DIMAPUR, APR 8: Taking the shelter of Article 371 (A) and other ground realities, the state government has decided to implement the Right to Education Act from 2012 in both government run and private institutions. Sr. AO and nodal officer of RTE, SCERT, Kevi Legise disclosed this during the inaugural session of the three days ‘quality improvement’ programme for government teachers held at Town Hall, Dimapur on Friday. He also informed that 2011 will be a year of preparation for implementing the act.
The decision by the government has come as a major relief for all the stakeholders after a lot of reservations about the act were brought out initially.
While maintaining that fear of compromise on quality of education was valid under the act, Legiesie told the teachers that it was upto to them to maintain it. “If we are careful then the RTE can be implemented properly” he said. He also stated that RTE cannot be termed as controversial since it has already become an act. Reiterating on his earlier stance, Legiese asserted that RTE went beyond pure education and was rather about imparting social justice.
Listing out the priority areas for the teachers, Legiesie urged the teachers to bring out lessons plans and innovate ways to make the lessons interesting. Pointing out that quality of education starts mainly from classroom management, the nodal officer for RTE impressed upon the teachers to make sure their teaching was understood by the students. He also added that evaluating mugging up answers was not part of imparting quality education.
The general rule of taking text books as the ultimate guide was also dismissed by Leigiese, who averred that text books were only meant for reference. He called upon the teachers to make the lessons imparted relevant to real life situations.
Touching upon the subject of corporal punishment, Legeisie pointed out that there was a wrong notion among the teachers that ‘no corporal punishment, no discipline’. While asserting that RTE was not against discipline, he said that learning process should not be a harassment and humiliation for a child.
Elucidating on the ‘no detention’ policy, the state nodal officer pointed out the policy did not meant no evaluation but rather on implementing CCE. He further went on to say that RTE without CEE would be a total failure.
Salient features of the Act
1. No school fees in all government schools from 2012. While private schools will be reimbursed by the state government for reserving 25 percent of their seats for providing free education under the act.
2. Major role of parents in sending their children to school; which would cover the ‘compulsory’ term underlined within the act.
3. No detention policy to be implemented and Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) in the form of unit, weekly and monthly tests to be carried out. Manual on CCE already published and being distributed.
4. Academic session to be divided into quarters (semester) in order to lessen the burden on students.
5. No screening test for gaining admission at the entry level. However, admission will be provided on first come first serve basis or lottery selection.
6. For admission into private schools under the act, parent’s income should be below `40,000 per annum. Further admission can be provided on first come first serve basis or parents whose income is the lowest.
7. However, admission can be refused if the classroom cannot accommodate more students. Incase of rural areas, teachers can ask for extension of classrooms from the government through the DIS, DEO or VEC if there are more students from the village.
8. Parents of a child can take the schools to court if they are found violating the clauses of RTE.
9. Special training will be provided under ‘age appropriate admission’ to children who have never been enrolled in schools and dropout students. Manual for the training will be provided by SCERT. Moreover, teachers providing special training will be remunerated through SSA. NGOs can also take up the special training provided they have trained personnel and provide a safe residential area for conducting the training.