Srijan Foundation organised a talk on RTE (Right to Education) at INTACH, Lodhi Estate. The topic of the talk was ‘RTE is killing the Right to Education’.
One of the speakers, Shrimati Anjana Thadani, is a Consulting Developmental Paediatrician specializing in academic, behavioral and other developmental problems in children.
Here is the refined transcript of the talk delivered by her. She stresses on how RTE is ruining the very purpose its name indicates.

ShrimatI Anjana Thadani:

Good Evening Friends, I would like to thank Rahul Diwan Ji for calling me here and also share and believe me, I mean it’s really humbling to know that we are all thinking around the same thing and we are at the same platform all of us are thinking and we are in such different parts of the country thinking and having the same thought and now because of social media we are all able to get it all together and actually see it happening. I never thought I would get a platform to talk about Right to Education seriously because I have seen the fallout what is being happening. I work with children with dyslexia, children with learning disabilities, for last 17 years I have been working. In MumbaI we have a state level certifying center, the state level certifying centre, having worked there I have seen more than 35000 children with learning disabilities and the trend Post RTE has been very disturbing and we will be discussing that in detail, right. I would say that we Indians feel a lot about education. Even as a pediatrician the first year of life the children the parents come and ask us which school is the best in the neighborhood. When we Indians move abroad the first thing we find is good schools, neighborhood with good schools. Is it genetic for Indians? Or is it years of conditioning? Before I move on to how the education evolved in India. I would like to talk, mention a little thing about, how many of us have read this book called as, “The Beautiful Tree”. Yes, ok. This is an amazing book which talks about Education System Pre- British Era and what happens in the education system pre British era. We had in certain areas literacy rate as higher as 70%. Every village had a school which was something like “Ekal Vidyalayas” this is what we had. We had teachers one or two teachers. We had range of subjects which were being taught and if we compare to what was happening in Britain during that time. In 1801 the Britain actually had only 3300 schools overall. In 1850’s they had 46000 schools while we had not less than 1 lakh schools only in the Bengal and Bihar as per the governor, the British governor Adam Willian. Similarly, in Punjab and Madras also they were schools. So, I mean we had an education system which was far superior and that got destroyed and that is what Gandhi Ji referred as beautiful tree and that actually got destroyed in less than 100 years and it was replaced by the modern education system in a foreign language with completely ignoring our scriptures and our value systems and that’s where we land today. Anyways, we got Independence. Around the Constitution Committee that time also there was a little impetus to include education as a fundamental right. The literacy rate that time was only 12%. We were struggling , we didn’t have the means. So, it was put into the directive principles. It took around 20 years for the next National education policy to come in and that time again the education literacy rate was somewhere around 28 – 30%. What was thought was that there was a lot of disparity and now here I would like to say disparity as in the rural and urban divide was very huge. There was a lot of gender disparity which is actually stayed over the years. It has not gone away. There is a discrepancy of around 20% which actually stayed and it has not gone away even with a lot effort. Marginalized sections, there was a lot of disparity so what was the goal set in the education policy was let’s go to the villages so 90% coverage was what was thought in the first policy and it was again thought that. Formally it was adopted to have the 10+2+3 system of education to main resolves and it was expected to move on and improve. What happened later, in 76 we had this amendment wherein education became the concurrent list subject prior to that it was a state list subject. So, the responsibility of taking the education from the city to the village was entirely of the state government which the states were not able to do. Hence, it was taken into consideration that let’s have it in the concurrent list so the state make the policies monitors and also take the financial responsibility for education. Right. So, following that what happened than we had the 86 policy, National education policy which was reviewed and this is the first, more or less the goals were the same, universal elementary education reaching to the most remotest places as possible, 90% coverage, one school in the areas of 1 km was what was thought about and again but that’s the first and the recommendation to include education as a fundamental right was again put forth, that’s why it becomes very very important for us. 86 amendment all of us know, actually made education as the fundamental right. Numerous programs were put in. We are all aware of these programmes. We had a very very descriptive and elaborative programme called the sarva shiksha abhiyaan in 2002, we had Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan in 2005, 2006, maybe 9 and then we had Ucchatar Shiksha prograame so there lot of programmes which have been on paper and implemented then but what actually happened. What was happening to the literacy rates, let’s see by that time. So, we gradually moved up the literacy rate up there and we have reached to 74% so it was around 6-8 % is what we moved roughly every 10 years , every census we moved this much and the gender disparity still stays. It was 18% to start with and we are still at 60% so we have not really moved much over there. What did we do with the GDP. Our GDP earlier was .64% in 1951 and we have moved and we are bordering somewhere around 4%. Most of the developed countries would put in 6-8% of their GDP in the education sector and there has been a lot of impetus to increase it above 6% that’s what is being asked for in more and more policies and we are trying to reach there probably then what happened. How did this right based approach came in? that is very very important for us to understand. What happened was that India also participated in education for all a UNESCO intiative wherein all the members common educational, global educational goals were set in that we will