Yesterday my son brought a note from school, a petition of protest against some of the items in the RTE act. A half-truth report of it can be found here. I chose to sign it though I have a slightly different opinion on some of the items in the note.
The key areas where I agreed and decided to sign the petition are as follows:
- "The government (read politicians and bureaucrats) can push an ineligible (in terms of discipline, brain development) student to a school". I am so sure that the politicians will make a killing with this clause. In many schools, the school management used to gain in admitting such students. That's taken away and creates a channel in the guise of legality for people to make money. My son's school doesn't come under this category. So, I agree with their point.
- "The school doesn't have the right to take action against a student." In a healthy system, action against indiscipline must be allowed, more so in schools where discipline is important. If this clause is true with RTE, then RTE will prevent creation of any respectable organizations.
- "The local education officers can decide on the curriculum and academic programs." This is one of the dangerous clause. We do not have a system where reasonable, honest and non-dogmatic persons are appointed as local education officers. Again, if this is true about RTE, we will have many warped minds dictating the curriculum.
I am all for education for all, equal opportunity and all nice things. But RTE appears to be a half-baked attempt that will be available only on paper.
On the points I disagree are:
- "The teachers may have to spend extra time with a few kids who aren't real up to the standard." This is the case even now, where some kids need extra attention.
- "The cost of education will go up if the school admits students from poorer background." I believe wealthier people have a responsibility towards not so well-off people. I sponsor 3-5 kids' education every year for over 6 years now. Sponsoring a few more kids is good, will be glad to do so.
But the question is - why doesn't the governments that have been around for over 60 years, collecting education cess for the past 6 years aren't able to give quality education? What happens to the 2% you pay on top of your service tax, income tax and other taxes? I haven't found an answer yet.
May be, I should look for RTI to know more about RTE.