It’s already five years since the RCFCE-2009 (Right to Education Act) came into force and the Odisha state rule on RTE was notified more than four year ago. Since then there has been certain encouraging steps in terms of recruitment of teachers, infrastructure creation, issuance of various notifications, SMC formation etc. The proactive push of the Government in this regard has brought Odisha in national perspective as far as RTE compliance is concerned.
The Odisha RTE Forum (ORF), an umbrella group of all principal education networks and agencies like OXFAM, Save the Children, CRY, Aid-et-Action, Plan-India, Action-aid, CARE ,TDH, Welthungerhilfe, Sikshasandhan,CYSD,BGVS and civil society organizations, teacher unions and concerned individuals has been trying to build a concerted approach to appraise, track and evaluate efforts related to RTE compliance in the state.
As part of this endeavor, the third Stock Taking RTE convention was organised on 16th December 2014 at hotel the Presidency, Bhubaneswar to take stock of the state of RTE compliance in the state and the major issues and challenges in this regard.
Giving a brief overview of the objective of the workshop, Mr. Anil Pradhan, Convener Odisha RTE Forum said that even after 5 years of implementation of RCFCE Act many lacunas are still there as far as the status of implementation of the Act is concerned in the state.
Mr. Kanhu Charan Mohanty pointed out the loopholes in the RCFCE Act even after 4 years of implementation of the Act and there is a need to revamp the act and better implementation. Mr. Ambarish Rai agreed upon the fact that education must be guaranteed to all, in spite of the prevalent diversities. Mr. DP Pattnaik focused on the importance of the RTE Act per se and education as a whole for the betterment of the society.
In this one day convention and deliberation on different issues such as out of school children and special training, the question of inclusion, education of adivasi, dalit, muslim, migrant children and children with special needs, role of SMC and local authority, grievance redress mechanism, Status of teachers and teacher education in the state and other critical issues were discussed.
The inaugural session was chaired by Mr. Debi Prasanna Pattnaik, Eminent Linguist, Mr. Ambarish Rai, Convener, National RTE Forum, Mr. Kanhu Charan Mohanty, Secretary, AUPFT. The session was moderated by Mr. Aurobindo Behera. Other eminent personality who have attended the programe in its technical session are Smt. Kasturi Mohapatra, Disability Commissioner, Mr. Sraban Baag, Care India, Ms. Lalita patnaik, Unicef, Mr. Pradeepta Sundaray, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Mr. Jitendra Rath, Programme Officer, Oxfam India, Mr. Ashok Paikray, Pr. Pravat Sutar etc. More than 200 participants from across different districts of Odisha, members of different state chapters and the national RTE forum participated.
At the end of the day, a set of recommendations were submitted to the State, seeking immediate implementation and action.