Bhubaneswar 29.07.2016 (By Mano Mani Singh)- In spite of huge investment on education under central flagship programmes such as DPEP and SSA, and after 6 years of implementation of RTE Act 2009, the state of public education in Odisha is in deplorable condition. This is evident with the decreasing enrolment in government schools and the increasing enrolment trend in the private schools. The learning level of children in schools is also very disturbing. As per ASER 8.8% children in Standard III cannot read letters in Odia. Similarly 21.1% children in standard III can read letters but not more than that. 22.5% can read words but not standard level or higher texts. 13.4% children in standard III can read standard I level text but not able to read their standard level text and only 33.4% can read standard II level text. 8.6% children in standard III cannot even recognise numbers from 1 to 9 and 28.9% children can recognize number of up to 9 but not more than that. 35.2% children cannot do subtraction, 21.3% cannot do division and only 6.9% children in standard II can do division. However, 85% of people in Odisha depend on Government, mostly marginalized communities. Government has been taking some populist measures without consulting to the public which has no impact in improving the education situation in the state. In view of the above situation Odisha RtE Forum organized a State Level Consultation at Hotel Hindustan International, Bhubaneswar on 28 th July 2016 on Ensuring Quality Education in Government Schools: Challenges, Opportunities and Good Practices inviting parents, teachers, people’s representatives, representatives from civil society organisations and experts in the field of education.The inaugural session was chaired by Dr. Aurobindo Behera, Former IAS Officer. Other eminent personalities who shared the dias in the inaugural session were Mrs. Sandyabati Pradhan, Member,OSCPCR, Mrs. Rajalaxmi Das, Member, OSCPCR, Mrs. Lalita Patnnaik, Education Specialist,Unicef, Mr. Smruti Ranjan Jena, Education Consultant, Mr. Anil Pradhan, Convener, Odisha RtE Forum. In the technical session I the issues which were discussed are quality Education and the role of Teachers, the role of government in ensuring Quality Education (Recruitment, Transfer, Training,Accountability and Autonomy), teaching Learning materials and processes for quality education. The speakers in the technical session I are Mr. Rajendra Panda, Retired Headmaster, Dr. Mohit Mohan Mohanty, Former Director, SIEMAT, Dr.Manmatha Kundu, Former Chairman, NCTE, Mr. Rabi Ray, AUPTF.. The session was chaired by Professor U.N Dash, Former Professor Delhi University.In the technical session II the issues which were discussed are ensuring Community Participation for Quality Education, strategy for Ensuring Preschool Education, privatization of Education. The speakers in the session are Mr. Gouranga Mohapatra, Convener, Odisha Jana Swasthya Abhijan, Mr. Smruti Ranjan Jena, Education Consultant, and Mr. Basudev Bhatt. The session was chaired by Mrs. Lalita Patnaik, Education Specialist, Unicef. In the way forward session a set of recommendations were generated on the New Education Policy which will be submitted. More than 100 participants from different districts across Odisha, Teacher Union, activists, Educationists and representatives from Civil Society Organisations participated in the programme. All the guests raised their concern regarding the state of education in Odisha and along with that put forward a set of recommendations.