Assam implements Right to Education

GUWAHATI: The Right to Education (RTE) Act has become areality in Assam from Wednesday with the state Cabinet approving theRules needed for implementing the Act.

With this, Assam became the 19th state in the country to implement the RTE Act of 2009.

Informing this at a press conference here, Education Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma said, ”The Cabinet has approved the Rules needed to implement the RTE Act and from now on elementary education will be ensured for every child by the state.

”The Rules were approved unanimously after extensive discussions for two hours in the Cabinet,” he added.

The state government has already set in motion measures to implement the RTE Act.

”Under the Act, there must be a lower primary school within every 1 km and middle school within every 3 km. For this, the Sarba Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) will complete satellite and road mapping within three months,” the minister said.

He added 300 people will be employed for the work and the list will be published in newspapers for the general public to make claims and objections.

There are currently 35,000 lower primary and 7000 middle schools in the state. Among the various facilities that have to be provided to students under the Act are free text-books, uniforms and teaching and learning materials in all schools.

The teacher-student ratio of 30:1 must also be monitored by the government, which will also be applicable in case of private schools.

The Minister said under the RTE Act, private schools will have to admit 25 per cent of total student intake in class I from financially weaker section, for which the state government will pay the annual expenses as per the government’s calculated expense per student.

The RTE Act also lays down criterion for teacher appointment, including minimum 50 per cent marks in higher secondary, diploma in teaching and clearing Teachers Eligibility Test (TET).

”The diploma clause will be relaxed for appointments in the first year but will be binding from 2014 when the first batch of diploma-holders pass out at the end of two years,” Dr Sharma said.The TET will be held in the last quarter of the current year for new appointments, while serving teachers will be given 5 years time to clear the Test. (UNI)