Limitations of RTE Act, 2009

  • Age group for which Right to Education is available ranges from 6 – 14 years of age only, which can be made more inclusive and encompassing by expanding it to 0 – 18 years.
  • Children below 6 years are not covered under the Act.
  • Many of the schemes under the Act have been compared to the previous schemes on education such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, and have been plagued with corruption charges and inefficiency.
  • At the time of admissions, many documents such as birth certificate, BPL certificate, etc. are required. This move seems to have left out orphans from being beneficiaries of the Act.
  • There have been implementational hurdles in the 25% reservation of seats for EWS and others in private schools. Some of the challenges in this regard are discriminatory behaviour towards parents and difficulties experienced by students to fit in with a different socio-cultural milieu.
  • Regarding the ‘no detention’ policy till class 8, an amendment to the Act in 2019, introduced regular annual exams in classes 5 and 8.
    • In case a student fails in the annual exam, he/she is given extra training and made to appear for a re-exam. If this re-exam is not passed, the student can be detained in the class.
    • This amendment was made after many states complained that without regular exams, the learning levels of children could not be evaluated effectively.
    • The states which were against this amendment were six states with higher learning outcomes due to their effective implementation of the CCE system as mandated in the Act. (The six states were Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Telangana and Maharashtra.)
  • It has been found that many states find it difficult to move to the CCE system of assessment. This is chiefly due to a lack of teachers’ training and orientation.
  • Another criticism levelled against the Act is that instead of increasing the standards and outcomes of the public education system in India, it passes the buck to private schools with some respect.
  • There is no focus on quality of learning, as shown by multiple ASER reports,thus RTE Act appears to be mostly input oriented.
  • Five States namely Goa, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Telangana have not even issued notification regarding 25% seats for underprivileged children of society under the RTE.
  • More focus is being given over statistics of RTE rather than quality of learning.
  • Lack of teachers affect pupil-teacher ratio mandated by RTE which in turn affects the quality of teaching.