The government needs to recruit 20 lakh teachers to successfully implement the Right to Education Act, Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said on Monday.

The implementation of the Act was a difficult task and the only solution would be to hire teachers even if they did not have the required qualification.

“In the course of five years these teachers need to acquire the qualification necessary for the position,” he said delivering the 38 the Shree Ram Memorial lecture on ‘Inclusive Education for the Marginalised' organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce here,

“Hopefully, in ICT mission mode for higher education, in the next three years the government will bring broadband connectivity to schools, and by the end of the 11th [Five-Year] Plan, India will be fully connected with 22,000 colleges and 480 universities. We hope to connect all schools in a similar fashion by the end of the 12th Plan as well. To bring about quality inclusive education is the rationale behind all education reforms.”

Mr. Sibal also spoke about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's commitment to build 6,500 ‘model' schools in backward areas; of these, 3,000 would be developed through public-private-partnership investment. This proposal would soon be put in the public domain, he said and asked the business community to join in.

The government was willing to look at possible economic models to implement it.

“With 70 per cent of the workforce not having cleared the primary class exam and only 5-7 per cent having skills as opposed to 95 per cent in the developed world, advancement in human resource is the focal objective of the nation right now. With the human resource meltdown that is taking place globally, India holds the key to filling the huge demographic deficit by technically arming its people,” Mr. Sibal said.

Meanwhile, an Assocham study has shown that the number of private institutions in the country is expected to double from 300 in the next two years, as the Centre has reduced its spending on higher education.

The number of private management colleges is expected to touch the 600- mark by 2012 as public expenditure on higher education has been reduced.

Keywords: RTE ActKapil Sibal