all reach universal elementary education. Basic education सब बच्चो को मिलेगा by 2000 year . All the members who were there ratified and they were given instructions to go and implement it understand your system, make changes and we will meet in 2000. When we met back in 2000 our literacy rate was only 53% so were never close to 100% there and I think if I go back and see what was happening to the, 2001 census also we were 64%, right. Besides that in 1992, India ratified to UNCRC , that is UN convention for rights of children in which education has been put as one of the rights for the child, ok. And interestingly the only two countries who have still not ratified to UNCRC are? Anybody? US and South Sudan, Somalia also ratified in I think 2015,ok. Here we move on, so this, now when the universal goal was revised to 2010 and then it was thought that even that doesn’t seem possible so what was done where was the next goal which was universal retention by 2020 तो क्या हो गया education was replaced by retention and that’s the objective what our RTE is also presenting over a period of time,ok. So, we come down from that than in 2002 as it became our main, we took it as our fundamental right, the education. There was need for a law to enact it so RTE had been under discussion from 2004 onwards on and off, it was presented the states said that we cannot implement it , there was a lot of financial burden which will be on the states and hence we cannot do it. So, it went, it was tabulated back and forth. Earlier, the reservation for the marginalized was thought to be 50% which they reduced and brought it down to 25%. So, we will move on to and talk about a little about that. Besides that, before we move on to the right to education which is what I will be discussing more in detail. Let’s see what happened to the minority institutes. Arihant you will be talking a lot about 93rd amendment and all of that, right. So, but just to give a gist, 93rd amendment was brought in wherein the minority institutes were exempted from the state reservation quota which was earlier minority as well non- minority, unaided private institutions were exempted from the state quota which was by a landmark judgement in 2005. In 2006 amendment was brought that will be dwell separately I will not get into the details of it. Following that, to decide who are the minority institutes there was a national minority commission was instituted in 2010. The reason I have put in the slide is, it was made in 2010 and by the time the 2011 census says that Hindu’s are already minority in so many states and that commission by its own structure cannot have a hindu as a member while they decide on the minority status, right. So, that was a little thing I wanted to mention before I move on.
So, what happened we had right to education act. So, its like a beautiful framework that’s what I was discussing with people before we started off. Looks very nice, follows all the principles of education. It gives a right based approach so it becomes a states responsibility. अब ये government की जिमेदारी हो गयी कि हर बच्चो को पढ़ाना है , so कैसे पढ़ायेंगे ? हर बच्चे को स्कूल में ले कर जायेंगे that is what exactly happened. But they realise by this time only the government sector cannot do it. I will tell you , I will come to it and I will tell you why government sector itself cannot do it. Now, so they said that 25% of the children would be taken from the marginalized sections by the private schools and that would be reimbursed in a due course of time. There was also a provision of any child who is been out of school. कोई बच्चा स्कूल कभी नहीं गया है, the whole aim is to get everybody in school. We are looking at universal retention. हर बच्चा स्कूल में जाना चाहिए, that was the whole aim, right. So, if the child has not gone to school we put him in a classroom. How do we decide the classroom? उसके age के basis पे . So, we decide that if the child is 13 year old probably he goes in the 7th or 8th standard, if the child is 10 years old he goes in the 5th std. irrespective of the learning level, right. So, that is something which was also put in the cloth. No detention till 8th std. so, once the child gets into the education system he does not move out till he finishes his elementary education,right. So , that was one more thing which was put on. No detention till 8th std. because elementary education हम consider कर रहे हैं 6-14 years of age, till 8th std. So, once a child goes into a primary school does not move out to the secondary school. So, there will be no detention of the children and hence, we are trying to retain the children. So, then, now lets see how RTE has impacted all of this. now, availability factor if we look at. Availability basically means the building, the infrastructure, the physical infrastructure which is required for proper learning. Now, RTE is like , something like a quality check we have. We have NABH accredation for the hospitals, this is what something happened with RTE. RTE came out with very standard quality norms as regards to building structures, seprate toilets for boys and girls, playground facility, boundary wall around the school, kitchen sheds. So, बहुत सारे points उन्होंने बोला है कि अगर schoool आपको रखना है to ये ये points follow होने चाहिए , ये ये आपका reqirement है और आपको वो requirement within 3 years पूरा करना है . जब भी एक state ले के RTE को चालु करेगा 3 saal के अन्दर आपका सब reqirement पूरा होना चाहिए ,right. So , that is what they did. Then we move on to , they also give norms about quality of teachers. तो teacher का reqiremnet क्या है . So, It has to be qualified teachers, उनका training होना चाहिए , उनका salary होना चाहिए upto a certain level, increase in the salary, teacher tsudents ration define होना चाहिए , classroom teacher ratio define होना चाहिए, so, a lot of norms and the schools has to comply with that and अगर नहीं comply करते है तो , in case of non- compliance there are fines and penalties for the same, ok. So, this is what it did when it came to the physical infrastructure. So, here we go, so every child between the age of 6 to 14 years will have the right to free and compulsory education . Section 15 talks about the procedure for withdrawal of recognition. Allowances and Salaries, services for the teachers. For the training of the teachers also and the state government is authorized to make rules in every stage in order to carry on the provisions of the act. Within 3 years, the school should gain recognition और अगर नहीं होता है तो उसको Rs 1 lakh की penalty होगी या 10000 per day तक का fine है, ok. This is what came out , this is all written from the act.
