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Friday, July 26, 2013

Three years of RTE in Madhya Pradesh

Schools not adhering to admission norms: study

Rise in cases of corporal punishment; dip in teaching hours

By Sravani Sarkar

I April 2013 Hindustan Times Bhopal 

Bhopal: Three years after children in age group of six to 14 years in country were given legal right to free and compulsory education, the dream of the young generation continues to face several roadblocks in state with many provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act still not being implemented with necessary sincerity.

Rather, during the course of last year situation on some of theimportant fronts – like hassle-free admission process, corporal punishment,teaching hours, teachers-students ratio and regularity of parents-teachers’associations’ meetings have worsened, a state-level study by NGO MP LokSangharsh Sajha Manch (MPLSSM) has shown.

The study was conducted in 121 schools in 90 villages and 3 urban areas(Bhopal, Indore and Gwalior) of 10 districts in state and including 93 primaryand 28 secondary (middle) schools.

The MPLSSM had conducted a similar study in year 2011 and the latestfield study was completed in 2012 end and following analysis, the report wascompiled recently. The latest study not only looks at the current situation ofdifferent aspects of RTE implementation in the surveyed school but alsocompares the situation with that noticed in 2011 study.

The comparison brings out worrying trend that in some aspects thesituation of RTE implementation has worsened in the state, though in someaspects, the state has made some positive strides.

Most important among the points coming out in the study is that 36% ofthe surveyed schools resorted to corporal punishments to the students despite avery strict ban on any such action under the section 17 of the RTE Act, 2009.

The percentage of schools where students were meted corporal punishment showeda rise of 15%, which is indeed quite worrying trend, given fact that inDecember 2012, the death of a student in a government school in Betul followingphysical punishment caused a great uproar.

It was also found that about 68% schools insisted on transfercertificate and 53% on birth certificate during admissions despite clearguideline in the RTE Act that admissions would not be denied or delayed forlack of such certificates. The number of such schools not adhering to the RTErule showed a rise of 20% between 2011 and 2012.

Similarly, the study noted that the number of middle schools dealingwith paucity of teaching staff had risen by 5% compared to 2011 and the numberof single-teacher schools rose from 7% to 11% during the course of one year. 

Itwas found that 37% schools were not adhering to the teachers-students rationorms. However situation had improved for the primary schools with 43% of theseschools found fulfilling the teachers-students’ ratio norms – a rise of 8%compared to 2011. The number of single-teacher primary schools was found to beonly 6% - a dip of 11% during course of one year.

Only 8% schools among those surveyed adhered to the norm of 45-hours aweek teaching norm. In year 2011, the percent of such schools was 13% and thusa 5% dip was recorded in the number of schools that followed the RTE norm onteaching hours.

However, the study found that in some of the areas of implementation,the state managed to do better in 2012 compared to 2011. This includedadmissions for children of migrated family at schools in the place where thefamilies migrated, the percentage of schools without toilets dipped from 42% to24%, which means that about 76% schools were found to have toilets on theirpremises. However half of these schools had only single toilet – meaning noseparate facilities for girls and boys.

Similarly the number of schools with no drinking water facility dippedfrom 47% to 33% - an improvement of 14% over 2011. This means that now, 67% ofthe schools have drinking water facilities.

The state did very well in the matter of providing playground andsports material as only 17% schools were found having no playground compared to56% in 2011 and 40% were found without sports material facility compared to 50%in 2011.

The number of schools with barbed wire fencing facility for securitywent up by 8% in a year, yet even now as high as 79% of the surveyed schoolshave not to have a boundary wall or wire fencing around them. In 2011, thenumber of such schools was found to be 87%.

The MPLSSM team inclusive of Rajesh Bhadoria, Javed Anees and UpasanaBehar of MPLSSM have submitted the details of the report as well as a detailedmemorandum of demands to different authorities including the chief minister’soffice, the school education minister Archana Chitnis’s office, Rajya ShikshaKendra, the principal secretary of school education department, the StateCommission for Protection of Children’s Rights (SCPCR) and the MP Human RightsCommission.

Upasana Behar, while talking to HT said that by undertaking acomparative study, the MPLSSM wanted to find out the progress in differentareas but apart from toilet facility, which has improved significantly, most ofthe other infrastructure facilities are still wanting even at end of thedeadline of three years. “More important is the fact that the state looks quitefar from the objective of quality education for all children, which is basicpremise of the RTE Act. It needs to do much more in that direction,” she said.

While the principal secretary of school education department Sanjay Singh or commissioner of Rajya Shiksha Kendra (RSK), Rashmi Arun Shami could not be contacted for comments despite repeated attempts, the media in-charge of RSK made certain claims while talking to HT. He said that the state had completed the target of providing one toilet in every school and work was on for providing separate toilets for girls in all schools. He said that the state was the first in country to achieve the 25% admissions for economically backward children to neighbourhood schools and is targeting a fee reimbursement of Rs 45 crore during 2013 for this purpose. He added that the state government has completed the recruitment process for 31, 599 assistant teachers, 26,026 teachers, 6383 primary headmasters and 5547 middle school headmasters to deal with paucity, but the appointments would depend on funds for salary sanctioned by union government.

As for corporal punishment, the media in-charge said that there wasstrict rule of no corporal punishment and action is initiated on anyoneflouting this norm. The implementation would be made stricter, he said.

RTE report card

No denial or delay in admission for lack of documents like transfer certificate,birth certificate, domicile etc.,

Implementation status 
Number of school not following the norm rose by 20% from 2011 (48%) to 2012 (68%)

RTE provision
Childrenof migrated families would be enrolled to school at place of migration

Implementation status 
No corporal punishment according to section 17 of RTE Act 

RTE provision
The students-teachers ratio would be 30:1 in primary schools 

Implementation status 

List of demands
  •  Schools should bedirected not to demand documents from children at time of admissions
  • Teachers shouldbe trained on issue of corporal punishment and strict action should be takenagainst those using punishment on children
  • Separate toiletfacilities for girls and boys should be created at earliest according todirectives of Supreme Court
  • Work ofinfrastructure development like classrooms is progressing very slowly. Districtauthorities should be instructed to monitor the construction work to completethem in time
  • Facilities ofdisabled children like ramp, sensor-based warning implements should be providedin all schools
  • Social audit ofimplementation and fund utilisation should be ensured at all schools
  • School managementcommittees should be activated. Members should be elected in democratic way
  •  Member ofmanagement committees should be trained so they understand theirresponsibilities and role
  • Innovative teachingmethods should be encouraged

District Information System on Education (DISE) report on RTE (2011-12)

  • There are 19297 single teacher schools in the state with highest concentration in Rewa. (All primary schools should have at least 2 teachers and middle schools should have3 teachers)
  • 4071 schools havesingle classroom (Each school should have 1 classroom for each teacher)
  • 49 % primary schools and 47 % middle schools do not fulfil students-teachers ratio norms of1:30 in primary and 1: 35 in upper primary schools.
  • Head Teacher not posted in 70% of primary schools and 55% of upper primary schools
  • Library isavailable in 45 % of the schools.

Annual Survey on Education Report 2012 on learning achievements in MP

·       Only 20 % ofchildren in Std V can read Std I level text.
·       Only 22 % ofchildren in Std V can do subtraction
·       Only 24 % ofchildren in Std VIII can read English sentences.
·       Only 35% ofchildren in Std VIII can do division

Text Courtesy: Hindustan Times

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