The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, came into force from 1st April 2010. The Act laid down a three year time frame to attain various norms and standards as specified in the Schedule to the RTE Act. The Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development has been documenting the progress made by States and UTs every year since the RTE Act came into force on the basis of DISE data. Recently the Ministry has published RTE: The 3rd Year on the basis of DISE Data 2012-13 with respect to children’s enrolment, teacher availability and infrastructure indicators for each State as well as at the national level. RTE: The 3rd Year has also captured additional indicators on the child centered provisions as well as quality. The publication focuses on the progress made by States and UTs since the enactment of the Act in the last three years. State wise stock taking of various indicators is helpful in analyzing the trends and also for further planning.
All States and UTs have notified the State RTE Rules. Major notifications with regard to setting up systems to implement the RTE Act have also been put in place. All States/UTs have notified their State Academic Authorities and issued notifications with regard to the elementary education cycle of 8 years. Also notifications with regard to no corporal punishment, banning of private tuitions, banning of screening procedure and capitation fees and no board examinations up to the elementary level have been put in place by all the States/ UTs. By 2012-13, 88% of the schools had a School Management Committee as per provisions of the RTE Act. 75% of the members of SMCs are parents of children studying in school and at least 50% of these are women.
Total enrolment in the elementary education have been steadily rising and stands at 13.47 crores at primary and 6.49 crores at upper primary level with girls forming 48% and 49% of the enrolment respectively. There is also a very encouraging trend of the enrolment of SC/ST and Muslim children which is representative of their share in the population.
The pupil teacher ratio at the national level has shown a dramatic improvement. It has come down from 32 in 2009-10 at the elementary level to 27 in 2012-13. 26 States/UTs had also conducted one/more rounds of Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) by September 2012.
School infrastructure has been steadily improving since coming into force of the RTE Act. Number of elementary schools in the country (Government and unaided) stands at 11,53,472. The student-class room ratio is down to 29 students per class room. 95% of the schools have been provided with drinking water facility and coverage of separate girls’ toilets has increased from 59% in 2009-10 to 69% in 2012-13. States/UTs like Chandigarh, Delhi, Daman & Diu, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Lakshadweep, Punjab, Puducherry etc. have covered all schools with drinking water facility.
The RTE Act also lays down the working hours and instructional hours in schools. Each state has issued its own notification in this regard. 30 States have developed a Continuous Comprehensive Education module and in 26 States, it has been implemented universally in all schools.
Source: Press Information Bureau