Friday, March 29, 2013


This picture has been taken by me today morning in the premises of India's biggest District Court at Tis Hazari, Delhi. The picture depicts children below 14 years of age are involved in rag-picking work as usual and have never attended school. RTE Act, 2009 will complete its three years on 31.03.2013. The situation is dismal everywhere. The Governments have utterly failed to address the core issue of providing quality education to 200 million children in the age group 6 to 14 years. Nearly, 100 million children are still out of school (20 million children with disabilities, 10 million children of migrant labour, 40 million children engaged in one or the other work, 30 million older children (particularly girls) looking after the siblings/drop-outs). Those 100 million children going to the government schools are literally not getting education, what to talk of quality education and that has witnessed high percentage of drop out in these three years. The propaganda by the Government machinery about RTE Act, 2009 has certainly increased the demand for education among the marginalized sections but the supply side is zero. The Governments have not taken any effective steps to implement even the RTE provision relating to 25% admissions of children belonging to disadvantaged group and economically weaker section in unaided non-minority schools. Delhi is the only State where this was implemented due to Delhi High Court's intervention and peoples' pressure. Unless and until the standard of all the government schools in the country is upgraded to the minimum level of Kendriya Vidayalas (Central Schools), the goal of realization of right to good quality education will remain elusive. The big question is: Are our Black Rulers ready for it? Ashok Agarwal, Advocate M-09811101923 28.03.2013

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