Fwd: (From Anand Sarup ji, 13.01.04)

(Text of attachment added at end of message)

--- sarupanand <[email protected]> wrote:
> From: "sarupanand" <[email protected]>
> To: "NALINI JUNEJA" <[email protected]>,
> "NAFRE 1" <[email protected]>,
> "Madan Jha" <[email protected]>,
> "MADAN JHA" <[email protected]>,
> "JANAKI RAJAN" <[email protected]>,
> "Gita Dewan Verma" <[email protected]>,
> "DELIA MARIA" <[email protected]>,
> "ASHOK AGGARWAL" <[email protected]>,
> "Ashok" <[email protected]>
> CC: <[email protected]>
> Subject: This is a note for your consideration and
> revision and then to act on educating Education
> Secretaries of States
> Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 12:17:00 +0530
> Dear friend,
> I earnestly hope you will be able to find the time
> to give the attached note some thought and also if
> possible act on it
> With regards,
> Yours sincerely,
> Anand Sarup

> ATTACHMENT part 2 application/msword name=ESSENTIAL


These comments are neither comprehensive nor complete.
It is expected that these will be elaborated,
improved, modified and made pinpointedly relevant from
the viewpoint of each of the states which is likely
to send out its Education Secretary to discuss the
latest version of the Bill in a consultative meeting
called by the Education Secretary in the next few
days. Any of the readers who have linkages with N.G.Os
in the states would do well to send these notes as
well as the second version of the Bill so that each of
the Education Secretaries will be advised to look at
least at the aspects emphasised and highlighted in
these notes.
These days, no Education Secretary has the time or the
inclination to look, unless there is a political angle
to it, deeply and critically into the proposals sent
out by the central ministries. However, if the points
to be considered are provided to him/her and
discussed with him/her, he or she will at least
consider the points raised and maybe also raise these
in the discussions being organised at the national
level in the meeting of Education Secretaries.

It is important to remember that the Bill now proposed
to be introduced is the final step in the process of
making the Right to Education upto the age of 14 into
a justice able
Fundamental Right. In this context, it is noteworthy
that even before this Bill, many states already have
legislation for Free and Compulsory Education at the
Primary or Elementary stage. What we have to see is
whether the Bill being brought before the Parliament
will be an improvement on the State Legislations and
also whether the new Bill has provisions, which plug
the loopholes, because of which the state Legislations
failed to improve the situation. In this context, the
non-accountability of the educational bureaucracy, the
school managements and the teachers deserve special
mention and must be remedied effectively so that
?teachers will teach? as stated in a special chapter,
in the National Policy of Education, 1986, ?and
students will learn?.
In this context, we must familiarize ourselves with
the provisions of similar legislations in other parts
of the world. It is for instance well known that
compulsory education does not become a reality unless
there is an effective ban on employment of child
labour. It seems that the Bill being prepared for the
Parliament indirectly compromises on this issue.
It is also a fact that enrolment and retention are the
two essentials for the success of Compulsory
Elementary Education. You have to think of what the
parents may have to forgo when they send their
children to a school. Why should the illiterate
parents send and retain their children in schools ?
They have to see how and how much is the child is
benefiting from the viewpoint of day to day living and
earning capacity as a result of what is taught in the
school. The idea of value addition for each stage of
education in terms of the immediate tasks to be
performed in the immediate environment up to class V
and then up to class VIII, has to be stated in
specific terms which would be meaningful to the
parents. This implies that we have to see how the new
Bill will bring school curricula, syllabi and the
course materials more in sync with lives of the people
of the areas where the children and the schools are
It is also to be seen as to what will be the medium of
instruction. One can make a compromise with the stage
at which a second or a third language (especially
English) will be taught. The basic issue to be decided
is that of medium of instruction. It is a
well-recognized principle that if learning takes place
seamlessly from the home environment to the school
environment, the children would escape the trauma
which accompanies schooling. For the poor and middle
class homes in which parents, especially mothers, do
not speak English, children develop all sorts of
complexes if the school environment is made radically
and deliberately alien and different from the
environment of children?s homes, specially by teaching
them in a medium not understood or used at home.
Perhaps, in this context, we should think of the
unostentatious environment created in the hospital for
the Tribal people set up by Albert Schweitzer in
In the above context, it is necessary to say something
in the Bill about the diminution of the initiative,
sense of adventure, freedom of expression, creativity
etc which often accompanies the efforts of the schools
and the teachers to make the children into
unquestioning and passive learners. Many countries are
seriously contemplating legislation which would make
it easier for the parents to demand compensation, i.e,
damages from schools for destroying the learning
capabilities of children by their purblind top down
Two other things must be mentioned here right away.
One is we must not abridge the right of the citizens
to go to a court of law to get relief against the
state and its diverse mechanisms for failure to fulfil
its obligations with regard to making effective and
free education of comparable quality to all children
up to the age of 14. The second thing to be mentioned
is the clear and unequivocal finding of the Programme
Evaluation Organisation of the Planning Commission in
1998 to the effect that the Programme of Non-Formal
Education had failed to make any contribution to the
Programme for the Universalisation of Elementary
Education. This finding has not been questioned or
contradicted till date. This means that the Bill for
Free and Compulsory Education must lay down that
within a finite and predetermined period, the
?alternate? mechanisms for education shall be wound up
and regular schooling shall be organized for all

1. It must have a preamble to provide some background
and also categorically state as to what essential
objectives shall be achieved by the Bill.
2. It must be stated clearly that the State is
committed to the Universalisation of Elementary
Education and it must reiterate the statements in the
?National System of Education? in the National Policy
for Education, 1986, about the Centre and the State
being partners in the enterprise for providing
Elementary Education to the children up to the age of
3. It must define the minimum attributes of both the
?school? as well as ?education?.
4. It must reiterate that in accordance with the
Constitutional Amendment requiring the transfer of
Elementary and Secondary Education to Panchayati Raj
Bodies, the responsibility, the powers as well as the
resources for Free and Compulsory Elementary Education
shall be given over to the Panchayati Raj Bodies.
5. The Bill must unequivocally state that the
teachers, the schools, and the entire system of
education shall be made administratively as well as
legally accountable to the pupils and the parents and
that steps would be taken to lay down the criteria for
evaluation of the system and processes of education to
assess the performance of various participants in
respect of the imparting of education till the age of
6. What is a Fundamental Right without justiceability?
The mechanisms for this purpose must be stated in
practical and unambiguous terms. Protection if any is
required for the children and not for the State or
teachers or the bureaucrats in the Education System
for non-performance.
7. The Bill must make an attempt to end the evolving
apartheid like situation between and rich and poor or
lower middle class students created essentially
because everybody has accepted that the vast network
of government and government aided schools cannot be
made to work even at reasonable levels of efficiency.
If we accept this, shall we not end up one day with
letting the Police Force which as a totality enjoys an
equally bad reputation for performance go Scot free
and let the rich and the powerful set up their own law
and order mechanisms and set up Police Chowkies of
only ill trained chowkidars for the poor?

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