Now, let’s look at the level of schools. What is happening to the schools. When we look at the schools, we have around 14 lakh schools in India as per the census 2014-2015. This is all data from MHRD so it’s all available in public domain. Now, out of these 14 lakh schools, around 80% of the schools are government schools, ok. Then we had 20% are private sector schools,ok. But that 80% schools are catering to 60% of the enrolments , so 60% students go to this 80% schools and 20% of schools are catering to 40%. So, the participation of the private sector is huge right now,ok. Now, when we go on to. when we look at the school types. The primary schools are around 57%, the upper primary is 6,7and 8th then you have the primary with upper primary, so schools from 1-8th std thats arounfd 28% and then you have only 14% schools are the secondary schools which are 9th std. onwards. So, even if you do 100% retention and enrolment you don’t have infrastructure to cater to that need. You have 57% schools which are primary, onl primary schools, you have another 19% schools with primary and secondary and only 10% So, against 57% even if we say, we only have 29% of schools which have upper primary. So, even if you want to retain all of them where are they going to go because there are not enough schools and 14% for the secondary. Now, school availability. It’s a data for 2009, comparative data, the number of schools and 2015, the primary schools have marginally increased similarly the upper primary but there are still half. You know, when you look at the values its 8 lakh 14000 primary against 4 lakh 18000 upper primary. So, this is what happeing. Secondary schools are way low and senior secondary are of course very low so, even if there is a marginal increase, there is no way we can accommodate the universal retention here, that’s the point I wanted to put across. Now, look at what is the condition as regards to infrastructure in these government schools. 92% of the schools have boys toilet, 84% of girls toilet, interestingly only 44% have a handwash facility next to the toilet. I mean its soo A typical that I had to put it here. 62% schools have boundary walls, schools with playground 58%, electricity connection in only 52% of the school, computers in 43% , functional computers out of that 43% probably the 63% have it, mid day meals are provided in 88.6% schools, kitchen shed , which is one of the rules infrastructural norms for RTE is only in 75% schools, now this is what is happening to the government schools, all the recognized schools if we put it across. now, what is the impact of RTE then –
1. The norms which are available are not pan India norms, they are pan India norms as in they are the same norms for a small village MumbaI or Delhi, right. So, what happens, I mean obviously the space constraints, the value, everything is different. you cannot have the same norms for, across the country. so, there has to be revision of norms in case you are thinking.
What also happens is, there is a very disturbing trend of children being pulled out of government schools and put into the budget private schools. As high as 75% of children are attending private schools in a recent survey in the city of mumbaI and patna. MumbaI I have seen the municipal schools shutting down. They don’t have enrollments, the teacher are actually given incentives to go and get children. One, because they are in vernacular medium. second, the quality of education is very low. and we would see that quality a little later in other slides. so, what is happening , now these children obviously had a choice , the parents had a choice of putting them into a government school which is free, which is also in the neighbourhood and a budget private school which is also in the neighbourhood but is charging somewhere around 200 300 400rs fees per month but parents chose that. now, with RTE will have a shut down of these schools. one, because they cannot afford to have that 25% children from the marginalized section, maybe there are profit margins only that much so it makes them unviable. the RTE norms are not practical to be applied. so, quite a few schools are getting into volunatry closure. now, we dont have a consolidated data but there are 7000 schools in maharashtra has been given notices under RTE. around 1200 schools in haryana and punjab have closed down. around 600 schools in hyderabad has closed down. so, there has been a lot of reports from here and there. ofcourse, a lot of data is available. at a conservative measure or just a, we feel that atleast 10-15000 schools will close down if RTE is implemented strictly which would mean that at least 30 lakh children out of school. Even if we take an enrolment of 200 per school. most of these budget schools will have 150’s, 160, 180, 220 sort of children, thats the population they have. So, even if we take a ball park figure of 200, 30 lakh बच्चे बाहर चले जायेंगे system से जब ये schools सारे बन्द हो जायेंगे why they were in the school and not in a government school, something which is debatable. so, parents के पास क्या option रहेगा ya to हम government school में भेज दे जो हमने पहले reject किया हुआ था , right. reject किया है वो reason same है, उनका भी infrastructure बहुत अच्छा नहीं है , that we have seen already in the slide kI उनका infrastructure बहुत अच्छा नहीं है . the quality of education is even worse than this smaller schools which were there or the other option is minority run secular schools, right, which our imparting education to our children. so, minority run schools exempted है from RTE as per our 93rd amendment so, they can provide, they will be the only stakeholders left in the private sector to provide education or the third option is if this particular school your child is going in survives RTE वहा पे fees raise होगा क्योंकि वो 25% fees जो fees नहीं मिल रही है, जो free बच्चे आ रहे है , somebody has to pay for it. so, fees raise होगा plus अगर उनको जगह खरीद के classrooms बढ़ाने है , playground बनाना है and if they can actually do it उसका भी cost to parents and बच्चों को ही bear करना पड़ेगा. so, the cost will rise. so, choice is now three. या तो आप govenment school में बच्चे को भेजो, या तो आप minority run secular institutes में भेजो जहाँ पे we know what happens, we are all sitting here and we dont get to get in the details as to what happens over there and the third option is same school में higher fee में continue रखो. so, those are the three options which the parents would have now and another point here , 80% of schools are government schools . they are exempted from RTE अगर हम minority institutes 3% भी पकड़ते है . 83% जो minority में यहाँ पे religious minority भी है , linguistic minority भी है . hindu linguistic minority भी है, religious minority भी है, . 3% or it could probably be a little more. Now, if we have. So, what happens 83% of the schools are exempted from a particular law then why have a law which only targets 17-18% of the people, isnt it? it is literally मैंने एक कायदा बनाया है but 8 log follow नहीं करेंगे चलेगा पर खाली दो लोगो को वो कायदा kaida follow करना है. how is it gono make any sizable impact on the quality of education or infrastructure also. jab aapne 83% को exempt कर दिया है , right. so, from this availability we move on to the quality aspect.

