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Category: Community development, Education, Social Problem, Uncategorized

Right to Education and Bihar

India has passed a landmark bill providing for free and compulsory education to all children aged 6 to 14.

In closing remark of the five-hour debate, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said, “We are dealing with an issue that will determine the course of India in the 21st Century…. We must move forward by sending a strong message to the world and to our children that we are determined to provide them quality education.”

Sibal also noted that about half of India’s 200 million children are out of the education system. “We have to get them back to school,” he said. “It is not an easy task to embark on a national enterprise but we have to do it. Is it easy to tackle climate change? Is it easy to counter the global meltdown? … I agree it is a difficult task. Together, we have to do it, we must do it, and we will do it,” he stated.

So universal education in India is as daunting as tackling climate change… then what about Bihar…
About 2.5 millions children were out of school just few years ago which government statistics now showing to about 1 million. In last 2-3 years Bihar has recruited about about 0.25 million teachers for nursery and primary school (in Bihar these schools are call Primary and Middle School respectively). But recruitments managed by local councils has been blamed for large scale corruption and ineligible candidates with false certificate… (BBC Hindi Article, 12th Aug 2009).
In the same article of 12th Aug, BBC reporter from Bihar, Manikant Thakur has cited statement of a women teacher from Patna saying that this new education law will not change anything in Bihar and things will go in same way as it is going…

Chief secretary of Human Resource Ministry of Bihar, Anjali Kumar is saying that main problem is capital resource. If central governments can bear 75% cost of universal education then it can be implemented…

Remember current drive of improving basic education in Bihar is funded by World Bank loan but once that project will finish I don’t know how Bihar Government is going to keep this project going…

In Manikant words, full implementation of universal education in Bihar will be a magic…

I hope and pray for that magic…

In the next blog I will explain the condition of a government School in a village of Bihar…

what we mean by Universal Education?
I will give you example of UK as I know little bit more about education system here but this is same in other developed world…
In UK, every child has the right to education and Local Education Authorities (LEAs) have a statutory duty to ensure that education is available for all children of compulsory school age (five to 16 year-olds) in their area, appropriate to their age, abilities, aptitudes and any special educational needs that they might have. These duties apply to all children residing in the LEA’s area, whether permanently or temporarily and, therefore, Gypsy and Traveller children residing with their families on temporary or unauthorised sites are included within this duty.
LEAs also have a duty to give parents in the area the opportunity to express a preference as to which school they wish their child to attend (this choice was very controversial in recent year).

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3 comments to Right to Education and Bihar

  • PK

    guys… indian laws are like odorless ***** which make a lot of noise. in the end corruption and criminal based politics ruins it all.child labour is not legal, dowry laws are there, they have one of the strictest laws against domestic violence,etc.. its all for name sake.well…it will surely have some impact. lets see how this one goes.

  • Hi. I read a few of your other posts and wanted to know if you would be interested in exchanging blogroll links?

  • Right to education still elusive 4th Oct 2009

    When launching the country’s flagship education programme in 2001, the government promised to bring every Indian child to school by 2005. Four years on, 80 lakh (eight million) children — more than the population of Switzerland — are still out of school.

    n independent survey commissioned by the government, conducted as a new law makes school education a fundamental right, found that this figure includes 1.3 lakh children just in Delhi, one of India’s wealthiest cities.

    The Indian Market Research Bureau conducted the survey in 2009. The bureau conducted a similar study in 2005 for the government and found that 1.3 crore children were not going to school.

    Investigators defined an out-of-school child as any child who had not attended school for the past two months.

    The market research entity visited every district across India this year, choosing 40 per cent of the households covered by the National Sample Survey Organisation’s 64 th round of survey in 2007.

    The survey results are at wide variance with the estimate of 28 lakh out-of-school children by the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, raising questions about the credibility of the government’s own reporting mechanism.

    A senior official in the Human Resource Development Ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity because the study has not been made public yet, said, “We have to discuss these findings. How to reconcile them with the figures reported to us by each state is a challenge for us.”

    Officials reckon that the mid-day meal scheme — a cooked lunch meant to retain children in school — could be having the unintended effect of inflated enrolment numbers. “In order to get the meal grants and supplies, schools might be reporting students whose presence is limited to school registers,” said the official.

    Educationists are also worried that India’s metropolitan cities continue to report high numbers of out-of-school children from the urban poor, who are often migrants from rural India.

    In Delhi, 1.38 lakh children are out of school in 2009, up from 84,424 in 2005. In Maharashtra, the state education secretary flatly refused to conduct a survey of such children, saying Mumbai’s teeming slums were too difficult to conduct such an exercise.

    An educationist, who was associated with reviewing the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan coverage this August, said, “The children of the urban poor … are emerging as a disadvantaged category in themselves. They need special policies that identify who they are, their problems, and ensure learning and retention, with a better school infrastructure.”

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