The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has expressed dissatisfaction over the implementation of the Right to Education Act in Gujarat. The CAG report, tabled in the state Assembly Wednesday, stated that the key objective of providing free and compulsory education to children "could not be fully achieved "due to various "deficiencies". These deficiencies, the report said, include failure to provide basic facilities in schools and setting admission targets without taking into consideration the availability of seats as per the RTE quota.
"The state government could not provide basic infrastructure facilities in majority of government schools even after seven years of implementation of the RTE Act," the CAG report mentioned.
The CAG also expressed dissatisfaction about the state government's monitoring mechanism to ensure the proper implementation of the Act, also known as the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009.
The CAG noted that the "monitoring mechanism was weak as Block Resource Centre Coordinators or Cluster Coordinators had not conducted the prescribed number of inspections of schools".
It also observed that the State Advisory Council met only "twice" against 16 meetings to be held during 2013-17.
The report pointed out that the RTE target was not achieved by 12.80 to 15.11 per cent during 2012-17 and the prescribed pupil-teacher ratio in Gujarat was not achieved in 1,156 out of 10,531 primary schools and 3,098 out of 22,234 upper primary schools as on March 2017.
As per the pupil-teacher ratio prescribed under the RTE Act, there should be at least two teachers in a primary school and three teachers in upper primary schools. Commenting on the admission targets, the CAG has observed that the education department allotted targets to the district and municipal corporations for admission under 24per cent RTE quota without considering the total number of seats available for admission in Class 1.
"The targets allotted were observed to be much lower than the actual seats available for admission in the state" the report said.
The CAG also came across instances of "denial of admission to eligible children" during its scrutiny.
During scrutiny, the CAG found that in Surendranagar district alone, 359 eligible children of "weaker sections and disadvantaged groups" were denied admission during 2016-17 by the district authorities "stating that the reserved seats of the schools opted by the applicants had been filled up".
"Allotment of admission in different medium or school not opted for by the applicants were also noticed", the central auditor said in its report. The CAG also took note that 27 per cent identified Out of School Children (OoSC) were not given training for their "mainstreaming to regular schooling in appropriate class" during 2012-17.
"The above deficiencies indicated that the key objectives of the RTE Act of universalisation of elementary education could not be fully achieved," the CAG observed.
The CAG recommended that the state government should conduct an annual survey to identify children in the age group of 6-14 years and enrol them in schools.
"The state government may ensure that the provisions of the RTE Act regarding admission under 25 per cent quota in all the unaided schools are adhered to in letter and spirit" the CAG recommended.
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