Now, acceptability is actually the quality check. So, there are two provisions, three provisions rather I wanna talk about it. one is, special provison for children not admitted since I said earlier everbody has to be brought back to the school so what has to be done जो भी age में बच्चा है उसको हम classroom में डाल देंगे that was the whole aim. I have a little experience here I work with 5 destitute homes. in one of the homes in lucknow where we work, the first year we started we picked up 30-30 children in informal education, in that home we started providing. now, these children did well so by the end of the year we started thinking that इनको हम structured proper school में डाल सकते है so we started looking for a budget school close by because destitute government run k बाचे है we cant send them very far away so there are lot of logistics issues. Now, these 10 children we identified and we said like this year we will try with 10 children , next year we will add on children. Now, these 10 children , out of them 9 children. all these children are more than 10 years of age, so when we went, that was somewhere around 2012, 13. So, principal was very well aware of the RTE, so, the principal told us ma’am we will put the children as per their age. I said no , they wont be able to cope up and we had to convince her again and again and I made the children do certain stuff and see it over there that these children cannot cope up, its just not possible for them to cope up, so the principal relunctantly agreed and we put these children in third standard and second standard though these children were 11-12 years of age. One of the kids had recently got transferred to that home from noida और नॉएडा में वो सेवेंथ स्टैण्डर्ड अटेंड कर रहा था in one of the schools. so, the child looked a little bigger also, maybe around 14-15, so he was also reluctant to go to a lower standard तो हमने उसको seventh में ही वापिस admission करा दिया result क्या हुआ . my children who went to third standard were able to cope up, we worked on these children and we were able to get double promotion to ये बच्चे जो third में थे वो 5th में आ गये
But जिस बच्चे को हमने seventh में mein कराया था he dropped out becuase he was feeling that learning gap. मैं जिनकी बात कर रही हूँ वो बिलकुल ही marginalized बच्चे है जो कि शायद एक बार school से निकल गये तो 5 साल school भी नहीं गये but those children you cant put them as per the age because they just wont be able to cope up, right, that’s exactly what happened. now, when you are talking of this provision I have a strong objection to it, when I say that they will not be able to cope up, the huge learning gaps. now, who’s supposed to bridge this gap? RTE says that the teacher is supposed to bridge this gap. Honestly, tell me which teacher in a regular school without any skill, without any training is gono actually bridge this gap. आप मुझे बताइए, टीचर के पास ना टाइम है, ना स्किल है , ना inclination है, कुछ भी नहीं है to actually work on these children and these children are more likely to drop out again and वो बच्चे स्कूल से बाहर है उसके काफी logistics issues है , its not only but the children didnt wanted to go there were lot of issues. even if we pull them and put them back now the child factor , the child will be so demotivated that he will not stay in the system for long then we move on to the next, no child admitted in the school shall be held back in any class or expelled till the completion of elementary education. now, I have a very very strong objection to this. my first objection to this particular section is that whatever happened, this RTE came into picture, everybody knew about this provision first, I dont know how. So, within the first year, बाकी structural norms नहीं मालुम है लोगो को , 25% quota भी नहीं मालुम है उसके लिये school management is worried, the parents are not worried, the children are not worried, the teachers are not worried, but this clause the day it came, there was such a huge hue and cry about it that it was well publicised. I personally feel that there was a ground prepared by disproportionate media coverage of suicide cases and hence, you know it was shown that this is to take the stress out of the system, right. there were lot of, I mean I personally feel that every suicide is a personal tragedy but a suicide or less than 10 children against 20 crore children in schools is very disproportionate, right. So, it’s not that huge a problem as it was projected. So, what happened. Now, How did parents, children and teachers looked at this right to education. They looked at it as right to, of the child to move to the next class irrespective of learning. So, right to education was perceived as the right of the child to move to the next class without learning, that is exactly what happened.
