Sunday, January 24, 2010

HRD frames rules for right to education rollout

In a significant step towards notification of the Right to Education Act, HRD ministry has finalised the model rules for states for implementation of the new law. The model rules finally define the concept of neighbourhood schools and make it clear that there will no discrimination against the 25% children from weaker and disadvantaged groups who will get reservation. Also, the minimum qualification for teachers can be relaxed only by the Centre and the period should not exceed three years. The relaxation has to take place within five years of the commencement of the Act.

Each state will have to set up a state commission for the protection of child rights and in the interim period they can have a Right to Education Protection Authority. A State Advisory Council will be the highest body to oversee RTEs implementation. There has been considerable confusion about what neighbourhood schools mean. As per the model rules finalised now, a neighbourhood school for class I to V means an institution that exists within one kilometre . For class VI to VIII, neighbourhood schools will be within three kilometres. The rules also ask the states to upgrade the existing class I-V schools to include classes VI-VIII . The model rules also make it clear that in case there is no school within the prescribed distance, the state government will make arrangement for free transportation and residential facilities. States have been asked to carry out a detailed school mapping for establishing neighbourhood schools.
Source: The Times of India, January 21, 2010

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