New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has reprimanded the Meghalaya government for failing to implement the Right To Education Act, 2009. The failure to implement RTE by the state government has resulted in under-utilization of funds of over Rs. 900 crore, shortage of almost 1700 teaching staff, and appointment of over 70% untrained staff. CAG tabled its report for the year ending March 31, 2016 in the just concluded Assembly session. The report said that there was a vacancy of 1748 teachers in primary schools and 224 primary schools functioning with only one teacher for 7769 children enrolled in them.
The report also stated that more than 77% of primary school teachers and 85% of upper primary school teachers who were appointed lacked training. The report also said that 68% schools did not have science and maths teacher.
According to Press Trust of India the CAG report said, "Considering that the state already had a high enrollment of 96 per cent during 2011-12 itself, failure to universalize the elementary education indicated lacklustre performance of the department in implement the RTE Act, 2009."
The CAG Report listed lack of basic infrastructure, shortage of uniform grant and non-availability of free textbooks as the prime obstruction to universalization of elementary education. The report also found that the state had not utilized the funds allocated to it efficiently as Rs. 908.46 crore was not released by the Government of India due to under utilization of funds. Although the Central Government was supposed to release Rs. 2,000.12 crore and the state government was supposed to release Rs. 222.23 crore between 2010 and 2016, there was a short release of Rs. 830.16 crore and Rs. 78.30 crore respectively.
The report also identified that the state had also failed to use an additional expenditure of Rs. 483.88 crore meant for civil works during this period.
CAG report chided the government for preparing Annual Plans without having perspective plan, and that the plans were made without the participatory approach at the village/habitation level.
The report also talked about the lack of special care and attention for children with special needs and said that the government had completely failed to contain the existing dropout rate of 6%. It also highlighted that the norm to reserve 25% seats for children from underprivileged sections was not being adhered to.
The report also said that the government's performance on monitoring and supervision of the scheme in terms of constitution, composition and meetings of the State Advisory Committee, constitution and functioning of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, inspections and internal audit was not satisfactory.
In order to improve implementation of RTE Act 2009 in Meghalaya, the CAG recommended that the enrollment rate and universalization of elementary education should be improved by covering all eligible children and the dropout rates should be contained. It also recommended that apart from focusing on infrastructure and basic facilities in schools and effective utilization of funds, the government should also focus on training the untrained teachers and recruiting more teachers in primary schools.
(With Inputs from Press Trust of India)
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