Delhi education minister Arvinder Singh on Monday said the government is planning to extend the scope of Right to Education(RTE) up to Class 12.
At present, the provisions of RTE are applicable till Class 8.
Singh said this while answering to questions by several members in the Delhi Assembly’s budget session regarding implementation of RTE in Delhi schools.
Singh added that the government plans to appoint more than 13,000 teachers in various categories in the Education department.
“We feel the need to move beyond the RTE. We also wish to implement the provisions of RTE up to class 12,” said Singh. Replying to queries raised by members about shortage of teachers in government schools, Singh admitted that there is a shortage of 6,000 permanent teachers, but 3,793 guest teachers are there to fill in the gap.
“We will soon fill up all vacant posts,” he added.
Giving information about the implementation of RTE in Delhi Singh said Delhi has one of the best student-teacher ratios, at 38:1, in the country.
“No other city in the country, including Kerala has that ratio,” he said.
The government has spent Rs52.4 crore in mid-day meal scheme last year till September 31, he said, adding that each meal for pre-primary pupils contains 12 gram of protein and 450 calories, while for upper primary students, this goes up to 20 gram of protein and 700 calories.
A number of members raised queries over the disparity in lowest age criteria specified for nursery admissions for students from economically weaker section (EWS) in various schools.
However, Singh said that no such complaints have been received by the education department. On complaints of some schools built on government land not admitting EWS children, he said three such institutions were identified in 2009-10, but they started complying with the condition after being sent notices.
Singh said the number of students admitted under the EWS quota has shown a gradual increase — from 6,000 in 2007 to 9,373 in 2009 and 17,552 last year.
Right To Education (RTE) Act was passed by the Central government and came to force from April 1, 2010
State governments were asked to frame their own rules for the Act.
According to the Act, every child in the age group of 6-14 years will be provided eight years of elementary education in an age appropriate classroom in the vicinity of his/her neighbourhood.
Also, no child shall be denied admission for want of documents; no child shall be turned away if the admission cycle in the school is over and no child shall be asked to take an admission test.
In Delhi schools, the RTE provisions are applicable till Class 8 at present.