Panel discussion and launch of

September 1, 2013

Panel discussion at the launch of “ Inform, Engage, Reform,” Panelists: Yamini Aiyar, Director of Accountability Initiative, Annie Koshi, Principal of St. Mary’s School, Ashish Dhawan, CEO and Founder of Central Square Foundation (moderator), Parth Shah, President of Centre for Civil Society, and Shobha Mishra, Senior Director of FICCI

On August 29, 2013, Central Square Foundation and Centre for Civil Society, in partnership with FICCI, launched, a free and open platform for stakeholders to interact, discuss, create, share experiences and dispel myths regarding RTE Act. This portal is meant to serve as an all-inclusive port of call for RTE-related information across the country.

The launch was followed by a panel discussion, “ Inform, Engage, Reform,” comprising of Yamini Aiyar, Director, Accountability Initiative; Annie Koshi, Principal, St Mary’s School, Delhi and Dr Parth J Shah, President, Center for Civil Society. ¬†Below are some of the main points that emerged from the panel discussion.

  • As a much-needed resource of data related to various provisions of the RTE Act, the portal is an important step toward increasing citizen participation in education governance. Access to data will also help in making government processes, decision-making and policy implementation more transparent and accountable.
  • Information on some key provisions of the Act, such as the creation of School Management Committees (SMCs) and the 25% reservation clause, will be accessible on this platform. The portal can document experiences, cases and best practices in the creation of SMCs and mobilisation of parents. It can also highlight practices for social inclusion in different states under the 25% reservation clause.
  • The portal can disseminate material that shares best practices in other aspects of the Act , such as Comprehensive and Continuous Evaluation (CCE), mandated under the RTE for schools to assess student performance. Currently few teachers are aware of this provision, and little material on it has been created by states. The portal can highlight some of the more progressive work being done in this area, thus serving as a necessary step in making quality of education the main focus of the Act.
  • Information on organisations that support on-the-ground implementation of the Act, through community mobilization can be made available on the portal. The portal can also highlight state-level gaps in implementation of various RTE provisions.

The portal will play an important role in enabling effective implementation of the Act and ultimately in moving us closer to the goal of providing quality education to the children of India.