Following that, lets go back to the data and see what actually happened to the enrolments. enrolments, when we look at the data we see the third year. I have compared 5, 6 , 9, 10 which is exactly the RTE when it was implemented. I am 5 years down RTE. Now, the enrolmemt is actually dipped down, if you see and we are talking of enrolment and this is not retention, children passing out. this is the enrolment. so, this is level wise enrolment. Primary, upper primary it increased a little bit. Secondary, it increased a little bit but it’s still less than 50% of the primary. So, we could still retain the children in the primary. Let’s look at the, now here what happens is this is the Gross Enrolment Ratio again what we see, we see the trends which are falling but overall there’s been a little jump you see from primary to secondary there is a huge difference, this is all enrolment. then we talk of retention as per the NEP 2016 data itself, now primary retention was 83%, upper primary which is upto the 8th standard, the retention is been 67% which means 4 out of every 10 children enroled left the school without finishing primary education. So, did, you know no dentention policy actually helped in retention, it did not, right. then let’s look at the quality check. So, let’s look at the quality of education what happened. This is all ASER data. Now, we are looking at 2006, 10 and 14 data what happened. Now, this is standard third children who could read at least 1st standard level textbook, right. Moved from, There is All India data, government schools and the private schools. There is a huge, you see the yellow bars are way up. So, definately says that the quality of education even in the budget private schools is much higher, right, as compared to the government counterparts, thats the reason children are moving, right, then All India we were still not more than 50% at any point of time. Even in 2006, we were around 48% and, but the private schools we were at 58% which is stayed more or less the same, 58%, then there is 57%, 59% but in the government schools , in 2004 you see the dip from 48% has come down to 31%,ok. This is what happened to Education, went down obviously, thats what we are trying to say, the quality of education only around 31% children could read a book of 1st standard who were in 3rd standard. So, what has happened, the, these budget schools still maintain the level of, the quality of education but it dipped a lot in the government run schools, ok. then we move on to others. There is this 5th standard child who could read a 3rd grade book. Here again, it was 51% to start with, went down to 48% by 14, government schools again, there was huge dipped seen in the government schools as compared but the private schools more or less stayed the same. This is the third standard child who could do at least subtraction. Right. So, the third standard child again..the dip here is lot more even in the private schools. But the government schools only 17.3% children can actually do that. Similar data for the 5th standard who could do.umm.. division sums. This is exactly what happened. So, let’s move on from this. So our experience also since we are working with these destitute homes, nearly 40% of the children in 6th standard could not even recognize alphabets all, all the alphabets in any of the languages.So it’s Hindi, MarathI and English.. all the three languages they could not recognize all alphabets at the 6th standard level, but then these are the children who are really out of school. Right, and we have now started stimulating them, 20% could only cope-up, and 40% were only at the word stage. Alphabets हो गया, words हो गया and basic addition substraction was achieved .Now, what happened post this thing is, the impact on children was, since it was very well publicised that the children knew whatever happens the teacher cannot detain me. Right, so what happens the motivation level went very down. Please understand children don’t think like us. Children are very poor abstraction, very concrete thinking they are at the non operational stage till around 13-14 yrs of age. So, they …till 8th standard they have no clue as to what is happening. If I ask a 12 yr old, what will you do after 10 yrs, you know what he’s going to tell me, I’ll be 22 . This is how children respond. this is how children are. And we look away. And it was the time media boom with the internet, lot of distractions. I feel sad for our children. We we were luckily, I mean ummm born in the era where we didn’t have so many distractions, so we didn’t know what to do so we might as well study Right, but our children have too many things to look at and it’s a disadvantage for our children. Right. So, then we move on from here… what happen to the parents. the parents typically move to the entitlement approach. That’s what I was talking to the gentleman here. Initially, the first reaction was they were very relaxed, happy. No failing, we’re all happy. Right. The educated parents were watchful. So, they started figuring out the children are not learning. कहीं कुछ misout है. Say If my child goes to school, 5th standard में उसको 2nd का table नहीं आता, I’ll be worried. But, अगर जो parent educated नहीं हैं but usne बच्चे को private स्कूल में भेजा अच्छे स्कूल में भेजा even probably a big school like DPS or DAV में भेजा उसने बच्चे को But, he himself is not empowered to monitor what learning is happening. तो क्या हुआ that gap and जो government स्कूल में गये वहां पे quality of education we already know what is happening. Right. So, ये जो हमारा divide है in the society that became even more deeper. So, the educated person का बच्चा educated रहा, जो uneducated है उसका बच्चा में learning problems आ रहे हैं and we even don’t know what is happening. Right. So, that is where the divide became even more stronger. So, it did not uplift all the children at the same level. That is what happened. Then we look at what happened to the impact of teachers and students. Teachers initially were aghast believe me, a gast with this provision.They didn’t know what to do so, and , since it was very well publicised, so every body knew that the child cannot be retained So the attitude of the teacher changed over a period of time Our teachers, we must understand are not so empowered lot though there are lot of teaching programmes which are more in the government sector than in private sectors. and a lot of training is happening inspite of that ofcourse we have very poor quality of education that’s a different story altogether but when the teachers and principals, I have sat with the principals,I work a lot with schools and the principals. Principals say that when we call the parents, parents don’t want to come. So, because earlier atleast we had this rule that 2 times the child is detained in the class, the school could throw the child out, give the TC