HindustanTimes Thu,17 April 2012
Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 17, 2012

RTE is fine, but where are classrooms and teachers

Compulsory and freCompulsory and free education up to 14 years may have become mandatory with the Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of Right to Education (RTE) Act. But a recent study reveals that schools across country continue to lack in basic infrastructure facilities such as toilets, classrooms and teachers.
Conducted by National University of Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA), the survey stated that only 62.61% of schools have common toilets. Shockingly, only 72% of them are functional. Even the number of teachers per school is a dismal 4.7.

The survey was recently submitted before Supreme Court by NUEPA that filed an affidavit subsequent to court directions. The apex court is hearing public interest litigation (PIL) on the pathetic condition of government schools in the country.

The NUEPA survey, however, included aided, unaided, government and unrecognized schools. The statistics has been generated through NUEPA's district information system for education (DISE).

According to the survey the average number of classrooms per school is just 4.6. While 42.59% schools have boys toilets, 60.28% have toilets for girls. All of them are not in working condition, the survey revealed. 

Even as the government plans to make available affordable tablets to students for educational purposes, the study threw up somewhat startling facts regarding computer education at school level. Only 18.70% schools in India have computers and only 82% of them are functional machines.

More than fourty-five per cent schools do not have boundary walls, whereas only 43.14% have electricity connection.

The only silver lining in the report appears is on the admission front. Despite schools' failure to improve the facilities, parents' desire to get their children education hasn't died down. There has been a marginal increase in the enrolment of students at the primary level. Compared to 2009-2010, around 18 lakh new students got admitted in classes I to V.