Academic journal article International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health

Right to Education Act (2009): Critical Evaluation and the Cost Estimation of Mitigating Shortfall in Infrastructure with Reference to West Bengal

Academic journal article International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health

Right to Education Act (2009): Critical Evaluation and the Cost Estimation of Mitigating Shortfall in Infrastructure with Reference to West Bengal

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

Introduction

Universal good quality of basic education is a requisite of all modern societies, for the sake of social equity, cultural values and economic functionality (1). Attainment of education and primarily elementary education is important both due to its impact on the living standards of people as well as enhancing individuals capability. Thus universal elementary education has become an accepted concept and a national project in India, which has remained the central objective of all educational policy and planning. The present school education structure, evolved over ages, comprises five year of Primary Education (I-V), three years of Upper Primary (VIVIII) and two years of Secondary Education (XI-XII), and two years of Senior Secondary Education (XI- XII); Primary and Upper Primary taken together comprise Elementary Education. Number of committees and based on their recommendation several schemes and incentives has been taken over time to universalize the access and retention of elementary education in India. Several legislations, commissions, schemes and programms has been formed and operationalise after independence to achieve universal elementary education in India. The constitutions o India stated that....

"[t]he state shall endeavour to provide, with a period of ten years from the commencement of this constitution, for free and compulsory education for all until they complete the age of fourteen years (Article 45)"

Almost after 58 years since the Indian Constitution, instead of making education a fundamental right made it part of the Directive Principles. Elementary education is considered as right of children through the implementation of Right to Education Bill in 2009. It is this context the major challenges for Right to Education in India is still the wide gap in achievements between various states.

West Bengal is one of the few states which are performing below average towards UEE. Moreover, it hosts almost 25.25 percent of Muslim population which are found to be one of the most educationally backward communities in India and West Bengal as well. Therefore the Muslim dominated areas have to give priority in resource allocation under SSA for implementation of RTE in West Bengal.

For that the proper estimation of cost of implementation of RTE is in various Muslim concentrated areas is prerequisite. The present first documenting the journey towards RTE in India, of basic features of RTE, its loopholes and critical evaluation and finally it estimates the shortfall in provision of infrastructure and school functioning and estimates the cost of mitigating the shortfall in infrastructure for various Muslim concentrated areas.

Methods

The information on various parameters of school infrastructure and functioning has been collected from the School Report Card, NUEPA, 2008-09.

The data on unit cost various school infrastructures has been sourced from The Project Approval Board Minutes and Approved Annual Work Plan (AWP), 2008-09.

West Bengal has been categorized into six categories Muslim concentration considering the community blocks as the unit of study (see table 1). The community block has small areal extension and is capable of capturing the concentration of Muslim population in many details vis-à-vis there are lowest structure in implementation of centrally funded educational schemes.

Hierarchies of implementation units of central funds

Shortfall and the associated cost of mitigating the shortfall in various parameters of school infrastructure and functioning has been worked out by considering the norms and standards set against each indicator.

The exercise has been done by considering all schools located in various Muslim concentrated areas. To calculate the shortfall in various parameters of comprehensive school development the prescribed norms and standards of the various parameters has been considered (see table 2). …

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