to the child. Now, no fear like that was left with the parents, so, the parents stopped coming to schools and stopped paying attention to what is happeing to the child and eventually, and the teachers would say, if I have a child in 5th std. who doesn’t know substraction, it’s not my fault, it is the fault of the previous teacher. So, hence, the owning up completely stopped this is what happened with the teachers. Now, we move on, now interestingly all the minority schools takes exemption from the RTE norms but they still followed the no detention policy,so, you pick up what is convenient to you, you drop what is not convenient to you,right. Then, we move on to what happened now, what we started seeing, since I was seeing children with learning problems were reffered to me. What we started seeing is that maximum children were held back in the 9th std. because till 8th everybody passed, there was no learning happening but everybody was getting promoted then in 9th standard the children were detained, so, what was the choices, now , staying back in a school was not a norm, in a class was not a norm. We had a lot of children who failed, who, you know than ultimately got integrated with the next class, it was all ok, अभी ये नहीं हो रहा था, so, अभी एक बच्चे को रोकना was a big prestige issue for the parents and the pyschological burden on the child. The child will get depressed, the child will have a lot of stress, it is shaming इसके लिये बच्चों को private 10th standard के classes mushroom out हुये and a lot of children started going and doing this private SSC or private 10th standard board. Besides this, a lot of children also moved on to open schools. there is an alternative education board, National Institute of open schooling, so lot of children moved to that but we have to understand what happened to these children , so, even if they did 10th , what would happen later? A recent, there was a statement by Our honourable Minister Mr. Javrekar saying that, 40% of our engineering graduates are employable and it made a lot of headlines, Now, the children who are already engineering graduate are the children who are Pre RTE probably because 10th किया , 2 साल किया और फिर 4 साल किया तो 6 साल पहले उन्होंने 10th या 8th तक किया or maybe 8 years before they were in 8th standard, so, they were not victim of this automatic promotion any which way and these are the children who are not employable, imagine what would happen to our children when they come there. I mean it’s such a scary picture, what I had seen was, why learning does not happen just 2 mins I will dwell upon and then move on. There are multiple causes for learning not happening, right. it could be something, somebody who has dyslexia, somebody who has understanding कम है , cognitive ability कम है तो वो slow learner, mild intellectual capacity , में आ जाते है , so, there are children with that also, environmental causes थोडा होता है, one fraction will have environmental causes like this policy. There could be medical condition, there could be, I mean at least 20 reasons I could talk about जिसकी वजह से learning arrest होती है . Now, learning is a very complex phenomena, किस level पे arrest हुई है , क्या कारण है, अगर हम नहीं जानेंगे तो we cannot let the child learn further , so what happens there is, we have had children जो 9th standard में है और उनका learning level इस only 3rd standard. We have had children and when you talk to the parents of these children, you should see how they feel, its like literally the end of the life, because with the learning gap of 5 and 6 years in 9th standard , there is nothing you can do about it, even the best of the remedial teachers, the best of the schoolling can do nothing about this child and then there is a social stigma कि 10th पास कराना है, what happens after 10th standard तो this is what is actually happening, so, for me taking away the right to education is actually taking away the right to learning from my children, that’s how I look at it.
Now, we move on to from this, physical harrasment. Do I have a slide on that. I dont think so, no. So, Physical harrasment though, I do not at any point of time advocate any kind of punishment to children. I am a very non- violent person, so, I would never ever advocate that but again this is another thing which was publicised , so, the result, what happened is, the teachers do not have the authority to even close the door when the class is going on, so क्या हुआ the children and then we have inclusion, so, inclusion में जितने भी मेरे बच्चे है they all started walking out of the classroom, walking here and there, the classroom became very disruptive, severe behvioural problems happened and the learning still went further down, that’s all I have to say. The teacher were not empowered अगर punishment नहीं देना है so what? कुछ तो करना पड़ेगा to get discipline, so, were they taught how to discipline without any kind of physical punishment or mental harrasment or just, you know giving them some kind of things, that you better do well, sort of stuff. okay,so , we move on from this to the last bit of my talk, which is accessibility and adaptability. Now, accessibility is what we will be talking later is, 25% of the underpriviliged and marginalised children have to be included because accessibility means education should be available to all, all sections of society without any disparity. Now inclusive education was taken in later wherein the right to education was extended to children with all sorts of disabilities, ok. so, now, we move on to that, and see what happened, we will go on and see. Now, when we talk of disability, the, according to the census 2011 we have only 2.2% people who are disabled,ok. Now, this 2.2% people are no where close to the global 10% disability figure, so, the disability is supposed to be aorund 10% of the global figure and we are only able to detect 2.2% disbility. Last census it was 2.1% , so, in 10 years we only picked up .1 disbility more, ok. This is what is the status of disability, when we look at individual disabilities, dyslexia जिसपे में काम करती हूँ specialise करती हूँ 10% , 8-10% of school going children are bound to have dyslexia, prevelance rates, global prevelance rates I am talking about with lot of Indian studies. Autism is 1.2%, ADHD , Hyperactive बच्चे रहते है ना जो बैठ नहीं सकते एक class में वो एक problem है, वो एक developmental disorder है, उसका around 5-7% of the children have, now, if we put it all together, then down syndrome के बच्चे होते है, which is one in 600 life births, so, इतने सारे conditions है , neurological conditions है, medical conditions है , which make a child disable, right. So, disability अभी एक नया act आ रहा है उसमे 31 type of disabilities are included and which is going to coming pretty soon in the final drafts but earliers we were only restrictied to 6 disabilities as per the RCI but ठीक है now