With recent reports like the RTE Forum's study pointing out that barely 5% of government schools meet the Act's norms for facilities like playground space, toilets and laboratories, the neighbourhood school is not likely to fare much better although it meets basic needs.
The acts intent to set out minimum norms and make running of schools less exploitive, like capitation fees and under paid staff are common, but in the absence of a reliable over sight mechanism and a lack of planned development in most cities, the regulations can throttle private enterprise.
It has been left to the local authority to provide free and compulsory education as well as ensure availability of neighbourhood schools. The local authority is to also track compliance by ensuring children from weaker sections are not discriminated against and, in general, “monitor functioning of schools in its jurisdiction”.
However, the norms set by RTE, the RTE forum pointed out, included a separate toilet each for girls and boys, a playground and a library for every school with sufficient reading material, electrification of the school building, ramp access for disabled students, and computers.