Lok Sabha amends Free, Compulsory Education bill

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New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) The Lok Sabha on Friday gave its approval to a bill amending the law on free and compulsory education to extend the deadline for teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment.

Replying to a brief debate on the The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javedakar said that some states have adopted innovative ways to tackle with the problem of proxy teachers.

He said one of the ways was of putting up photographs of teachers in the school and another was a technology application that registers attendance when students and teachers are in 50 feet radius of the school.

Responding to points raised by members, he said learning outcomes were important and the government was planning to bring a bill to boost academic performances.

He also said students from class 5 to 8 will appear in examinations next March.

Javadekar said that the issue of untrained teachers was more acute in eight states and a special team was being formed which will work like a task force.

Earlier, he said that through the amendment, inadequately qualified teachers, working after enactment of the Right to Education Act, were being given a “last chance” to acquire minimum qualifications by March 2019.

Noting that teachers can get the prescribed qualification using the Swayam portal, Javadekar said there were about six lakh teachers with inadequate qualifications in the private sector alone.

According to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, which came into force on April 1, 2010, a teacher, who did not possess minimum qualifications, was required to acquire them in five years.

The Act was enacted to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the age of six and 14 years.

The central government subsequently received requests from states for extension of the period to enable them complete the training process for in-service untrained teachers.

Javadekar said the teachers should now acquire minimum qualifications by March 2019. “This is the last chance.”

Teachers should register on the Swayam portal and they will also be provided hands-on experience by the respective state governments, he said.

Swayam is a government-initiated programme designed to achieve access, equity and quality in education.

–IANS

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