New Delhi, March 23: Central government on Wednesday approved the amendment to Right of Children to Free and Compulsary Education (RTE) Act, 2009. The main objective of this Amendment is to ensure that all teachers at the elementary level in the country have a certain minimum standard of qualifications.
Notably, the Amendment was approved by the Union Cabinet led by PM Modi. However, the Human Resources Ministry had circulated the Cabinet note of this particular amendment on October 10, 2016.
The Proviso to Section 23(2) of the RTE Act specifies all school teachers to possess minimum educational qualifications which is laid down by National Council of teacher Education. Those who aren’t qualified have time until 31 March, 2019 to clear out all the prescribed rules to qualifications.
This amendment to RTE Act, 2009 will enable in-service untrained elementary teachers to complete their training and ensure that all teachers at the elementary level in the country have a certain minimum standard of qualifications. This would also ensure that all teachers would attain minimum qualifications as considered necessary to maintain the standard of teaching quality. This would ultimately result in improvement in overall quality of teachers, teaching processes and consequently learning outcomes of children. This will reinforce the Government's emphasis on improvement of quality of elementary education.
However, state governments reported that out of a total number of 66.41 lakh teachers at the elementary level, 11.00 lakh are still untrained (of this, 5.12 lakh are in Government and Aided Schools and 5.98 lakh are in private schools). In order to ensure that all teachers, in position as on 31st March, 2015, acquire the minimum qualifications prescribed by the academic authority, it is necessary to carry out appropriate amendment in the RTE Act, 2009 to extend the period for such training for four years up to 31st March, 2019.
'The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act' or 'Right to Education Act also known as RTE', is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted on 4 August 2009, which describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution.
Importantly, India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010.The title of the RTE Act incorporates the words ‘free and compulsory’. ‘Free education’ means that no child, other than a child who has been admitted by his or her parents to a school which is not supported by the appropriate Government, shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education.
‘Compulsory education’ casts an obligation on the appropriate Government and local authorities to provide and ensure admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by all children in the 6-14 age group. With this, India has moved forward to a rights based framework that casts a legal obligation on the Central and State Governments to implement this fundamental child right as enshrined in the Article 21A of the Constitution, in accordance with the provisions of the RTE Act.