Rural educationists get RTE Act translated into Punjabi
What the state government could not do, a group of rural educationists have done. The Sikhiya Vikas Manch, an association of teachers, mainly from Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Sangrur, have got the Right to Education (RTE) Act translated into Punjabi to create awareness about the new law.
At the centre of the exercise was Jagjit Singh Nouhra, 35-year-old head teacher of Government Elementary School, Mandour, in Patiala district who has been teaching in rural areas of the state since 1998.
The association has priced the Punjabi version of the RTE Act, which was translated by S S Gill who had earlier translated the RTI Act for the state government, at Rs 10. Nouhra says the work on translation completed a couple of months ago, after which they got 3,000 copies published. With the demand surging, they plan to get more copies published. “In the first phase, we approached schools, students and villagers of the three districts of Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Sangrur, and will now move to Mohali, and later to Mansa, Barnala and Ludhiana,” he says.
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Also convener of the Manch, which came into existence about four years ago, Nouhra says it all started in September 2011 when they orgainsed a Bal Mela in Dhanera village near Nabha to give rural students a platform to showcase their talent. “We put forth the proposal for translation of the RTE Act, and it got an overwhelming response. More people came forward to join our endeavour, which motivated us to get the job done at the earliest,” he says. The calendar of his Mandour school also talks of the RTE Act, he adds.
Asserting that the government was not doing enough to promote the Act, Nouhra says: “The state implemented the provisions that did not require money, like increasing working hours of teachers and making room for poor students. But no step has been taken to provide children with uniform and a salubrious school building. The state has also failed to maintain the teacher-student ratio of 1:30 by the deadline of September 2010.”