RTE Current Affairs

Parliament passes Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017

Parliament has passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 with Rajya Sabha approving it. Lok Sabha had passed it earlier.

The Bill amends the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009 by extending the deadline for teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment.

Key Facts

In the parent Act, provision to possess minimum qualifications by teachers was relaxed for a period not exceeding five years (till March 2015) in case state does not have adequate teacher training institutions or sufficient number of qualified teachers.

The amendment bill gives last chance to inadequately qualified teachers as on March 31, 2015, working after enactment of the RTE Act, 2009 to acquire minimum qualifications within a period of four years (till March 31, 2019) to hold their jobs as teachers.

Comment

The RTE Act, 2009 envisages free and compulsory elementary education to every child in the age group of 6-14 years. 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 in order to maintain the standard of teaching quality.

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Union Cabinet approves amendment to RTE Act, 2009

The Union Cabinet has approved the amendment to Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

The amendment seeks to ensure all teachers, in position as on March 2015, acquire minimum qualifications prescribed by academic authority to extend period for such training for 4 years up to March 2019. 

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. Thus, to ensure that all teachers acquire the minimum qualifications prescribed by the academic authority, it is deemed necessary to carry out appropriate amendment in the RTE Act, 2009 to extend period for such training for four years up to March 2019.

Benefits of Amendments
  • It will enable the in-service untrained elementary teachers to complete their training and ensure that all teachers at the elementary level have a 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 the Government’s emphasis on improvement of quality of elementary education.

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