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Reliance on CSR, philandhropic funds 'wouldn't help' raise educational standards

By Our Representative
Addressing media in Delhi, Ambarish Rai, national convener of the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, commenting on the draft New Education Policy (NEP), has regretted “poor implementation of the RTE Act, 2009 despite nearly 10 years of its enforcement.” He said, public investment on education has been going down, and should immediately be “reversed” to at least 6% of GDP.
Welcoming the draft NEP, he said, inclusion of 3-18 years in the RTE Act “has been our long-standing demand”, but expressed disappointment over “increasing privatisation of education”, even as objecting to sharp reliance on corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds and philanthropic institutions.
Prof Muchkund Dubey, former chief secretary and president, Council for Social Development, said, while “elementary education is now a fundamental right”, increasing reliance of volunteers through programmes like Remedial Instructional Aids Programme (RIAP) and National Tutoring Programme (NTP) “will lead to informalisation of education.” He added, there should be reliance on trained qualified teachers as enshrined in the RTE Act, 2009.
Shatrughan Prasad Singh, Ex MP, general secretary, Bihar Madhyamik Shikshak Sangh and All India Secondary Teachers’ Federation, said the government should ensure equitable and qualitative education for all children, adding, oosening of RTE Act norms will “further widen the gaps between the haves and have-nots.
Rampal Singh, president, All India Primary Teachers’ Association, said that nearly 11 lakh teachers’ posts were lying vacant in the country and these “need to filled up”, adding, “There is no mention of the Common School System in the entire policy document.”
Sumitra Mishra of the Alliance from Right to Early Childhood Development saod that the policy document talks about learning crisis “but fails to realise that this is because of systemic failure and not the failure of children.” 
The media conference was organized by RTE Forum, a civil rights organization.

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