Sunday, April 14, 2013

Parrikar wants Goa RTE rules to be notified by June 30

Parrikar wants Goa RTE rules to be notified by June 30

Gauree Malkarnekar, TNN Jun 24, 2012, 01.19AM IST

PANAJI: The fiasco over the medium of instruction (MoI) for primary education was the only hurdle standing in Goa's way in notifying the state rules for the Right of Child to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. With the matter resolved for now, Goa is set to get its RTE rules by June 30.
Chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who is also the education minister, has already handpicked members for the state advisory council, the body under the RTE that ensures effective implementation of the act's provisions. Parrikar has asked state officials to expedite the process of finalizing the draft RTE rules and has set June 30 as the deadline for its notification, an official source said. The state advisory council will assume powers on notification of the rules.

Parrikar has asked the council to draw its recommendations, once the RTE is gazetted, to improve the quality of education in Goa's primary education sector. The council will then submit its recommendations for the consideration of the state government, the source said. Parrikar as the education minister will serve as chairperson of the council, as per the draft RTE rules.
Educationist M S Kamat and representatives from NGOs like Sangath with practical and specialized knowledge in the field of primary education have been chosen to be a part of the 14-member council, sources said.
Goa had come under fire from Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal in March this year for being the only state other than Karnataka to have not notified its RTE rules, even as the central government's deadline for states and union territories to implement RTE's provisions ends in April 2013.
Among other things, notification of Goa's RTE rules will give the state greater control over private schools, which will have to take a certificate of recognition from the directorate of education (DoE) and will have to accept all conditions laid down by the state to continue being operational. Refusal to do so will qualify them for derecognition. With Goa's RTE rules set to come into force soon, the state is also deliberating on the issue of full-day schooling, as the Centre's RTE Act calls for seven-and-half hours of schooling from Classes I to VIII. Goa's schools presently function only from 8am to 1.15pm.
The chief minister is toying with the idea of extending school hours in Goa in case of institutions that have the necessary infrastructure for recreational and other activities required in case of longer school hours.
Upon the recommendation of education officials in the state, he is, however, looking for a uniform pattern rather than selective implementation of longer school hours. The discussions have taken place only at a very informal level for now, sources said.

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