we are moving ahead so, now the cohot is 10% of disabled children have to be included in a classroom. Now, I mean there will be a lot of people , here also, who are advocates of inclusive education but I would like to tell you when you go in a classroom the teacher student ration is 40-50 students per teacher and you have an autistic child and you have an hyperactive child and you have three dyslexic children in the same class, how will the teacher manage teaching all of them optimally? I have been witnessed to a court case, wherein I was called as an expert, this was in child with autism in a very very elite school, typically after RTE the parents had this right based entitlement approach towards the whole issue. This child has been in the same school since pre- primary and the school has coped up, now, the child is in 6th standard and they, what started happening, now the child is getting disruptive, अभी वो सीख नहीं रहा है school में because school is not equipped to teach him. there is no specialist who is going to teach an autistic child in a regular school, there is a shadow teacher जो काफी cost करती है parents ने shadow teacher भेजा है , बच्चे के साथ बैठता है but you should see that the child cannot understand what is happening in the class, उसको कुछ instruction समझ नहीं आते है, the teacher has to point then he starts writing. The teacher has to do the physical pointing तब वो बच्चा pen उठाता है , pen उसको हाथ में देते है , फिर वो लिखना शुरू करते है, ये सब तो ठीक है, उसके बाद जब recess होती है, gap होता है, lunch breaks होते है, इतनी आवाज़ होती है कि वो बच्चा ऐसे कान पकड़ के, he keeps rocking and he keeps making some noises, अब ये बच्चा आपको लगता है कि स्कूल में सीखेगा? Why is a child sent to school? The first thing is, objective is to learn, and now the parents are too busy, fighting with the school, and the court and going to the media and making a big show and cry about it that they have forgotten that they actually have to teach the child, so my recommendation to them was it’s ok to keep the child in the regular school but I want the parents to do these these things and submit reports every 3 months, if they want to be in this system because the child ultimately has to learn, that’s one child. when you work with children with down syndrome , what happen is that these children are able to cope up till primary उसके बाद नहीं कर सकते because उनकी IQ low होती है, IQ उनकी slow learner के range में होती है 70 होती है , normal IQ हमारी 90+ होनी चाहिए, अब जब वो primary, upper primary में पहुँचते है तो maths concepts, vocabulary makes no sense to them, so, they are just not able to cope up तो वहां पे क्या होना चाहिए inclusion में curriculum differentiation होना चाहिए, उनके लिये seprate curriculum होना चाहिए, उनके लिये seprate paper बनना चाहिये, वो हम नहीं कर पाते है , so we are started inclusion by the law without being actually ready for inclusion, that is exactly what has happened,ok. Again, when we look at, now, at which level we need to intervene that is important. one, the parents have to understand, the basic aim has to be learning and there, it shouldn’t be just a conflict situation which happened in this child. Second, the teachers have to be empowered. You see, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan document, if anbody has seen. It beautifully writes down theory about all our disabilities. It has got beautiful checklist as annexures at the end of the document but I can challenge teacher probably in a smaller town, maybe lets talk of sitapur in U.P, anybody knows where it is? It’s a very small town, right. So, a teacher over there , a primary teacher over there versus a teacher in mumbaI do they have the same level of awareness? you have the same norms, you have the same education, this child I am talking about is given a shadow teacher, there are two counsellors in the school and parents are supportive but imagine at a district level, or at a you know village level school में आप inclusion कराओगे तो क्या होगा? are we ready for inclusion? I have nothing against inclusion ultimatley, so what I suggest is that the inclusion has to be faced, there could be nodel centers for particular disability and, for example, एक center अगर एक district में है जो कि हम visual handicapped पे खाली हैंडल करते है तो वहां पे सारे visually challenged बच्चो को हम वहां भेज सकते है from the district through the transport arranged by the state and that could be a center for resource development, special educators, prevelance studies, we can do lots with one good nodel center for each disability in each district rather then trying to have these children in ever school, that is what I would suggest and again a lot of courses, we dont have rehab people in Maharashtra, state government has put in one counsellor in ever school, two special educators in every school, where do we have special educators and teacher to actually go in and do the job there, so, there is a lot of disconnect happening there. Ok, now, this data is actually picked up, because I was planning to extend, I know its very less, it cant be seen but I will tell you the gist. we are able to only pick up .2%, out of the total children who went to school for their SSC that is their 10th and 12th board exams, out of 30000 only 600 odd were children with LD certificate, learning disability certificate and it was only .2% is what we have picked up and this is the condition in mumbaI which I think is the dyslexia, capital of the country. Seriously, the level of awareness which we have over there , thanks to Taare zameen pe and all of that, I mean media, whatever said and done helps us, so , the first taare zameen pe , I had lovely experience everybody said my child is like Ishaan and everybody wanted a remedial teacher like Aamir khan, actually people have come in and demanded that, so ofcourse , that’s not doable and it was very dramatic but yes, all intervention if given early makes a lot of difference, makes a lot of impact. So, this is what we were able to achieve then it came to inclusion. Concluding remarks is the government as well as the minority institutes have to be included in RTE otherwise if we are missing on to 83% there is no point pushing the 17%, the overall quality will never improve. Quality norms needs to be revised, for urban verus rural, size and type of the school, no detention policy needs to be removed, children have to be admitted as per their academic level. what also gets missed on in no detention is that there is no early intervention happening, the children are not picked up early, nothing happens, no remediation happens for these children, emphasis on teachers training, inclusion has to be done in a phase- wised manner and prompt time bound fair compensation to the 25% marginalized children, if we could even get that in place, I think the schools will be ok with that. I think that’s it. Thank you.

