Right to Education (RTE) is the act of the parliament of India that came into the force in 2009. The act entitles all the children between the ages 6 to 14 to receive education as their fundamental right.
The act also requires all the private schools in India to reserve 25% of the total seats for the children who are living below poverty line. It is mandatory for all the schools and is strictly observed by the governments during the school admissions.
I always surmise the RTE to be beneficial to these underprivileged children and believed it as a good initiative by GoI to empower these children and giving them a tool to carve their future.
But couple of days back all my believes regarding RTE was broken when my daughter told me how these poor kids are treated by their fellow classmates.
My daughter who studies in a reputed International School in the capital city of India has one girl in her class who got admission through RTE. Needless to say, the child does not come from the same economic class as compared to her peers. She has no friends in the class and whosoever tries to befriend her is bullied by the majority of the children in the class. For any belonging of any student that goes missing, the blame comes on the child who is considered thief because she comes from the poor family.
In the class of 30 students she is mostly left alone. She is even taunted for the skin color and the way she speaks.
Her parents aren’t that educated it seems (as I have seen them talking to the class teacher during the Parents Teacher Meetings) and so that girl lack behind in academics too. This gives another reason to her classmates to laugh at her and look down upon her.
I was shocked to hear it from my daughter. I could not even imagine the pain of the little girl of 8 years.
- Will she ever be able to consider herself fortunate enough to be among these children unlike most of the children of the section of the society from where she comes from?
- Will she grow into a confident adult who can raise her voice or put forward her opinion when she wants to?
- Is this the reality of RTE?
There are lot more questions pondering into my mind. I want to know from the readers what you think can be done to change it or make it better for many children who gets admissions in so called good school with high standards but aren’t accepted there.
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