Education Current Affairs

Lok Sabha passes The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Lok Sabha has passed The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The Bill amends the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009 to extend the deadline for teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment.

Through the amending measure inadequately qualified teachers as on March 31, 2015, working after enactment of the RTE Act, 2009 are being given last chance to acquire minimum qualifications within a period of four years i.e. by March 31, 2019 to hold their jobs as teachers.

Key Facts

The amendments to RTE Act, 2009 will enable the in-service untrained elementary teachers to complete their training and ensure that all teachers at the elementary level have certain minimum standard of qualifications. It will ensure that all teachers attain minimum qualifications as considered necessary to maintain the standard of teaching quality. It will ultimately result in improvement in overall quality of teachers, teaching processes and learning outcomes of children. It will reinforce Government’s emphasis on improvement of quality of elementary education.

Background

The RTE Act, 2009 envisages free and compulsory elementary education to every child in the age group of 6-14 years. The section 23(2) of the Act specifies that all teachers at elementary level at commencement of this law if did not possess minimum qualifications under it need to acquire these within a period of five years i.e. by March 2015. However, several state governments have reported that 11.00 lakh teachers at the elementary level are still untrained out of a total number of 66.41 lakh teachers.

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Government launches 4 digital initiatives to push e-education

President Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of Guru Purnima launched four major digital initiatives in to push e-education. They are Swayam, Swayam Prabha, National Academic Depository and National Digital Library. All these digital initiatives are operational under Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development. 

Key Facts

Swayam: It an indigenously designed massive open online course (MOOC), It will host all the courses, taught in classrooms from 9th class till post-graduation and can be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. It aims to bridge the digital divide for students in e-education.

Swayam Prabha: It will provide high quality educational contents, developed by experts, through 32 DTH (direct to home) Television Channels with an aim to bring uniformity in standards of education. It will cover diverse disciplines of all levels of education in various languages. It will be available to all and will be having new content of 4 hours to be telecasted 6 times a day.

National Academic Depository: It is a digital depository of academic awards for authenticating all certificates issued by institutions. NAD will directly integrate with Boards/Universities which issue Certificates which will be verified, authenticated, accessed and retrieved in a digital depository for purpose of employment, higher education, and loans.

National Digital Library: It is a large online library containing 6.5 million books. It provides free access to many books in English and the Indian languages.

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