A year after India passed a groundbreaking Right to Educatin (RTE) law meant to ensure that all children go to school, in at least one state the law appears to be failing in all areas but one: the "no fail" provision that compels teachers to pass children on to the next grade regardless of their performance.
Schools have challenged several of the RTE guidelines laid down by the state, including the one that insists that 25 per cent of seats be filled by students from backward classes, the Times of India reports.
In Punjab, too, there's skepticism about the "no fail" policy, which is intended to keep kids in school by removing the intense pressure to pass exams, according to the Hindustan Times. Instead, teachers and parents fear it will allow students to move through the system without learning.
The RTE came into effect on April 1, 2010, and promises free and compulsory education to all children aged 6 to 14 years. Step one towards implementation requires each state to notify RTE rules. But while only 10 states have done it over one year, 15 states have only managed to prepare drafts rules, writes the Indian Express.
According to 2009-10 data compiled by the Ministry, total enrolment at the primary level is 133 million. But there are still 8 million children out of schools between 6 and 14 years — the target age group, the paper said.