Meet RTE targets before March 31: Govt to states

The government on Tuesday asked the states to expedite the process of meeting RTE targets before March 31.

Updated: Jan 29, 2013, 21:28 PM IST

New Delhi: Ruling out extension of the deadline on Right To Education, the government on Tuesday asked the states to expedite the process of meeting RTE targets before March 31 and improve deliverance mechanism for implementing the mid-day meal programme.

At the meeting of the state education secretaries here, senior HRD Ministry officials made it clear that there would be no extension of the RTE deadline beyond March 31 by which time the states have to fulfil the provisions under the Act, sources said.

Several states including Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are lagging behind in meeting deadline, failing to achieve significant targets in fields like teacher-student ratio, school infrastructure and teachers` qualifications.

The deadline extension issue was raised by Bihar at the last CABE meeting here last year, which was turned down by HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju.

Flagging the issue of implementation of mid-day meal programme, the ministry also asked the states to reduce the variance between the objective of the ambitious programme and the level of deliverance.

While level of delivery in states like Bihar is over 70 per cent, it is abysmally low in some of the northeastern states, sources said.

The high-level meeting also examined the recommendations of the Supreme Court-appointed Justice J S Verma Commission on improving teacher education system. The ministry is understood to have asked the states to deliberate upon the suggestions in details at the state level before formulating their views.

The apex court was of the view that the recommendations of the Commission deserve to be accepted and asked the Centre to file an affidavit in the implementation plan.

The recommendations included pre-entry testing of candidates for admission to training institutes and developing a framework on school audit and teacher performance.

The other suggestions included increased investment for establishing teacher education institutions and increase the institutional capacity of teacher preparation.

The meeting also took stock of the implementation of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan in classes.

There was a suggestion of setting up a `joint review mission of teachers` to assess faculty standards through surprise checks in classes, the sources said.

Various groups would be set up under the mission comprising officials from the HRD Ministry, UGC, NCERT among other education bodies to conduct the inspections.

The meeting also discussed on ways to imbibe better hygiene sense among students and decided on implementation of a Malaysian model of hygiene at schools.