Enshrined in the Article 21 A in the Indian Constitution is the Right of Children for Free and Compulsory Education or Right to Education Act (RTE) the Act 17. The act states that every child in India from the age of 6 to 14 years is entitled of having compulsory education if his/her parents are unequipped. But is every child in this age bracket acquiring the education that is its birth right? If you’ve ever paid a visit to the government schools in town, then the horrific plight will make you question the sustainable health of a child, forget about what they’re taught.
Government schools in Dehradun are also in an unpropitious condition. The teachers are thin on the ground, infrastructure is deteriorated and sanitation is always on a leave. A couple of years ago the Hindi daily Hindustan had a detour of the Government schools in Dehradun to check the actual state, the results were very ordinary for the govt school goers and their parents, but the ones who had always interacted with the well-run private schools would surely be flabbergasted by seeing the Poor Condition of Government Schools in Dehradun
The reports of Hindustan stated the plight of Gov schools in different areas of Dehradun. There have been schools where four classes (Class I to IV) were being held in the same room. Some schools have only a total number of 3 to 4 teachers. Schools near Parade Ground are in a mess and the students are the ones who clean it up as the schools cannot afford a daily sweeper that costs near about 150 Rs per month. Some schools have children turning in late and the teachers don’t scold them as that may lead those kids to drop out the idea of schooling, on the other hand there were some schools near Banjarawala where the teachers didn’t show up if the students did. These were the reports that were submitted years ago, so has there been any change that led to some glorifying results which improved the Plight of the Government Schools in Dehradun? Not so much.
Some recent reports by The Times of India stated that there is a shortage of about 6000 teachers in the state. The vacancies of retired teachers are not being filled on time, the shortage of qualified teachers has been affecting the new academic sessions. The castism in classrooms, students subjected to racism, sexist remarks and violence faced by the children at gov schools is a far cry from the posh private education system. The schools are deprived of purpose and accountability on the parts of both students and the teachers. The number of registration in gov primary is school in Dehradun is more as compared to the actual number of students that are present. The schools are now turning into hideous shelters. The plight of students and education in these schools are both tarnished.
Hoping for the gov policies to rub shoulders with the private education system is beyond the bounds of possibility. The will to provide education to the less fortunate has to be injected in the teachers itself. The erosion of hope in the minds of parents has to be eliminated through providing an environment without strain. Well-known NGO’s Helping Gov Schools of Dehradun along with other social groups and other volunteers can organise an interaction with these children and assist them in enhancing their minds. The Gov has also been taking some initiatives to improvise the Education of the Poor & Needy in Dehradun through introducing volunteering programs that will help the children in the better learning of science. Also monthly tests are being organized by the Gov in these schools to check the understanding and the level of education provided to the students of Gov Schools. But why is it that even with gigantic amounts of funds and with a great deal of policies there is still no education for many toddlers.
A strong moral foundation is what makes a good education institute, self-interest and careless approach will push these lives into the pit of destruction and self pity. Strong policies,concrete decisions and a society with no ill-will, is what is required to build the future of the ones stuck with the misfortune of illiteracy. As they say “Parega india Tabhi to Barega India.”