The State Government is yet to draft rules for the the Right to Education Act

Students of a high school near here were made to take an oath on Tuesday that they would follow the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009. Incidentally, the State government is yet to finalise draft rules for the implementation of the Act.

It had been announced officially that elected representatives, the Deputy Commissioner, and the Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat would visit a government school to “express their commitment” to implement the Right to Education Act under the Statewide programme “Shalegagi Naavu Neevu”.

Accordingly, district In-charge Minister J. Krishna Palemar visited the Government Higher Primary School in Muchur in Mangalore taluk, where students of classes 9 and 10 were administered an oath to follow the provisions of the Act as a “conscious citizen”. The programme, which started an hour behind schedule, led to delayed lunch for the schoolchildren.

A school official read out certain provisions of the Act, including the right to free and compulsory education for children up to the age of 14, the right to go to a school near the house and the right to obtain education without being discriminated against on grounds of economic status, religion, caste or sex.

Mr. Palemar said the government was committed to make sure that no child in his constituency was left uneducated. During the six years he served as an MLA, this dream was already fulfilled, he said.

The Minister said the Bharatiya Janata Party government had opened 500 new primary schools in the State in the last three years. He said the government was planning to appoint 20,000 new teachers. More than 7,000 primary schools and 1,800 high schools in the State had started eco-clubs, Mr. Palemar said. He said that schools must be given awards for the best green school, where children were aware of the need to preserve the environment. He said there was a need for a scheme for repair and maintenance of school walls as it was an issue with many schools. Answering questions from journalists later, he said the RTE rules would take time to finalise. Asked about the salaries of teachers in ashram and Morarji Desai schools, the Minister said it had been discussed in the Cabinet and that it would take more time as it involved the Centre.

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