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The Right to Education (RTE) which is aimed at providing compulsory education to children below 14 has actually spelt doom for 421 children in Bangalore's slums.
Even as the government is citing financial constraints in implementing the RTE, it has scrapped mobile schools simply because the RTE does not have the provision. The school-on-wheels provided basic learning for slum children in seven areas in the city. "We were taught at the mobile school, which was informative and interesting. Although we have a tent school now as an alternative, there is a lot of distraction. We are out of the classroom most of the time to attend to household chores", said Babita, 7, of Kothanur Dinne slum. She once enjoyed lessons imparted at mobile schools and is currently attending classes at the tent school, located in the slum area. Chenamma, 8, also spends most of her time out of the tent school. "There is no serious teaching at school," said Chenamma. The lessons at the tent school are elementary. I would attend mobile school every day, but from June, the vehicles stopped coming to our slum. Whatever is taught in the tent is something we have already learnt, says Guruprasad, 10. It’s worse in slums where there are no tent schools. What were Mobile Schools:The mobile school project was started under the SSA education-for-all policy in 2001. This project was aimed at providing education to underprivileged children in slums and bringing children to regular schools after a year of mobile schooling. Under this project, old buses were converted into mobile classrooms and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation contributed buses. Mobile schools catered to slum areas of HSR Layout, Vinayaka Layout, Kothanur Dinne, Banaswadi, Yelahanka, Raja rajeshwari nagar and Shambhavi nagar. The children were picked up from their homes, taught in these schools from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm and dropped back home after classes. The project was scrapped in June 2011.
Courtesy: Times of India
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