Tuesday, March 12, 2013

‘Teachers should be trained to implement RTE’

‘Teachers should be trained to implement RTE’

Published: Friday, Sep 7, 2012, 14:13 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

In order to make inclusive education and the Right to Education Act (RTE) effective, teachers must be trained adequately, according to those participated in a panel discussion on inclusive education at the Indian Institute of World Culture on Thursday.
“Much of the debate that has occurred so far about RTE has only focussed on 25 per cent quota for admission forchildren from underprivileged areas in private schools. We don’t see much of discussion about the measures stategovernments have taken to make sure inclusion takes place in these schools. We need to ask if our teachers areprepared,” said Maya Menon, founder director, The Teacher Foundation.
Maya said while the government has briefed headmasters and teachers about the rules pertaining to theimplementation of RTE Act, they have not been ‘’prepared’’.
“They have been given directives. But they have notbeen prepared in terms of infrastructure or curriculum. We need to prepare teachers for what it means to haveinclusive education. We need to prepare parents because our society is not an inclusive one. We are a caste- andclass-based society. So we need to prepare,” she said.
Ganapathy, associate director at Concerned for Working Children, said the RTE bill is not “practical”.
“We work with kids who are working children themselves. When we talked to them about the RTE Act, we had to explain that only25 per cent is eligible for it. This RTE Act is nothing more than a quick fix. We need to start looking at education fro the childrens’ perspective, too. These children speak various languages. So it is right to send them to either English or Kannada medium schools?” asked Ganapathy.
Ruma Banerjee of Seva In Action said Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in is doing well in the state and that RTE is anecessary tool. “The SSA is providing a lot of impetus for incorporating children with disabilities into mainstream education. I don’t want to argue whether or not RTE is good but it can be used as a tool and we need to make it work,” she said.
Ruma said she believed that the state would be more successful in imposing the Act in the coming year. “The rulescame in too late. The state needs to be more proactive and next year would be better,” she said.

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