This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Right To Education Act: A Shoddy Way To Good Statistics?

More from Youth Ki Awaaz


By Srishti Chauhan:

The speculations about the goodness of the Right to Education (RTE) Act are rife in the country at present. Numerous Public Interest Litigations (PILs) demanding the government and judiciary to make sure that private schools follow the norms of the act in the oncoming nursery admissions are being sent, reviewed and passed judgment upon.

On one side are the parents who only care about getting their children admitted in a reputable institution. On the diagonally opposite ends are the children for whom this act is actually put into place. Majority of children in India are those who suffer from such extreme levels of poverty that school seems like an unnatural proposal to them. I’m not sure about how many families in the rural areas of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh would even know about this act.

Indian statistics, where education, dropout rates, female literacy rates and average extent of education are considered, are extremely reprehensible. The recent RTE Act seems like a shoddy way to cover up for the lack of a good education system in place. Making it mandatory for teachers to pass the students in every class up till class 8th just lowers the quality of students that the primary school delivers. In government schools- where teacher absenteeism has been a major setback since the past decades- this regulation just adds to the laxity of the teachers.

This poor level of education imparted at primary levels widens the ridge between the private school students and government school students at higher levels of education. Since the government students are mostly Hindi medium educated, the probability of them attaining fluency in English- required for high level jobs- reduces significantly.

The government schools– which are responsible for the education of more than 73% of the school-going children — suffer from some integral problems that refuse to let the RTE Act improve education system. The lack of infrastructure, which several times is to the extent of lack of a school building, is detrimental to the spirit of the Act.

There are many government schools where the lack of toilets for female students has acted as a regressing force that makes the dropout rates amongst females higher.

Another serious problem that the education system, at large faces is that many teachers teach only a few chapters out of the entire prescribed book and announce the questions that are to come in the exam from those chapters. This saves the ordeal of teaching the other chapters and also the toil of making a question paper that is diverse and checks the skills that the student has acquired.

The government has been introducing schemes like mid-day meals to lure children to come to school. In most schools in rural India, the food deployed to be fed to students is sold in open market and children are forced to make do with the meager quantities that they get in the name of proper nourishment. The government has also introduced the system where a child will be paid Re. 1 per day that he attends school.

A pertinent question that needs to be answered is- Why has the government simply not made education a compulsion? Why is it not illegal to not send children to schools? For how long does the government intend to bear the unnecessary financial burden that it incurs in trying to achieve a high literacy rate? It may raise doubts regarding personal choices of an individual but can be considered to get out this nation’s sinking literacy rate from the throes.

In the northern state of Uttarakhand, the government seems to be trying to implement a strategy that is not well thought out. As per the rules, the teachers would have to go to the homes of the children and call them to school in case they are missing from class. The idea is ludicrous even in thought- let alone in practice. A teacher is an employee who has been trained to teach. Does the government expect the teachers to take this duty of dragging children to school kindly? And will this kind of education benefit anyone at all?

This Act in totality seems like a shoddy way to hide the defects of the education system- which are in abundance. And this is an understatement.

What do you think? Drop your views in the comments section below.


You must be to comment.
  1. Sreyoshi

    I strongly stand by your article and viewpoint Srishti. But over here, the main issue with our country is the ever increasing Poverty. No matter how many statistics show that the BPL Population is growing less, fact remains that people are ‘hungry’. Literacy can only be used as a mode of development and empowerment, when the State can assure the ‘hungry’ people that they will no longer be hungry. It’s important, that the youth today look towards civil services more todays, rather than money making prospects. We think and talk a lot…but we forget, that we are the ones who can bring about the change. It is important that we be a part of the Government and make these changes possible, really soon. it is a vicious circle, and sooner we realize methods to break it rather than turn our backs on it, the better.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Namrata Vijay

By Sneha Banerjee

By Silca

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below