GUWAHATI, June 10 � The Right to Education Forum has expressed concern over the budgetary cuts in the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), observing that without adequate investment in the SSA, the goals of the RTE will continue to remain unfulfilled.
At the second Assam State stock-taking convention of the RTE Act organised by the Forum, educationists and representatives of different civil society groups also discussed the issue of closure of many government schools in recent years.
Growing commercialisation and privatisation of school education was also identified as a major concern detrimental to the goals of equity and quality in education. The participants agreed that the mushrooming of unrecognised, low-cost private schools was also causing further segregation of the society based on the people�s ability to pay without providing quality education.
The academic scenario in the flood-hit districts of the State and the tea belt was also discussed at length by the participants. It was pointed out that the Government of Assam has failed to respond to the needs of the schools affected by the floods in Dhemaji and Lakhimpur.
The meet pointed out that around 450 primary schools are run by tea garden managements in the State. �These garden-managed schools do not bother to comply with the RTE norms. They are overcrowded and have failed to cater to the needs of the children. In reality, the RTE has largely failed to reach out to these areas,� said a participant pointing out that the highest concentration of children still out of school is in tea gardens and char areas.
The Forum will hold more such stock-taking conventions.