Odisha Channel Bureau Bhubaneswar, May 13: In March this year, the second and final deadline for full implementation of the Right to Education Act came to an end. Although the deadline has gone but the status of implementation of the Act in Odisha is abysmally poor.
As per government’s own DISE data, only 3% of schools in Odisha are fully compliant with ten basic indicators of Right to Education Act. There are districts such as Balangir, Nuapada, Rayagada, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri having below 1% schools fully complying with the RTE norms.In this context of five years completion of the Right to Education Act, Odisha RTE forum in collaboration with Oxfam India and Sikshasandhan organised a three-month-long campaign across 24 districts in the name of `Haq Banta Hai’.
The forum organised an experience sharing meeting at Bhubaneswar on May 11 to highlight the findings and experiences.Under the campaign, intensive awareness building was conducted on provisions of the Right to Education Act. The campaign teams also engaged with 291 school cabinets that passed resolutions stating the status of their school.This will be soon submitted to the Chief Minister.
A total of 1724 grievances collected along with 95,739 people signed and demanded for proper implementation of Right to Education Act. Anil Pradhan, convener of the RTE forum shared that through this process almost three lakh people were reached and oriented across the interior parts of the State. According to Pradhan, the grievances collected will be first submitted with the local authorities and followed up for redressal. Participants from different districts have shared that the status at the ground is critical.
There are issues of infrastructure and quality education.Teachers’ rationalisation is a major problem at the local level. Participating in the sharing meeting, senior journalist Rabi Das said that government schools are performing badly and the number of private schools are increasing. Observing that parents and communities are thinking that the private schools provide better quality of education, Das stressed the need for reversing the whole situation.
Participating in the valedictory session, Kasturi Mohapatra, Chairperson of OCPCR shared that the commission is keenly interested to engage with individuals and civil society organisations to ensure fulfillment of children’s rights in general and implementation of right to education act in particular. Dipak Ray, Director Planning and Coordination, School and Mass Education Department shared that the government is serious on implementing the act and organizations and individuals must play a supportive role.
He highlighted the process of grievance redressal and stressed on submission and redressal of grievances with the local authorities first and then use of the mechanisms like OCPCR in case of denial. Satya Prakash Nayak, senior journalist and Odisha head of Zee Kalinga shared there are good media houses who are interested to take up issues of education. However, the stories must be much focused, he added. Among others, Rajalaxmi Dash, Member OCPCR and Minati Behera, Chairperson of disability commissioner participated in this sharing meeting.