New Delhi, April 2:
The March 31 deadline whizzed past, but implementation of the Centre’s ‘education for all’ plan — the Right to Education (RTE) Act — is yet to come to pass.
Curiously, even though the deadline for complying with RTE norms was integrated with the Act itself, Minister of Human Resource Development Pallam Raju, who was heading the Central Advisory Board of Education meeting here on Tuesday, said State Governments would now consider schools on case-to-case basis and decide on the time to be given to these for meeting the terms.
Without disclosing what kind of action will be taken against the erring schools, Raju said, “Some action on schools that haven’t budged an inch will be taken.”
However, he added that in case of schools that have done some work, the State Governments concerned may consider giving these more time for complying with the RTE norms. According to a senior official in the HRD Ministry, the procedure for closure of erring schools that have not fulfilled the provisions is a long one. This process, which involves a number of steps, could give these schools as much as a year to comply with norms, if not more.
The Minister, however, exuded confidence that all States would achieve 100 per cent compliance soon, but a number of State Governments, including Uttarakhand and Haryana, expressed difficulty in meet the terms of the RTE provisions.
While Raju said that physical infrastructure had been developed in “90 per cent schools in terms of classrooms, toilets and accessibility,” he also accepted that teacher recruitment was a stumbling block.
Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which is the vehicle for implementation of RTE, 19.82 lakh teacher posts were sanctioned, of which only about 12.86 lakh have been filled till December 2012.
Moreover, earlier this month, the Ministry also decided to relax the requirements for recruitment of teachers under RTE. However, teacher shortage continues to remain a hurdle.
Raju said, “The whole purpose of the RTE Act was to create a learning environment for students. There has been a sincere effort and the momentum will be sustained.”