Thursday, January 23, 2014

Flying squads will make sure all schools follow RTE rules

Flying squads will make sure all schools follow RTE rules

Puja Pednekar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 23, 2013
First Published: 02:29 IST(23/4/2013) | Last Updated: 02:30 IST(23/4/2013)

Admitting for the first time that existing mechanisms have failed to make schools across the state follow the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the state has announced the formation of special flying squads to conduct surprise raids on schools.

From June, five-member squads will visit all schools: private aided and unaided, those affiliated to state and non-state boards, and international schools.
The squads will check the attendance of teachers for a month, the frequency and quality of the meals given under the mid-day meal programme, ensure all schools have school management committees and are utilising funds appropriately. Errant schools will be fined.
Out of the one lakh government-run and private schools in the state, a majority do not have the mandated basic facilities, competent teachers and quality education. The latest government resolution (GR), dated April 18, said many teachers lack commitment towards their school, are frequently absent and do not complete the syllabus on time.
“Current mechanisms have proven inefficient. Schools have made big claims in the Unified District Information System for Education (U-DISE) survey, but we found that in reality schools do not even have basic facilities,” said a senior education official.
To ensure that schools are not promoting weak students from Class 1 to 8 without providing them proper guidance following the no-detention policy, the squads will also orally test students. “Remedial classes for weak students are not held, exams are not held, and students are blindly promoted,” added the official.
The squads will be formed at the district-level, headed by the district officer. It will comprise two officers from other departments, an education officer and two educationists. Every squad will have to check 50 to 100 schools each.

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