At the Andhra Pradesh State Right to Education Forum held in the city yesterday, many experts felt that the Right to Education Act was far from implementation. Established in 2010, the act makes it the fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 to have an education.
Former Union Energy Secretary EAS Sharma pointed out at the event that in the US the neighbourhood schools are funded by the local body tax revenue and hence have the obligation to admit in all the students in the neighbourhood. But, he says, the same does not hold true here. According to him, corporate schools here are reluctant to admit students from all segments and cater only to the rich despite benefitting from the cheap land provided to them.
He also pointed out that when the private hospitals were also being given land at a cheaper rate, they were held accountable by the Delhi High Court to admit a set percentage of patients from the lower strata of society free of cost. The forum state convener Narava Prakasa Rao agrees with EAS Sharma. He said that the corporate schools had obtained a stay order from the High Court in regard to the obligation of admitting students from BPL segment.
The state government is yet to enforce the Act onto schools. Prakasa Rao stated that the state government was siding with the corporate schools instead of keeping the best interests of students in mind and enforcing the RTE Act. The central government on the other hand is keen on implementing the Act.
On the occasion, Prakasa Rao called out the state government and demanded that they come out with a White Paper on the status of the Act. He also stated that they should increase the budgetary allocation from 10% to 20% for education.