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

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

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.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

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.