Sunday, March 17, 2013

Goa finally notifies state RTE rules

Goa finally notifies state RTE rules


PANAJI: Goa, on Thursday, finally complied with legal requirements of the central government by notifying the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. Goa was the only state that had not notified the rules even two years after the law was enacted.
Deviating from the national pattern of primary section from Class I to V, Goa's RTE rules define Class I to IV as primary level due to the state's medium of instruction (MoI) issue. The MoI changes from Class V from the mother tongue to English.
The central government's RTE Act recommends seven-and-half-hours of schooling but in Goa-where the schools function for five hours-authorities have played safe by avoiding the mention of extended school hours. With the rules notified, Goa government will have to reimburse schools expenditure incurred on education of students from weaker and disadvantaged sections.
Schools will be paid 50% in September and the remaining in January after student records are verified by education officials and it is established that the students completed 80% of the required attendance.
The rules specify the composition of the school management committee which each school has to mandatorily form now and will comprise of parents, members of the local village or municipal authority and educationists.
The committees will be responsible to monitor the functioning of the schools and teachers and will have to draw up plans outlining the infrastructural needs of the schools.
The rules also make it mandatory for teachers to participate in training programmes, in curriculum formulation, development of syllabi training modules and text book development. The onus is now on teachers to assess the child periodically and carry out remedial classes for children till they reach the required learning levels in each subject.
While school management committees will be the first grievance redressal body for teachers, the state will constitute a school tribunal where teachers can challenge orders of the school management committees.
On completion of elementary education, every child will be issued a certificate but it will be the responsibility of the school to ensure that the required learning level has been achieved. Non-academic achievements of the child will also be recorded in the certificate such as his or her interest in sports, music, art etc.
As per the rules, the state will have to establish schools with Classes I to IV within 1 km of every neighbourhood and schools with Classes V to VIII within 3 km of every neighbourhood.
The state will have to maintain a record of all children in Goa up to the age of 14 through a household survey and it is now the state's responsibility to provide care to children up to the age of six when they enter Class I.
The Goa RTE rules give the state more control over private schools, which will have to seek a certificate of recognition from the education department and can be derecognized for not meeting the prescribed requirements. Schools not funded by the state will have to agree to allow inspection of their premises and accounts whenever state authorities demand before they are granted recognition.

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