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Right to Education

The Right to Education Act, 2009 heralded a monumental leap in the state of education in India. Scholars posit that education has both an intrinsic value in terms of bettering lives, as well as functional value, that is, to increase the capital of the country. The RTE act drew heavily from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and therefore, it was seen as the much-needed beacon of hope that would conceivably ameliorate the sorry state of the Indian education system. The reality, however, stood in stark contrast to the vision that the legislators had while penning down the 13-page document. There were certain measures that the government did consider which proved to be beneficial, albeit the execution was lackadaisical at best.

The problems range from lack of funds necessary to establish educational institutions, primarily in rural areas, to a low standard of education and lack of quality teaching staff. The worst offender of all, however, is the pitiful infrastructure of the schools. This is especially true in rural India, where reports have shown that the buildings lack basic facilities like drinkable water or separate toilets for children. This is a flagrant contradiction of the values that are established in the Constitution of India. Over the decade, numerous studies have been conducted to ascertain the state of government schools. A survey conducted by National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) buttresses the notion that the infrastructure is lacking many basic facilities that would be expected in an educational institution. The study revealed that almost half of the recognised elementary schools lacked separate toilets for girls. This is only one of the problems that the study brought to light. The following paragraphs provide a detailed analysis of the myriad of setbacks that the Indian education system faces today.

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