Bhubaneswar,06/11/19:The state of public education and healthcare in the state of Odisha is despicable and showing no signs of improvement due to government’s apathy and lack of public pressure.
As per the report of National RTE Forum, 6.6 per cent of schools of the state are compliant with RTE norms after 10 years of implementation of Right to Education Act 2009. There are 306 schools where there is no school building. The state government has also closed down 966 schools where the student strength is less than 10 in the current academic session which is a gross violation of the RTE Act.
Even though the state government has further notified to re-open schools in geographically inaccessible areas if the community demand for so, people resent over the decision on why communities have to demand for re-opening of schools whereas schools have been closed by the government, without consulting the villagers, says Ms. Sumitra Kulesika, a member of Mahila Jana Jagarana Manch, Rayagada.
According to the Niti Ayog’s School Education Quality Index (SEQI) report, not a single school in Odisha has adopted the transparent online transfer system for school teachers. Nearly 25 per cent elementary schools in the State failed to meet the teacher norms mandated under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
The ‘equity’ stands greatly hampered as not a single school in the State has provided aids and appliances to Children with Special Needs (CWSN). Guess the enormous advantage that the school children would have if all of these schools were to fulfil the compliances of the Act fully.
The state government has also a Multi-lingual Policy from 2007 but it fails to cover all the schools of tribal areas even after 12 years of the formulation of the policy. If this trend goes on, we fear that we cannot meet targets of Goals 4 of SDG 2030 which iterates “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, says Dr Ramakant Rai, International Child Rights Activist and Country Convener, National Coalition for Education, New Delhi.
“For a state that grapples with poverty and has a large tribal population (62 tribes of 533 in India) bereft of health benefits, these incidents are symbolic of the structural and policy gaps that need immediate intervention”. Therefore we are undertaking a study of 1000 elementary schools of Odisha in 17 districts and the findings of the study will be shared to the government to take actions on it, says leaders of Odisha Shramajeebee Manch and Mahila Shramajeebee Manch, Odisha who have launched a month-long statewide campaign on education and health.