Delhi tops in average spend per child with Rs. 26,800 under RTE: Indus Action

New Delhi: Indus Action, an organisation solving barriers in policy implementation to bridge the gap and enable sustainable access to legislated rights for disadvantaged families, released in its report that Delhi spent the highest amount per child per year to ensure that underprivileged got to study in private schools under Right to Education Act. . This is part of their annual Bright Spots Report 2019 which was released during the three-day Sustain Develop Grow event held in New Delhi.

The report stated that Delhi spent Rs. 26,908 on a primary students and Rs. 26,708 for upper primary classes while Tamil Nadu spent Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 33,000 for different – different classes. The lowest spending was by Madhya Pradesh at Rs. 4,419. In Delhi, the Private school participation rate in the implementation of the reservation was 69.7%, while MP and Tamil Nadu tops in this category with 99% and 75.3% respectively.

According to report, the reimbursement rate in Delhi was 54.5%, Tamil Nadu 39.4% and Rajasthan 100%. And the reason for delays in government not releasing funds in time could be lack of clarity regarding norms for making claims and non-submission of supporting documents.

In the decade since the RTE Act was implemented, over 40 lakh children have got admission and are studying under the provision across India. “Our aim is to have enrolled one million underprivileged children under RTE in private schools by 2020,” said Tarun Cherukuri, Founder & CEO, Indus Action.

Some of the key highlights of the report are as below:

§ In the tenth year of its existence, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009, sees a very different landscape of education in the country. There is growing awareness and demand within Indian society, to have not just access to education, but to have access to high quality education. The provision of the RTE Act which this report focuses on, is the Section 12(1)(c). The rationale behind the inclusion of this Section in the Act, was that inequitable and disparate schooling reinforces existing economic and social hierarchies, and promotes an indifference towards the plight of others in society.

§ The Bright Spots Report, 2019, is an attempt by Indus Action to highlight successes in implementation and offer renewed solutions for states facing challenges that may have already been mitigated by other states. This includes different lottery algorithms which can maximize seat allotment efficiency and increase applicant satisfaction. The legal sections present the justiciability side of the policy-making cycle, and present the relevant legal discourse around the issue.

§ The draft of National Education Policy (NEP), 2019, mentions various challenges and recommendations which are discussed and included in this report, as they would change the nature of implementation.

§ This report targets some of the germane issues relevant to any rights-based policy implementation and provides recommendations, such as:

§ A system of grievance redressal which is simple, has a ticket-based system, with responsibilities mapped to specific individuals, linking to the SCPCR (State Commission for Protection of Child Rights) as the appellate authority

§ The tracking of retention, by tracking student attendance, learning outcomes*, and conducting social audits

§ Creating a transparent reimbursement structure, to ensure that the monies being spent are actually reaching an eligible family, and clarity in the pipeline from state to centre to beneficiary

§ It also presents insights on the school choice patterns by parents, especially from a systems User-Experience (UX) perspective, which can be helpful to States in improving access to choice.

§ When talking of sustainability of the policy, the report puts forth a few parameters that are essential for sustained and effective implementation, namely, having a/n:

§ Seat fill rate of over 50%

§ Online system (MIS) to handle the entire process from applications to reimbursement

§ School participation rate for eligible private schools participating in the process being above 75%

§ Transparent and robust reimbursement model from centre to state, and from state to schools/parents

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