The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 promises free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of 6-14 years. But the way this critical entitlement is being implemented leaves much to be desired. Apart from there being glaring gaps in the provisions of the Act, its implementation challenges have plagued the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the programme that is aimed at ushering in quality elementary education for all. The problems are many, and this paper observes that most of them can be connected to inadequate funds. It concludes that the best way of ensuring that the Act’s aims are fulfilled is to bring in a common school system based on neighbourhood schools that replaces the bewildering variety of indifferent institutions we now have.
– Praveen Jha and Pooja Parvati in Economic and Political Weekly