Saturday, March 23, 2013

‘RTE Act must be amended for the benefit of poor’

‘RTE Act must be amended for the benefit of poor’
It has already been two years to the implementation of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act-2009 (RTE) in our country, but the Odisha Government is yet to take vigorous steps to improve the standard of education and to ensure compliance with the RTE norms. So the RTE needs to undergo amendments for its proper implementation at the grass-roots level.
The role of media and civil societies is crucial to draw the attention of the Government and spread public awareness about the RTE, said speakers at a State level media-civil society consultation on RTE here on Wednesday. NGO Sikshasandhan organised it in collaboration with Odisha RTE forum and Focus Odisha.
The meeting was attended by around 72 participants, including 50 media representatives from Sonepur, Koraput, Malkanigiri, Nayagarh and Nuapada districts and 20 civil society members.
Highlighting the challenges of the present scenario, secretary of Sikshasandhan Anil Pradhan said there are certain issues to be addressed so as to ensure quality education such as infrastructure development (toilet provision, drinking water facility, provision for play ground and library), maintenance of student-teacher ratio of 30:1, 25 per cent reservation for children of disadvantaged groups in private schools, appointment of  regular teachers in Government schools, preventing migration of children of tribal group to neighbouring States , residential care centre (RCC) for migrant children, rationalisation of teachers posting, formation of a advisory committee, defining local authority to sort out issues of teachers and students, decentralisation of syllabus, curriculum and text books as per the regional languages, culture and tradition to facilitate the learning process, proper training of teachers and teachers’ accountability in imparting quality education.
Talking about the popular measures taken by the Government, he said, besides, providing mid-day meal, cycles, school uniforms and books, the Government should give priority to quality education and timely supply of teaching-learning materials and text books.
“In our State, people who have money send their children to private schools and the poor people send their kids to the Government schools,” Pradhan observed.
Umasankar kar, Bhawanipatna representative of an English national daily laid emphasis on the recruitment of teachers having right attitude and aptitude in order to impart quality education. He opined that teachers should also get support from social groups, parents and the Government so that the law can be implemented properly.
Columnist Sudarshan Chottoray said out-of-school and drop-out students should avail the benefits of the RTE and for this there should be awareness among the parents and teachers at the village level. While apprising about the provisions of the RTE, former Director of SIEMAT, Dr Mohit Mohanty said, “It is only the Government’s responsibility to provide good atmosphere, enrol all children and enable them to get quality education.”
If the academic authority will take concrete steps by giving importance to the Government schools, then the education quality will definitely improve, Mohanty suggested.

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