A Perception Study of Section 12 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, India (2009)

Parth Shah
Publication Date:
Mon, 26/08/2013 - 12:53
File Size:
340.18 K

With the enactment of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE Act), specifically Clause 12, the Indian government has finally acknowledged the role of the private sector in providing Education for All. While the Act is a step in the right direction, there is an absence of clear policy guidelines and support structures from the government and private schools are looking for guidance to put in place systems and processes to implement this scheme. Through this study we aim to highlight and review the impact and challenges in the implementation of Clause 12 through a perception analysis of the various stakeholders in four districts of Delhi, India. We found that the biggest concern for all categories of schools (high, mid and low budget) was the lack of clarity about the reimbursement amount and schedule. Most government officials were fairly satisfied with the first year of implementation of this clause. However, the schools did feel that the targeting and sourcing of beneficiaries needed to be more streamlined. Both fee-paying parents and Economically Weaker Section (EWS) parents were fairly concerned about integration issues between their children though no child reported exclusion issues during the course of this study. If implemented correctly, Clause 12 of the RTE Act can help create access to quality education and more importantly, provide marginalized children with the ability to choose their own schools. However in its current form, we find that this clause is facing opposition from schools because of the lack of clarity about the reimbursement procedure and from fee-paying parents because of the perceived integration issues. Moreover the biggest shortcoming in this clause is the broad de nition of its beneficiaries. Several changes need to be made in terms of increasing awareness levels, streamlining the selection and admission process and clearly defi ning reimbursement amounts and timelines.