Bangalore, Aug 2, 2012, DHNS:
The State government will write to the Centre to extend the provisions of Right to Education (RTE) Act for providing free and compulsory education up to pre-university level, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Visvesvara Hegde Kageri informed the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
Replying to a discussion on the implementation of RTE in the State, Kageri said the State will seek amending the RTE Act to extend the provision of free and compulsory education up to the age of 18 years, from the present 6-14 age group.
He said the State’s expenditure on implementing the Act by way of reimbursement of fees to school management which admit underprivileged students would cross Rs 1,000 crore next year and increase by the year.
He said the Centre should share with the State’s financial burden of implementing the provisions.
Kageri also warned that stern action would be initiated against private managements who refuse to implement the Act or discriminate students admitted under RTE Act.
The minister admitted that there had been delay in the implementation of RTE Act this academic year, but the government had taken steps to ensure that maximum number of students are benefitted.
The government will take action as per law if schools are found violating the Act.
The minister also admitted that 50,000 students have been benefitted under the RTE Act while one lakh students have been identified.
There was some communication gap between the government and private schools which also lead to the delay in its implementation. From next year onwards, the rule will be strictly followed, he assured the House.
Earlier, H C Mahadevappa (Cong) said private schools in the State had to admit 1.12 lakh students keeping in view that 25 per cent seats should be reserved for the underprivileged, but only 40,000 students had secured admissions.
Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah sought the arrest of former president of KUSMA G S Sharma for making derogatory remarks against students seeking admission under RTE Act. He also sought derecognition of schools which do not implement the Act.
He wanted the government to explain the reason as to why Sharma has not been arrested under the PCR Act. The minister said that already a case has been booked against Sharma.
Sharma had allegedly likened children admitted under the RTE Act quota to drainage water which would pollute the sea (rich students studying in elite schools).
BEd degree mandatory for teachers
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Visveshwara Hegde Kageri told the Council that henceforth only graduates with BEd degree will be recruited as teachers for class VI to VIII in Government Schools.
He was reacting to a suggestion by former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa who said that the quality of teachers should be better in Government Primary Schools. He wanted to know from the government whether graduation could be made mandatory for primary school teachers.
He also said teachers who just have TCH qualification could be compulsorily made to study for three years to become graduates. The present children’s IQ level is high and teachers should be equipped to impart quality education, he added.