New norms added to RTE

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Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) gets five new norms. As many as five new norms will be added to the existing 10 related to infrastructure of schools as part of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE). The new norms are working day, teachers’ learning equipment, sports material, and library and student-teacher ratio.

The new norms are more focused on schooling part and a little on administrative part. A meeting was arranged by the education department in April. When they reviewed the norms, they realized that the norms are not essentially new but will be added as part of the evaluation of academic standard. This will give an idea about a particular school, its way of functioning and strong or weak points.

All the efforts are made to bring an efficient RTE to the state.

The state government is struggling to achieve the desired RTE infrastructure norms compliance rate in schools across Maharashtra even after warning managements of the institutes and extending the deadline several times over the past one year.

In September last year, the state had directed all district education officers to form high-powered committees under the chairmanship of district collectors for effective implementation of RTE infrastructure norms. It had set a December 2013 deadline to achieve 100% compliance. This was decided after many schools were found not complying with the provisions in the statue.

Moreover,Of the 15,147 schools across Kolhapur division, which comprises Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur districts, only 3,013 schools were found meeting all 10 norms — a barely 19.8% rate.

Mane said the compliance rate has been enhanced over the months and at present almost 70% schools have been found meeting at least 7-8 infrastructure norms.

The compliance rate is slowly but steadily picking up in the schools. The problems these schools face are genuine – one of which is the lack of a kitchen shed or a playground. The state government has passed a resolution to construct 6,000 kitchen sheds in schools across the state. The option of centralized kitchen in the urban belt has also been suggested to enhance the schools’ compliance rate of the norms.

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