Nov 23, 2014


Give the gift of education

Education is one of the key instruments for social change and empowerment of marginalised communities. In recent years, with the advent of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, there has been progress in the delivery of education and in the rates of enrolment. Yet, key concerns persist.

Latest statistics (2014) show that the Net Enrolment Ratio in elementary education (6-13 years) was 88.31 per cent for the year 2013-14, while Gross Enrolment Ratio was 97%.

About 94.9 per cent schools in 2013-14 had drinking water compared to 83 per cent in 2005-06.  Also, our schools have been able to attract a significantly higher number of differently-abled children -2.49 million enrolled in 2013-14.

A major loophole in the RTE Act is the failure to address the issue of out-of-school children - some of whom do enrol but do not attend school. According to estimates from UNICEF (2014), 17.8 million children in India remain out of school.

These children belong to the most marginalised sections such as Dalits, Adivasis, urban poor and girls. The absence of a homogenous definition for out-of-school children and lack of an effective mapping and tracking system translate in diverging data. According to government estimates, in 2014, 60 lakh children were out-of-school.

Oxfam India is working towards increasing people's access to quality, universal and inclusive elementary education in the mainstream public education system. In particular, we reach out to the most marginalised groups like Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and girls.

Our focus has been on ensuring the proper implementation of the RTE Act. This has combined working with communities for monitoring the delivery of quality education on the ground, engagement with teachers, elected peoples' representatives and bringing together existing education networks for a synergy of forces.

Oxfam India is a founding member of the National RTE Forum, the largest alliance on education in the country constituting civil society organisations and agencies working people's access to quality, universal and inclusive elementary education.

Give the gift of education

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