We begin one by one, so let’s pick up from the clause that you mention on the appropriate admissions, right. Question , So, yes, while RTE talks about age appropriate admission to children in the school, it does not say that you dont work for bringing the child to that level, so it talks about bridge courses, it talks about number of provisions that are made by different state government and it actually asks the state government to come up with those porvisions so the children are brought up to the level, of their, I mean the required minimum level of learning which that age children should have, it is not happening in practice is a different talk but it actually says that it has to happen and then you admit them into that class. So, that’s one point on that. You mentioned about number of schools being closed down and the gap after primary and upper primary and 8th, secondary, senior secondary, let me tell you government is doing lot of merging of schools because yes there is, because of small schools and because of the problem in the teacher – student ratio so, what they are doing, we are bringing down or closing down small schools with extremely low enrolment and merging them with senior secondary, so gradually you will see lot of schools closing down but there are coming up as composite schools so they will be one to 12th, they will not be1 to 8th and then 9, 10 and then 11th ,12th, so, those things are being closed down in and then they are coming up so this one data discripancy that I wanted to tell. At times, I mean it’s both way people can see lot of , people talk about the policies having, I mean a pan India , I mean , there is no contexualisation into it and we want to have different policies for different states, it is good to talk that way but when you have to plan at the central level, at the National level , if you have different policies for different states as of now we have education being in the concurrent list means state and center both have the responsibility and because of that also there are so many discrepencies across states, you will find states which are performing so poorly and absolutely not fulflling any norms, at the other end, you see that there are states , that there are, which are actually out performing, I mean where government schools are doing really well, now do you want to let them remain as they are by saying that अच्छा ये state अपनी तरफ से करले or you want to have a uniform policy and see that at least minimum norms every state has to meet, so, that is how I look at them and that is why we need to have some pan India, I mean policies which are across for the country but states can, based on their requirement or based on their reality can really put in provisions or clauses , that is the freedom that policies comes with.
Do you want me to respond to this little bit? Ya ya sure, go ahead please. See the thing is, what I am talking about is rural and urban, now, the space constraints which are in the metro’s like Mumbai. Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore is no where close to what you would find probably in Jodhpur, Jaipur or probably when you go for the down to Satara or sangalya, so, what I am talking of that depending on the, you put the cities into different tears, based on that you could have some norms, I am not talking of, I perfectly understand what you want to say, but does this mean that a city like DelhI should be allowed to run a school in a three story building so, one story can become a school , Do we want to say that because it is metro? I will not agree to it. If the government following those norms, let me put that way, it should be, is the minority institute, there has to be provision , if the norms are not followed by 83% , so, if the norms are not being followed we need to have an accountability system in place we cannot say that we do away with the norms, we need to relax the norms based on the requirement or based on the place, that’s what I am trying to say. because, this is not gono, it has to be a phased wise manner, you cannot have all or none, because it is gono impact the children, its gono impact the budget schools, and they have, we have enough evidence to show the quality of education in the government schools is no where close to the private schools, so that is what we are trying, so we are trying basically to come and say that either pull this up, all the norms have to apply to government schools also that’s when the parents will take it as a option to send the child to a governement school, right, yes, All norms have to be applied to all schools, ya, exactly, right, is something I agree but they cannot be seprate for rural schools, they cannot be seprate for urban schools, because norms have to be based on the quality, standards which you want for your children, they cannot be based on rural, urban, we cant say that rural children will have little less or because context is different, better infrastructure, yes, that cannot be the case, I think people want to get into it, yes, please.
DelhI government schools are often two stories, the new schools which have come up, delhI govenment are actually two and three stories existing schools also of MCD and DelhI Government are often a two stories and there are a huge number of students, it was honestly a shocked to me, because I am not from DelhI but the number of students in each DelhI School, government, senior secondary school is like 6000, 7000, sometimes when 8000 into shifts, it’s like a large number and like what ma’am was saying its a huge huge issue, there is, I mean you all are discussing that but I just had to interject but that this is happening. Thanks. As far as I know, there is no research which exists which says that the input norms that are required by the right to education act have any impact on learning outcomes, as such, from the research that is available and I think CCS has brought out paper on it, there is very minimal impact on how the impact, the input norms are prescribed by the right to education act, having any impact whatsoever on the learning outcome, so, you, what is the requirement of all these input norms especially when that are proving deteriant to few further additions to capacity,ya.
First of all Congratulations, wonderful talk with the set of data etc., I really really enjoyed it, Thank you, one clarification question I had in, the first, third slide or something, there was minority status of states, right, and one place it’s says christianity with a question mark, so, there was my clarification, in terms of other questions and the school closure think that also picked up, I understand that there was, there were consolidation of the schools also, specifically coming from Rajasthan, no no , where, but that is happening in government, I think what you mentioned about the school closure of private schools, right, which is different from the consolidation thing, correct, and the second clarificatry question is one point of time you talked about 83, I think 83% of schools are minority schools, no no, I didn’t say that, I said that 80% of the schools are government schools, if we take 3% of minority which includes your religious minority, ok ok, हाँ हाँ, as well as the hindu linguistic minority, so 83% of school actually go out of , exempted from RTE, you got it right, Perfect, ya, that’s what, I got it i, Governemt schools are exempted, yes they are exempted from the norms, all governement schools? No no no no, if, otherwise the data which she has presented which is available from MHRD website, all those schools should have closed down actually, yes, exactly, see, there have no limit to compliance, your private, budget private schools have to comply and within 3 years they have to comply, that’s the difference. All government schools, all the RTE the norms? They don’t, they don’t , they don’t, they don’t and they are actually exempted when it comes to infrastructure, I will show you, you came mid way and you didn’t see my earlier slides, the whole point is that, that’s what we all are discussing this here, if it was, if it was, 97% following and 3% minority we could have probably gotten away with it. The reason why we are discussing it here is because of that , right, thank you, sure.