RTE 2.0: Building Consensus on Amendments
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, popularly known as RTE Act in India, is a landmark Act aimed towards fulfilling the provisions of 86th amendment of the Constitution of India.
For India to grow economically, and for this growth to be inclusive, the country needs to ensure an educated and skilled population – one that we are currently struggling to provide. An act that ensures universal access to education should therefore be welcomed with open arms. However, with its current flaws and bureaucratic obstacles, the Act is undermining the very purpose it stands for.
With the objective of shifting regulatory focus towards issues related to learning outcomes, including modern pedagogical processes, efficient school governance systems, and incorporating parents' preferences and choice, some of India’s eminent educationists and thought leaders met at the UChicago Centre in Delhi on Monday. The crisp, four-hour roundtable focused on specific amendments to the RTE Act, which would ensure quality education for all in India. RTE 2.0: Building Consensus on Amendments aimed at weeding out the pain areas in the existing scheme of things, finding out what works and what doesn’t, and introducing actual amendments to the text of the Act.
The meet, anchored by Centre for Civil Society, India’s leading think tank, saw participants like Amit Kaushik, Ashish Dhawan, Avani Kapur, Binu Nair, Gurcharan Das, Jasmine Shah, Kruti Bharucha. Luis Miranda, Meeta Sengupta, Pari Jhaveri, Parth Shah, Shailendra Sharma, Shantanu Gupta, Shrutipriya Dalmia, Subhalaxmi Ganguly, Swati Sahni, Tarun Cherukuri, Vijay Chadda, Vimala Ramachandran, Yashaswini Mittal – discussing nuances of the Act in detail, sharing experiences, and putting forward recommendations.
Several interesting discussions around extending the applicability of the Act, age and grade appropriate learning, 25% reservation rule, no-detention policy, reimbursement systems, private tuition by teachers, and quality and learning outcomes were brought up. Key concerns regarding the structure and impact of the RTE were discussed, and based on this, recommendations for amendments to the RTE Act 2009 have been drafted, and will be shared with policy makers, thought leaders and others working in this space.