Citizens for Effective Primary Education
Dear Prime Minister, We congratulate you for getting the “Right to Education” Act passed after 6½ years of hibernation. But we learn with dismay that primary education is in shambles all over the country with 80% of the children not reaching the Minimum Levels of Learning, 60% dropping out of school by 6th standard and 87% are not reaching college. The problem could well be retrieved if you make parents committees supervise daily operation of schools and local authorities manage the schools. Your government could release per head grant to them while governmental machinery takes to overall supervision. We urge you, with all sincerity, to be personally involved in making primary education effective. Thank you. This is the letter that many concerned citizens are sending to the prime minister urging him to urgently act on making primary education effective. A few reasons for this petition are best described in Dr. BV Parameswara Rao's words [he is the founder of Bhagavatula Charitable Trust (BCT)]: 1. Primary Education covers teaching of 6 to 14 years olds in classes 1 to 8. Needless to say it is the foundation education for every child going to school. This moulds their habits and attitudes. Thus it is the place where you can also mould the nation. 2. Presently 82-85% of student’s of classes 2nd to 9th are NOT reaching the minimum levels of learning (MLL); 60% of students are dropping out at the 6th standard level and 87% of students are not reaching college. What is further alarming is that 10-15% students in 10th class are not able to read and write in vernaculars. 3. One more disheartening feature is that boys in 3rd class are taking to stealing, boys in 5th to chewing tobacco and boys in 9th to drinking. The waywardness of the children going to primary & high school has gone much beyond our imagination. It is high time, the community takes cognizance of the total scenario. 4. Added to this dismal situation, the Government of India has passed “The Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education Act, 2009; No.35 of 2009" on 26 August 2009. Thus primary education has been made compulsory to every child. However, the task is to make primary education more effective. 5. The insufficient funds, lack of appropriate supervision, truant teaching community, interference by politicians in the administrative setup, ignorance of the parents and above all the intransigence of the public and more particularly the parent community is playing havoc with primary education. The gigantic problem thus is to see that the public, particularly the parents, are made aware of this dismal situation. Intellectuals have to take lively and active interest in the primary education. The governments, both at the state and the central level, have to be pressurized by the public to deliver effective primary education. 6. A few senior citizens, retired professors, engineers, young and old, have come together under the banner of “Citizens for Effective Primary Education” with BCT as the convening agency, to discuss the sorry state of the primary education and do something about it. In our last meeting we passed a resolution to take the problem to the public and request them to convey their concern through post cards to the Chief Ministers in the State and the Prime Minister at the Center. 7. I am now sending appeals to all our friends to send e-mails at least to the Prime Minister, requesting his personal attention.