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Bihar civil society meet decides to make right to education main plank of assembly polls

By Our Representative
A state-level dialogue, organized by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Bihar, has insisted that education should to be made the main issue in the forthcoming state assembly elections, scheduled to take place in October this year. During the discussion, which centred around girl child education, speakers expressed concern on lack of improvement in the condition of girls in the public education system of Bihar.
National convenor of the RTE Forum, Ambarish Rai, told the meet, in which academics, educationists, and RTE activists participated, “Millions of school children are still out of school, including in Bihar. The number of girls, who are out of school, is very high, which is very shameful for a healthy democracy."
According to Rai, "The most worrying thing is that despite a decade of implementation of the RTE Act, 2009, which is a very important tool for universalization of primary education and fundamental right for every child between 6 and 14 years of age, the situation remains extremely difficult."
He added, "Statistics show that girls in India are less than half as likely to get 4 years of schooling as compared to boys. Around 30 per cent of the girls coming from poor families are such who have never been to school. Moreover, 40 per cent of adolescent girls of 15-18 do not go to any educational institution. ”
Insisted Rai, taking a dig at the Bihar government, "A mere distribution of bicycles and school dress will not improve the condition of girl child education. There is a need to address issues ranging from current public spending on education to basic infrastructure for quality education, adequate number of qualified teachers, safety of girls going from home to school, and gender discrimination at all levels in the family and society. "
Earlier, welcoming the participants, Anil Rai, convener, RTE Forum, Bihar, said, "Neither Bihar nor the country can progress by evading issues of education, especially girl child education. Every person, every public representative, every party and every government will have to worry about this. Even after 70 years of independence, education has not been included in the main agenda of our governance."
The meet decided to launch awareness campaign in every corner of the state to demand strengthening of the RTE Act, universalization of education and implement uniform education system with an eye on the upcoming assembly elections.

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