Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 22:
Sikshasandhan, a resource centre for education, in association with Odisha RTE Forum, a collective of grass root civil society organizations, networks, alliance, funding agencies, teachers unions and educationist, organized a consultation for legislature on Right to Education at Hotel Suryansh here today.
Dr. Prafulla Majhi, MLA Talsara, Shri. Pradeep Purohit, MLA, Padmapur, Shri. Laxman Munda, MLA, Bonai, Shri. Basanta Kumar Panda, MLA, Nuapada, Shri. Anubhav Patnaik, MLA, Khandapada, Shri Priyadarshi Mishra, MLA, Bhubaneswar were the respective MLAs who had been part of this consultation and delivered their valuable opinion regarding the educational scenario and the ways in which they can contribute for the development of the educational scenario in Odisha.
Apart from the MLAs participants from different NGOs, networks, funding agencies, educationists were also part of the consultation.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009(Right to Education Act, 2009) which came into force on April 2010 is a historic enactment. For the first time in India’s history, children have been guaranteed their right to quality elementary education by the state.
The act guarantees quality elementary education to all children in the age group of 6-14 years and therefore the ramification of this act is immense in the face of higher number of out of school children and issues relating to minimum infrastructure, teachers appointment, training etc. The Department of School and Mass Education, Government of Odisha in this regard has taken certain steps in terms of recruitment of teachers, improvement of school infrastructure, issuance of various notifications, and formation of School Management Committees etc.
However, the ground situation especially in case of rural and tribal Odisha is still grim. Even though, education is a significant issue it has not got its due importance on the development agenda of the state. Nearly 90% of children in Odisha study in government schools. The children are mostly from poor and marginalized background. Since the government schools are not being able to fulfill the aspirations of parents, most of the parents are increasingly depending on private schools which are mushrooming day by day even in rural pockets of Odisha. This will have negative consequences in our society and economy in future.