Skip to main content

India's 30% girls from poorest families have never set foot inside a classroom: RTE Forum

The fact-sheet being released on January 24
By Our Representative
A fact-sheet released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, a network of 10,000 civil society organizations across 19 states, has revealed that girls are twice less likely as boys to receive 4 years of schooling. It further said, 30% of girls from the poorest families have never set foot inside a classroom, and 40% of adolescent girls between ages 15-18 years are not attending any educational institution.
Also pointing out that literacy rate of women in India is still staggering at 65%, the fact-sheet suggested that a financial roadmap for implementation of the RTE Act and the National Education Policy should be worked out in order to address the "historic downturn" in spending on education.
According to the fact-sheet, the share of the union budget allocated to education fell from 4.14% in 2014-15 to 3.40% in 2019-20. Government spending on education has also decreased in real terms (adjusting for inflation), it added.
Estimated at at 2011-12 prices, the absolute allocations to school education have also decreased in real terms from Rs 38,600 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 37,100 crore in 2018-19, while education for higher education has increased from Rs 19,500 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 24,800 crore in 2018-19, the fact-sheet said.
Noting that "cess is an emergency and variable source of government funding meant to aid and cushion expenditure sourced from tax revenue/budgetary support", the fact-sheet regretted, "Since 2015, with the decline of budgetary support for education expenditure, cess has funded 70% of the total education expenditure."
The fact-sheet commented, "This means that the emergency cess has become a regular way of funding education rather than funding it wholly through the government budget. Cess can also be accessed by the union government alone, locking out state governments from accessing or scrutinising the spending of the fund."
"State spending on education is disproportionately high, against union budget spending: between 75-80% derives from state budgets", the fact-sheet said, adding, "To expect states to increase their spending to meet the goal of spending 20% of the government budgets on education is unsustainable, especially for states already struggling to accommodate needs of higher child populations."
It underlined, "State governments’ share of the education budget has declined following the reduction of tied funds through centrally sponsored schemes, as recommended by the 14th Finance Commission. States alone cannot deal with the need for higher public expenditure required to meet the education ambition laid out in the National Education Policy -- they need support from the central government."
Speaking at the discussion organised on the occasion of the National Girl Child Day (January 24), RTE Forum national convener Ambarish Rai said, the government should prioritise investments, particularly towards gender-transformative education to improve girls’ access to a free, safe and quality education.
He added, there should be special focus on allocating more resources to the lagging states, particularly those with the lowest capacity to raise resources, and build systems to bring tied grants, such as Samgra Shiksha, under greater public scrutiny.
Participated by over 50 experts, the discussion began with experience sharing by girls studying in schools located in the urban slums and resettlement colonies in Delhi. Speaking about everyday experiences and challenges, Neha narrated how her teacher is not able to understand her sign-language, which she feels is a major barrier in her communication with her teacher.
Alka from Narela, an urban resettlement colony in Delhi, shared her concerns regarding the infrastructural gaps in her school. “There is no clean drinking water in my school, for which it becomes difficult for me and my friends. Even outside school it is not safe for us”, she said.
Varsha talked of gender disparity in sharing household chores and how her family members expected her to manage household chores with her studies and not her brother.
Experts who spoke on the occasion included Urmilesh, senior journalist; Mohd Salam Khan, Child Welfare Committee chairperson; Rita Singh, member, Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights; and Anjela Taneja, and lead campaigner, Oxfam India.

Comments

TRENDING

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.