‘RTE rules do not conform to ground realities in State’

House panel proposes special body for accreditation of schools

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The Assembly Committee on Subordinate Legislation which was entrusted to study the RTE Rules, 2011 has proposed for constitution of a special body in line with the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) to assess and accredit the schools in the State.

Just as the NAAC gives grades to various colleges in the country, this special body would also grade the various schools after assessing their infrastructure, performance of the school in a particular year and various other aspects, Mr Manas Chaudhuri the Chairman of the Committee said.

“The constitution of such a body would be of immense help to the education system in the State,” Chaudhuri said after the public hearing where stakeholders from the teaching community, university and managements of minority and linguistic institutions from the city and other parts of the state presented their views before the committee here on Monday.

Chaudhuri, however, pointed out that the stakeholders were not happy with the Model Rules formulated by the Government for implementation of the RTE in the State.

He said the RTE Rules notified by the State Government on August 1 this year, were modeled by the Centre and do not conform to the ground realities in Meghalaya.

“We want the Rules to be amended in such a way that they bring optimum benefit to the State Education system. The Rules should also address the various issues endangering the education system in the country,” Chaudhuri said.

He also observed that the overall interest of religious and other minorities should be borne in mind in accordance with Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution.

According the Assembly Subordinate Legislation Committee Chairman, the State RTE Rules should meet the needs of the educational scenario in Meghalaya.

Moreover, to keep a check on the school dropout rate, Chaudhuri suggested that an effective mechanism be put in place by deploying special teachers in various disciplines.

During the hearing, views were expressed on the school infrastructure, minimum amenities like computer classes, toilets, playgrounds and others.

“We will be suggesting to the government to provide funds for the construction of proper school buildings starting first with government institutions. Later, the same should be provided to deficit and other aided schools,” Chaudhuri said.

Moreover, he said the other issues included the timely payment of teachers’ salaries and the need to enhance the same apart from putting in place pension benefits.

“We would also suggest making teaching an attractive avenue so that the best talent is available for the job. This would improve education,” Chaudhuri added.

He informed that the committee would hold a separate discussion with the stakeholders of differently-abled children.

Chaudhuri also said the committee would further hold discussions with the state education department before finalising its report to be submitted to the Assembly in the Budget Session to be held in March next year. “We hope that from February 2013 these Rules will come into effect and bring improvement in the education scenario in the state,” Chaudhuri said. During the public hearing, many of the stakeholders including teachers and representatives from the school managing committees expressed their strong reservations to Section 21 of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2010 (Section 13 of the State Rules) relating to the formation of school managing committees for aided schools managed by religious institutions during the public hearing on Monday.

Section 21 of the Act has specified that 75 per cent of the membership in school managing committees should comprise of parents and guardians which was not acceptable to the majority.

Earlier, During the Monsoon Session on September 15, the state Assembly referred the Meghalaya Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011 to the Committee for further examination after the House disagreed on some sections of the rules.

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