Thursday, January 23, 2014

RTE compliance deadline likely to be extended, again

RTE compliance deadline likely to be extended, again

Piyush Bhusari, TNN Jan 10, 2014, 11.12AM IST
KOHLAPUR: The directorate of primary education has hinted that the deadline to comply with the 10 infrastructural norms under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 may be further extended to March 31. The directorate is expected to issue a circular in this regard in the coming days.
Director of state primary education Mahavir Mane told TOI on Thursday that many schools have requested to the respective authorities across the state to extend the deadline after failing to comply with the norms. There are 10 infrastructure norms, including constructing boundary walls, toilets, providing water facility etc, which every school has to comply with to be recognized by the education department.
Mane added, "The department is collecting compliance data received till December 31 across the state. We will verify and evaluate it and the process is likely to take at least another three weeks. But the response is not that great. We have been conducting regular meetings with concerned education officials in the divisions across the state and many of them have said the deadline was not enough for many schools to comply with all the 10 norms."
On the likely action to be taken against schools that have not complied with the norms, Mane said, "Many schools were not able to comply with the norms. We need to review the situation and identify exactly where the schools are failing. Extending the deadline further seems a possible solution. A meeting will be convened with education department officials and the issue will be discussed."
Echoing Mane's view, deputy education director of Kolhapur division V B Paymal told TOI, "The office is evaluating the data received but the response is not very encouraging. Many schools were not able to fulfill criteria under norms such as playgrounds, boundary walls and kitchen sheds."
The state government is struggling to achieve the desired compliance rate even after warning and extending the deadline several times over the past one year.
In September last year, the state had directed all district education officers to form high-powered committees under the chairmanship of district collectors for effective implementation of the RTE) Act. It had set a December deadline to achieve 100% compliance to the Act's norms across the state. The decision was taken after it was found that many schools were not compliant with RTE norms.
There are 10 infrastructure norms, like boundary wall, toilets, water facility etc, which every school has to fulfil to be recognized by the education department.

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