Shillong, March 31 (PTI) The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has rapped the Meghalaya government for its failure to implement the Right To Education Act, 2009, resulting in underutilisation of funds of over Rs 900 crore, shortage of nearly 1700 teachers and appointment of over 70 per cent untrained staff.
In its report tabled in the just concluded Assembly session for the year ending March 31, 2016, the CAG said there was a shortage of 1,748 teachers in primary schools with 224 primary schools having only one teacher for 7,769 children enrolled in them.
It also reported that over 77 per cent of primary school teachers and 85 per cent of upper primary school teachers appointed were untrained and about 68 schools did not even have science and maths teacher.
Considering that the state already had a high enrolment of 96 per cent during 2011-12 itself, failure to universalize the elementary education indicated lacklustre performance of the department in implement the RTE Act, 2009, the CAG report said.
Identifying the lack of basic infrastructure as one of the factors hindering universalization of elementary education, the CAG report also said shortages of uniform grant and non-availability of free textbooks as the others.
The CAG also found out that the funds allocated to the state were not utilized efficiently as Rs 908.46 crore was not released by the Government of India (GOI) due to underutilisation of funds.
Though the GOI and the state government were to release Rs 2,000.12 crore and Rs 222.23 crore respectively during the period from 2010 till 2016, there was a short release of Rs 830.16 crore and Rs 78.30 crore respectively, the report said.
An additional expenditure of Rs 483.88 crore on incomplete civil works during the period was also lying unused, it said.
Stating that Annual Plans were prepared without having perspective plan, the CAG also said that the plans were made without adopting participatory approach at the village/habitation level.
The report also highlighted how children with special needs and dropouts did not receive special care and attention and that the government has failed to contain the existing dropout rate of six per cent.
It also found out that the provision of reserving 25 per cent for children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups was not being implemented.
On the monitoring and supervision of the scheme in terms of constitution, composition and meetings of the State Advisory Committee, constitution and functioning of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, inspections and internal audit, the CAG said the process was not very satisfactory.
For improving the implementation of the RTE Act 2009, the CAG recommended that enrolment of children and universalization of elementary education by covering all the eligible children should be ensured and the dropout rates be contained.
It also emphasized that focus should be laid on training the untrained teachers and reducing the shortage of teachers in primary schools besides, providing infrastructure and basic facilities to schools and effective utilization of funds.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.