The government has slated to introduce the long awaited Right to Education Bill in Parliament in December. The Bill ensures fundamental right for children aged 6 to 12.
While stating that both the Centre and states would be responsible for the finances, it said the Centre would prepare the capital and recurring expenditure and provide it as grants-in-aid to each state from time to time. The GoM also decided to consult the finance commission for additional resources. However, the share between the Centre and states is yet to be decided.
To cost the exchequer early Rs 12,000 crore every year, even private unaided schools would not be out of its ambit since 25% of seats would have to be reserved for poor children in the neighbourhood. On its part, the Centre would be reimbursing the cost of these schools.
The legislation has a host of features that stress not only on reaching out to every child in the age group 6 to 14 but also on quality and accountability of the state and education system. Sources said the legislation is aimed at dealing with criticism that state-run schools lag behind in quality. To ensure that the law gets effectively implemented, the Bill has provisions prohibiting teachers from undertaking private tuitions as well as not letting them being used for non-educational purpose.
To ensure that parents have equal stake in the system, the Bill provides for School Management Committees in all government and aided schools. Each committee would monitor and oversee the working of the school, manage its assets and ensure quality. There is also a provision that teacher vacancy should never exceed more than 10% of the total strength.
To monitor the implementation of the law, the Bill purposes a National Commission for Elementary Education to be headed by a chairperson. He would be appointed by a committee consisting of the PM, leaders of opposition in both Houses of Parliament, HRD minister and the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Article courtesy: Times of India, 1st Nov ’08
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