In a letter to Chief Ministers of various states, Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, has placed a 10-point agenda to ensure proper implementation of the RTE Act.
He has asked all State Governments to complete neighbourhood mapping so that the number of children who need elementary education is identified.
“Ensure all schools meet the norms of pupil-teacher ratio by rationalising imbalances in teacher deployment and filling up teacher vacancies, in the State sector and SSA, by persons who have qualified the Teacher Eligibility Test,” he said. RTE also mandates that schools be equipped with appropriate infrastructure. The HRD Minister has asked that all “spill over and fresh works under SSA be completed expeditiously including providing drinking water and toilet facilities as per Supreme Court directions.” To initiate steps for quality reform, which include designing age-appropriate syllabi and textbook, ensuring content and production reform and introducing continuous and comprehensive evaluation to enhance the learning process.
Review of modules
Similarly, he has asked that teacher training modules be reviewed and all entitlements required for a child – textbooks, uniforms, and other state specific entitlements are provided at the beginning of the academic year.
Prohibition of corporal punishment, no-detention policy and prevention of other discriminatory and exclusionary practices in schools are necessary, he said.
To ensure that schools implemented 25 per cent reservation for disadvantaged groups and weaker sections, the letter addresses the need to monitor the admission of such children in all unaided non-minority schools and to provide schools with all related grants. Finally, he suggested putting in place a grievance redress mechanism.