Bill does not focus on learning outcomes
The Right to Education (RTE) Bill is schizophrenic in addressing the issue of equality. The reservation of 25% seats for weaker sections in all private schools improves equity of access and offers a choice of school to poor parents. It is basically a voucher scheme where the government would pay for the educational expenses of 25% students in private schools. On the other hand, the infrastructure requirements including a playground would make all budget private schools illegal.
This would take away the little choice that poor parents have today and deny them English medium education. One fails to understand the logic of closing down budget private schools by the force of law. If all government schools would become great in three years, as stipulated in the Bill, these fee-charging schools would close down by the force of economics. Actually, the existence and scale of these schools would be an objective barometer to judge how well the Bill has fulfilled its promise. Forcibly closing down these schools just shows a lack of confidence in the capacity to keep its promise.
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