Thursday, April 18, 2013

Right to Education Act up for major changes

The changes are being mooted to include the provisions of sports education in the updated RTE

Kolkata: The Right to Education (RTE) Act is up for embracing many vital changes in order to make it more effective, with major emphasis on its application at the pre-primary level.
Planning Commission Member and In-Charge of Education, Employment and Skill Development, Narendra Jadav, said, “National Advisory Council is drafting changes the RTE requires. The issue related to the education of the pre-primary children would be a critical factor.”
“The changes are being mooted to include the provisions of sports education in the updated RTE. The government will be advocating marks on sports,” he added.
Jadav, however, refrained from specifying specific changes expected to be made to the RTE.
“Discussions are still on and they are yet to be formalised. It has been two years now that RTE has been implemented and the Act still has the scope to grow. We can look at the problem areas as well as the loopholes of RTE and work on them,” he added.
On the problem of infrastructure needed to implement the RTE, he said, “March 2013 is the deadline for schools throughout the country to receive the kind of infrastructure prescribed by the RTE. We know of several places where it may not be achieved but RTE is the bench mark.”
The level of teacher competency, too, requires improvement. Vikram Sahay, Director of the RTE in the State HRD, said, “We introduced the entrance exam for teacher qualification, with the view of bench-marking quality. We saw that over 60 per cent of B Ed qualified educators who took the test could not pass.”
It puts a question mark over the standards of our higher education and raises concerns over the school education system, as the lack of quality teachers would equate to the lack of quality students, he added.
The Centre has proposed massive allocation under the 12th Five Year Plan to give a major revamp of the education sector. It is said that education and skill development followed by health and infrastructure are being given top priority in the RTE Act on the suggestion of the Planning Commission.
—iGovernment Bureau

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