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NITI Aayog calls for review RTE Act

The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has called for a review of the provisions of the Right To Education (RTE) Act that stipulate children who do not perform well cannot be held back up to 8th Class.

The RTE Act aims to provide primary education to all children aged 6 to 14 years. It stipulates that no child can be held back in a grade, regardless of his performance, all the way up to the 8th grade.  This means that a child is entitled to an 8th grade diploma even if he cannot recognise a single letter or a number if he has spent eight years in school.

Key Observations
  • The government think tank pointed out that the purpose behind this provision in the Act was to minimise drop-out rate as demoralisation from failing a class may result children to withdraw from school altogether.
  • However, despite good intention, the provision has a detrimental effect on learning outcomes, since it takes away the pressure to learn and to compete. So the NITI Aayog called revision of the RTE Act.
  • The real problem is the quality of education as measurement by student achievements. The education quality trend between 2010 and 2014 has been worsening instead of improving performance.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2014 report, the proportion of children aged 6-14 years enrolled in school in rural areas has been above 96% for the past six years but more than 50% of the 5th graders cannot read second standard level text.

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Odisha Government launches Biju Sishu Surakshya Yojana to nurture HIV positive orphan kids

The Odisha Government launched the Biju Sishu Surakshya Yojana, a scheme to nurture the orphan and HIV-infected children residing in different child care institutions and orphanages. 

The main aim of the scheme is to facilitate care and protection towards orphans and HIV infected children of the state. It will act and supplement for providing additional resources and complementary modalities to the existing centrally sponsored schemes. 

Under this scheme
  • Financial support will be given to promote the primary, higher education and for the securing of the future and rehabilitation of HIV-infected children.
  • State government will bear the educational expense of these children and provide them scholarship for higher education among other benefits.
  • The scholarship will be provider to top three meritorious students of the each district of the state and each student who passes the HSC examination will get Rs. 20000.
  • State government will deposit Rs. 1000 in the Sukayana Samridhi accounts of the girl children till they attain the age of 18 years.

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Brexit word added in Oxford English Dictionary    

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has officially added word ‘Brexit’ in it. It is among 1,500 new words added to the OED.

The OED has defined word ‘Brexit’ as “the (proposed) withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and the political process associated with it”.

Another popular new coinage is the word ‘YouTubers’ was also added in OED. It has been defined as “frequent user of the video-sharing website YouTube, especially someone who produces and appears in videos on the site.”

Background

The word Brexit was used first after then Prime Minister David Cameron announced in 2013 that UK will hold a referendum on its EU membership. But it entered common parlance as campaigning Brexit intensified before citizen of Britain vote to leave EU in June 2016. The word Brexit has been developed from “Grexit” which describs a similar process in which Greece might leave the Eurozone. Grexit was added in OED, calling politics “a fruitful area for new words”.

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