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

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

How green revolution led to 'deterioration' of Punjab economy, land, air and water

By Dr Gian Singh*  A recent research paper, based on a survey of 320 farming families in four districts of Punjab, has tried to show that high crop densities and the use of inputs have led to degradation of land, air, water and humans through a rich agricultural structure. Although mechanization has increased agricultural productivity, it has also caused environmental degradation.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Abysmal deficit of water, food waste recycle treatment 'impacting' Chennai life

By Simi Mehta*  We are living in a state where the most basic needs like food and water are not assured to the people residing in the urban areas, which account for the biggest sources of food and water wastage. Socio-economic inequality in society which is pervasive in urban areas is one of the main reasons for this.