|Economist Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee said on Monday he was not “hopeful” of the RTE act, billed by the government as a solution to the problems plaguing primary and secondary education, fulfilling its objective. “The RTE act is of the teachers, for the teachers and by the teachers. Its provisions are such that there won’t be any competition for teachers. Though the act is meant to provide compulsory education to every child, the provisions only ensure livelihood for the teachers,” said the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, on the sidelines of a programme organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce, where he delivered a lecture on the act and took part in an interactive session (picture by Amit Datta). According to him, there is no mention of “learning” by the child in the act. “They (the teachers) are focused on syllabus instead of teaching the children…. This is a big issue and needs to be addressed in order to make the school education system child-centric,” he said.