According to the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (or the RTE Act) passed in 2009, every child in India between 6 and 14 years of age is entitled to free, compulsory and quality schooling. According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) of 2012, of India's total count of rural children, 96.5% in the 6 -14 years category and 83% in the 15 -16 years category were enrolled in school. Despite this, the quality of education in India continues to be ruled by the parameter of privilege. Also, according to a recent survey, the number of adults in India who cannot read or write is still 287 million. This means that nearly 40% of the world's illiterate pollution resides in India alone.
In India, only a handful of prestigious English-medium private schools offer world-class education and internationally recognized qualifications that none but a very small percentage of the population, the extremely wealthy, can access.
So a huge chunk of India's potential goes wasted because the parents of children from poor families, despite knowing the value of education, cannot afford to buy it. Only about 27% of India's children hailing from middle-class families are able to attend the next best thing - moderately respectable state or private schools which offer government-affiliated qualifications. These schools are known to maintain a minimum standard of education and also often offer extra-curricular activities such as sports, music, science fairs, quizzes etc.
But the majority of India’s children belongs to extremely impoverished families and cannot afford these private schools also. They attend government or municipal schools with resources and infrastructure ranging from extremely poor to non-existent compared to the private schools, resulting in impoverished learning and a high drop-out rate. 80% of all elementary schools in India fall in this category, and they may have one or more of the following problems:
Thus, the realization that money was the only deterrent to accessing quality education in our country, and that the potential of thousands of talented children from poor families was getting wasted because of financial constraints only, we at Kartavya decided that we need a new school–not one, but as many as 28, one in each metro and in each state capital–all over the country–to nurture and educate a community of financially disadvantaged children and make able citizens out of them without charging them a penny. This would dissolve the division between the privileged and underprivileged in India and honour talent and intellect over everything else. Privilege would no longer determine opportunity. The best things in life are supposed to be free. These children would be our gift to society; these active dreamers and doers, movers and shakers would change the face of the world.
Kartavya Charitable Trust. All Rights Reserved .