The Right to Education (RTE) Act cannot be implemented in totality during this academic session in Gujarat due to lack of funds,according to a top state Education Department official.
Principal Secretary (Education) R P Gupta has said that as against the demand of Rs 6,600 crore for the implementation of the Act in schools across the state,only Rs 3,400 crore was sanctioned by the Centre in the Budget this year.
Since the state will be spending so much on infrastructure in schools,the estimated requirements for the year were Rs 6,600 crore. Unfortunately,only half the amount of this demand was approved by the Centre. Thus,this year,we will not be able to complete the target of implementing the RTE Act completely, Gupta told The Indian Express.
As per the departments plans,focus will be on putting infrastructure in place in about 34,000 schools in around 18,500 villages across the state. This will include classrooms,compound walls,toilets and electrification works, he said.
It is estimated that about 10 per cent schools lack toilets and around 1,500 schools are without compound walls. There is also a shortage of around 25,000 classrooms.
This will be followed by recruitment of faculty. The department is in the process of recruiting 14,000 teachers for schools across the state this year, Gupta said. Though most of the schools have been taken care of in terms of toilets,drinking water,electricity and compound walls,the implementation of RTE Act will not be possible before March 2013, he added.
As per the latest figures submitted by the department to the Gujarat High Court on the implementation of RTE,the state government annually spends around Rs 9,000 crore on primary education for about 56 lakh students.
For the implementation of RTE,a modification has been done to the classification of primary classes. Earlier,primary section was up to Class VII. Now,Class VIII has been added to it.
With the latest changes,Class I to V are categorised as lower primary schools and Class VI to VIII as upper primary. The number of such schools will be around 5,000 this academic year.