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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 5 Oct 2012
Karnataka takes steps towards RTE

The state education department has directed all schools in the state, which are eligible to implement the Right To Education (RTE), to register afresh and submit required information on their respective schools within six months to implement the Act efficiently, public instruction commissioner Tushar Girinath told DNA. However, with the Supreme Court directive mandating the implementation of RTE beginning with the 2012-13 academic year (starting from June), and the education department seeking information from the schools in six months, there is apprehension all round about the quality of education suffering if the act is implemented in June itself, ahead of systematically putting all the relevant schools through an audit, which the education department’s direction is aimed at.

Karnataka takes steps towards RTE

Girinath said “The schools will have to fill out basic information, such as the school’s student strength, qualification of its teachers, and its basic infrastructure. This is applicable to all Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC), Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate for Secondary Education (ICSE), as well as majority private institutions in the state,” Girinath said. “A specific date (deadline) has not been set, but schools will be given six months to complete this process.” He said forms will soon be issued to respective schools along with a set of rules that they need to follow while implementing RTE.

But here is how people are reacting to having to implement RTE from June (admissions need to be completed before the schools open). “If the government is giving six months for schools to register afresh and submit all the relevant information, then in all practicality the RTE act simply cannot be implemented this year. If the rules by the government had been framed in December and had given schools time to register then the schools would have had ample time to implement it. The rules were framed in April. The RTE can be effective only when the government has time to scrutinise the infrastructure of schools,” said AS Srikant, former principal secretary state higher education department.

The parents fear that this might affect the quality of education imparted to their children. “For the amount of fees we are paying as parents, the schools had better not dilute the quality of education. Usually the class strength is about 30-40. The fee for international schools is exorbitant, so we can and should expect the best quality education for our children,” said Seema Pais, mother of two school-going children, one in Class 1 where the neighbor-hood school concept (RTE act) will be implemented. For N Vinith, the problem lies in the several unanswered questions arising over implementing RTE.

“What is the state government doing to ensure that the 75% of the parents who are paying high fees will be left unaffected? No one seems to be talking about protecting the parents who have to pay the fees. What will be the state of infrastructure in the schools? I am not against the RTE Act. It is necessary. But the state government should ensure parents are not hit,” he says, adding that in order to accommodate more students, the government should make schools add a new sections in all classes. Primary and Secondary Education minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri, however, said: “Look, this is an all-India act passed in the cabinet; so it will be implemented from this year. I am aware of the problems that will arise while implementing it. But we will address the problems as and when they arise.”

Courtesy: DNA India

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