disarray.
Compromise in the quality???
Quality in one area which is as important as the popularisation of education in the rural India. It is the need of the hour for the policy makers to think out of the box and construct a sound system which moves beyond the convention of using textbooks as the basis of examination. Every teacher must be made accountable for the progress of a specific no. of students, by which every student gets the maximum personal attention.
Every single party wants to reap the gains of a successful policy or a project but when it comes to taking responsibility everyone shy away . The direct responsibility lies with the Education Departments of the Central and State governments. What we need is a collaborative and convergent effort by both to re-design and re-conceptulise in pedagogic perspective. Unless there is a vibrant partnership with the departments, this act will remain as a paper tiger for the rest of years to come. It is also important that local authorities should discharge their duties with the help of NGOs who can garner public support better the those who are shut inside their Air conditioned rooms.
More than anything it is the perspective of the public that needs to be changed. Social exclusion must pave way to Social inclusion, Gender discrimination must lead to Gender encompassment. Above all, it must amplify the voice of the disadvantages and weaker sections of he society.
For technical insights, please download my powerpoint presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/goutamjay/right-to-education-3618256