Sunday, April 14, 2013

‘Gujarat ahead of Kerala in implementation of RTE Act’

‘Gujarat ahead of Kerala in implementation of RTE Act’

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The first ever education tour of Ahmedabad municipal school board members returned from Kerala much contended than inspired. Claiming Gujarat as a much more progressive state than “God’s own country” in terms of implementation of Right to Education (RTE) Act, the team said it could hardly find any scheme that could be emulated back home.
“One big difference that we noticed in Kerala is the lapse in the implementation of RTE Act. It has not even started in the state. Unlike Gujarat, the state still has Class VIII in secondary schools, while here we have already included it in primary schools,” said Chairman of municipal school board Jagdish Bhavsar, who was one of 13-member team toured six government schools in Cochin, Munnar and Trivandrum, from July 24-28.
The reason cited by the members for an education trip to Kerala was to study one of the best education systems in the country and analyse what all can be implemented to overcome the problems and to achieve better results. The team including chairman, vice-chairman, administrative officer, deputy administrative officer, district education officer and other officials went on the first ever academic tour of the school board.
The team returned with more similarities than differences. One of these was the problem of declining student enrolment in government schools. “Like Ahmedabad, the local body schools in Kerala are also facing an acute problem of few students getting enrolled. Like the problem, the reason for it is also similar. With even a little better income, people prefer private schools over government ones,” added Bhavsar.
Another similarity between two states listed by the team was centralised induction of teachers. As from this year, Gujarat has also started selection and induction of teachers and principals through a centralised entrance examination. A few sets of these entrance examinations had already been conducted by the state education department though the percentage of candidates who were able to clear these has been dismal.
These were a few things we noticed during the tour and there are not many differences in the education system of these two states, chairman added.

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