Shruba Mukherjee, New Delhi, Jan 22, DH News Service
PM pushes Right to
Faced with criticism for the delay in
implementing the much-hyped Right to Education Act Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh on Friday held an emergency meeting with the Human Resource
Development Minister to expedite the process.
The meeting, which also included representatives of the Planning
Commission, understood to have deliberated on the funding pattern and the
share of the expenditure to be borne by the states. As per the HRD
Ministry’s estimate Rs 1.71 lakh crore would be needed in the next five
years for implementation of the Act.
A State Education Ministers’ meeting is likely to be convened towards the
end of this month to share the funding format with them and take their
approval. Though Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal refused
to disclose on the deliberations he said, “we are on the right track and
we are making fast moves to expedite the implementation.”
The Ministry has already framed the model rules for the Act which should
be followed by the states.
Sources told Deccan Herald that three formats have been presented before
the Planning Commission for dividing the financial burden between the
Centre and the states. While one proposal is to continue with the present
format of 55:45 as is practiced in the case of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
Since the HRD Ministry’s flagship education programme would be
incorporated with the implementation of Right to Education Act, one
argument is to continue the present practice. However, sharing the
finances between the Centre and the states on 75:25 or 65:35 ratio has
also been argued.
The states would also be asked to set up State Commission for Protection
of Child Rights, which has been specified as the monitoring agency for the
Act providing free and compulsory education for children aged between 6-14
years. According to a set of statistics released by National University of
Educational Planning and Administration on Friday the number of primary
schools and quality of infrastructure has improved due to Sarva Shiksha
From 8,53,601 schools in 2002-03 their number has increased to 11,96,663
schools in 2006-07 and further to 12,50,775 schools in 2007-08. “It is
heartening to note that more than 90 per cent of the new schools have
school buildings and about 88 per cent of the institutions that impart
elementary education now have drinking water facility,” the NUEPA
Of the total Muslim enrolment in primary classes, the percentage of Muslim
girls is 48.93 which is quite similar to the share of girls in overall
primary enrolment (48.38 per cent).