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Govt to send every child to school

The Centre has decided to introduce the Right to Education Bill in the budget session of Parliament.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 16:23 IST

The Centre has decided to introduce the Right to Education Bill in the budget session of Parliament, even though the unaided schools are opposing its implementation.

Sources say the Ministry of Human Resource Development has approved the revised draft. "The finance model is ready and has been submitted to the Planning Commission for approval," a source said.

The Bill has left unaided schools fuming. What hurts them most is the clause of 25 per cent mandatory reservation of the educationally backward class students in the age group of 6-14 years. They are also against the role of local authorities panchayats and municipal bodies - in the admission process.

Eyebrows are also being raised over the constitution of the School Management Committee, with local representatives, to enforce the proposed Act.

Usha Ram, chairperson of National Progressive School Association (NPSC), said the association has called a meeting of all unaided schools on February 26 to discuss the Bill. "We will chalk out a strategy then," she said.

The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has already submitted its representation to the ministry echoing sentiments of top schools of the country.

Those supporting the Bill social activist Anil Sadgopal a Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) member, said the Bill will enable the government to meet its Constitutional obligation. The supporters also say there cannot be two set of laws one for government schools and another public schools.

The introduction of the Bill became possible as the Group of Ministers, constituted to examine the report of experts and the National Advisory Council on how to finance the implementation of the Bill, submitted its recommendations to the Prime Minister's Office.

The government has estimated that Rs 57,000 crore will be required in five years to recruit additional teachers, build 17 lakh classrooms and finance elementary education in government and unaided schools. The allocation is expected to start from the 11th five-year plan.

The law, if passed by the Parliament in the current budget session, will not become applicable from the next academic year. The law will come into force only a year after it is notified as enough time is being given to states to create the infrastructure to monitor implementation of the law.

Jyoti Bose, principal of Springdales School, said there is nothing wrong in the concept but what schools are opposing is the way of its enforcement. "We want the government to re-think its implementation methodology," she said.

Principal Mayo College, Ajmer, Pramod Sharma, who is also a member of the national co-ordination committee of various school associations protesting the move told Hindustan Times: "What we are opposing is the loss of autonomy." He pointed out that schools were not only going to be made answerable to the Local Area Committees in rural areas the Panchayats and in urban areas the municipality - vis-a-vis infrastructure and teaching in the schools.

What schools are opposing.
No child coming thus under reserved category can be screened for admission.
No child can be failed till Class VIII. The students not doing well will have to be taught till they attain age of 18.
No child can be expelled on behavioral grounds until School Management Committee approves it. The expelled child will have to be admitted in a neighboring school as directed by the local authority.
Special programmes for children in 9-14 age group, who are not enrolled, so that they can admitted.

Toll increases abcdyz
Roads that would be affected prposed cent toll increases:
• Dolphin Expressway: from 12 cent to 45 cent
• Don shulasde: from 12 cent to 45 cent
• Airport Expressway: from 12 cent to 45 cent

First Published: Feb 23, 2006 12:05 IST