On Global Action Week on Education, financing quality public education is a Right for All
NEW DELHI, India, 20 April 2010 ¬ As the world celebrates Global Action Week on Education from 20 to 26 April 2010, UNESCO, ILO and UNICEF in India welcome the global campaign which comes just as India enters an exciting phase with the historic notification of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act on 1 April 2010.
This year’s Global Action Week focuses on ‘financing quality public education: a right for all’. The Campaign will urge political leaders, parliamentarians and policy makers to keep their promises on education by proactively addressing the barriers which stand in the way of children’s schooling. Unaffordable fees, inadequate GDP spends on education, lack of professional teachers for quality education and children engaged in child labour are critical issues which need to be dealt with.
In 2006-07 India spent an estimated 3.57% of GDP for education. Without increased investments, RTE will remain a distant dream for India’s estimated 8 million children who are out of school. To mark the global action week, children are planning a march to the doors of Parliamentarians to appeal for a provision of 6% of GDP as committed for education. In order to reach national goals, increased investments should be focused to:
India is at an important stage in achieving universal access to elementary education, with significant progress over the last decade in getting 6- 14 years children into school, but the mandate under RTE is to eliminate disparities and guarantee equitable quality education for all children.
Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, in his address to the nation during the notification of the RTE Act has assured that ‘Our government, in partnership with the State governments will ensure that financial constraints do not hamper the implementation of the Right to Education Act’.
Right to Education is everybody’s business. Let us take this opportunity to express and demonstrate solidarity to reach out to each and every child in the country.
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