The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, popularly known as RTE Act in India, is a landmark Act aimed towards fulfilling the provisions of 86th amendment of the Constitution of India.
For India to grow economically, and for this growth to be inclusive, the country needs to ensure an educated and skilled population – one that we are currently struggling to provide. An act that ensures universal access to education should therefore be welcomed with open arms. However, with its current flaws and bureaucratic obstacles, the Act is undermining the very purpose it stands for.
With the objective of shifting regulatory focus towards issues related to learning outcomes, including modern pedagogical processes, efficient school governance systems, and incorporating parents' preferences and choice, some of India’s eminent educationists and thought leaders met at the UChicago Centre in Delhi on Monday. The crisp, four-hour roundtable focused on specific amendments to the RTE Act, which would ensure quality education for all in India. RTE 2.0: Building Consensus on Amendments aimed at weeding out the pain areas in the existing scheme of things, finding out what works and what doesn’t, and introducing actual amendments to the text of the Act.
The meet, anchored by Centre for Civil Society, India’s leading think tank, saw participants like Amit Kaushik, Ashish Dhawan, Avani Kapur, Binu Nair, Gurcharan Das, Jasmine Shah, Kruti Bharucha. Luis Miranda, Meeta Sengupta, Pari Jhaveri, Parth Shah, Shailendra Sharma, Shantanu Gupta, Shrutipriya Dalmia, Subhalaxmi Ganguly, Swati Sahni, Tarun Cherukuri, Vijay Chadda, Vimala Ramachandran, Yashaswini Mittal – discussing nuances of the Act in detail, sharing experiences, and putting forward recommendations.
Several interesting discussions around extending the applicability of the Act, age and grade appropriate learning, 25% reservation rule, no-detention policy, reimbursement systems, private tuition by teachers, and quality and learning outcomes were brought up. Key concerns regarding the structure and impact of the RTE were discussed, and based on this, recommendations for amendments to the RTE Act 2009 have been drafted, and will be shared with policy makers, thought leaders and others working in this space.
Keeping in line with our mission to reconnect with all CCS alumni, we are hosting our 2nd CCS Alumni Meet in Mumbai on 12 July 2014.
In addition to getting to know more about you since you passed out of a CCS program, we also wish to connect with the work that you do, as we are all contributors in the wheels that are changing the world today. This would be a great opportunity for us to rekindle our relationship as well as share lighter moments, memories and conversations.
We look forward to hosting you alongside some of our esteemed Board of Advisors for high tea at 3:30pm and discussing how you, our alumni, can be a champion of ideas and work we both hold dear.
The first CCS Alumni meet of the year in Delhi saw participation from 25 bright, passionate individuals who today have made a marked difference in their respective fields, from public policy to data analytics, journalism to social media, legal advisory to software, each contributing to make a better society. We salute each of these torchbearers!
The evening was a memorable one, that concluded with an inspiring address by our trustee, Mr Gurcharan Das who got everybody excited about the potential prospects that lay ahead in India's growth story and how this is an exciting time to reshape policy and partake in the wonderful journey.
Since our first student program, 16 years ago in 1998, we have come a long way having interacted and built a strong network of individuals from all walks of life. You are the face of CCS. We want to take our relationship with you to the next level and would like to seek your inputs and thoughts on our pursuit to move from effort to excellence.
With more than 3,600 CCS alumni, the possibilities for social, professional and personal growth are endless.
For any details or queries, please contact: Daphne Vallado (firstname.lastname@example.org | +91 99106 67576) or Manoj Mathew (email@example.com | +91 9899307456)
Varsha Joshi, will be at the CCS Office to talk about ‘How to Look at Education Data in India’ on Friday, 23 May, 4-5.30pm. Varsha is an IAS Officer of the 1995 batch. She worked in the Delhi, Chandigarh and Arunachal Pradesh offices before her current assignment as Director with the office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. She conducted the Census of India for Delhi in 2011. She is particularly interested in data for development, gender and education.
Seats are limited, so please RSVP via email at the earliest to Manasi Bose (firstname.lastname@example.org | +91 98107 72964).