Inconvenient Facts - RTE for better India

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Some of the inconvenient facts

  • The number of out-of-school children has declined from 25 million in 2003 to 8.1 million in mid-2009. The most significant improvements have been in Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur and Chhattisgarh.
  • The percentage of out-of-school children in highly populated states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa and Bihar remains a cause of concern.
  • There has been tremendous progress in improving access with 99 per cent of habitations having a primary school within one kilometer, and 92 per cent an upper primary school within 3 kilometers.
  • There have been considerable improvements in the proportions of children from socially disadvantaged groups enrolled in school. For Scheduled Caste (SC) students, 19.7 per cent were enrolled in 2008-2009, with 11% enrolled for Scheduled Tribe (ST) students.
  • The proportion of ST children at upper primary level is much lower, indicating that ST children are more vulnerable to dropping out from the school system. As many as 23.4 per cent of Muslim school children are out-of-school.
  • 84 out of 100 schools have drinking water facilities overall in India. But nearly half the schools in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya do not.
  • 65 out of 100 schools have common toilets in India; however only 1 out of 4 schools in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Orissa and Rajasthan have this facility.
  • 54 of 100 schools have separate toilets for girls. On an average, only 1 in 9 schools in Assam, Meghalaya, and Manipur have separate toilets and 1 in 4 schools in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Orissa.
  • The RTE Act has specific provisions for disadvantaged groups, such as child laborers, migrant children, children with special needs, or those who have a "disadvantage owing to social, cultural, economical, geographical, linguistic, gender or such other factor."
  • Creative and sustained initiatives are crucial to train more than 1 million new and untrained teachers within the next five years and to reinforce the skills of existing teachers to ensure child-friendly education.
  • School Management Committees, made up of parents, local authorities, teachers and children themselves, will need support to form School Development Plans and monitoring. The inclusion of 50 per cent women and parents of children from disadvantaged groups in these committees should help overcome past disparities.
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