Coinciding with the March 31, 2013, deadline to enforcement infrastructure norms outlined in the Right to Education Act (RTE), Central Square Foundation and the Centre for Civil Society organised a press conference on March 28, 2013 to release a statement signed by civil society organizations and thought leaders from across the country to raise core concerns about RTE’s enforcement and propose possible solutions.
The objective of the press conference was to direct media attention to the fact that, although an ever increasing number of children have had access to schooling following the enforcement of this historic legislation, growing evidence points to the fact that student learning levels remain unacceptably low.
The press conference called on central and state governments to view RTE enforcement through a lens of learning outcomes and establish a fundamental target that all children in India achieve well-specified learning goals over the next five years.
The panelists at the convening placed emphasis on the challenges posed by the way many states have developed RTE rules and notifications and, in response, shared best practices and possible solutions.
Ashish Dhawan, CEO, Central Square Foundation, shares about best practices adopted by various states around school recognition (Gujarat’s model rules that weigh learning outcomes over infrastructure norms) and implementation of the 25% reservation clause under RTE
Sridhar Rajagopalan, Managing Director, Educational Initiatives stresses upon the need for regular, independent need for monitoring children’s learning via low stakes standardised assessments
Yamini Aiyar, Director,Accountability Initiative talks about the on-ground challenges with implementation of School Management Committees and some possible solutions
The panelists responding to questions from the media