Kapil Sibal, HRD Minister declared that improving quality is critical if the objective of the RTE is to be fulfilled even as he noted a decline in dropout rates in states like Bihar where it has come down to about 7% following RTE.He said, “We have issued advisory to the state education ministers to initiate curriculum reforms as it is a matter of concern that not much attention is being paid to improve quality. More than 31 states have notified academic authority as per RTE provisions which would look into the curriculum reforms process”.
While RTE has seen an increased allocation of Rs.25,000 crore for the 2012-13 fiscal, up from Rs.13,000 crore, Sibal said the states should take steps to hasten the process of teachers appointment as the Centre has already sanctioned six lakh posts.
Against the mandated teacher student ratio of 30:1, 43% primary schools have over 40 children per one teacher, Sibal said. With 4.96 lakh classrooms having been sanctioned under Sarva Sikshya Abhiyan (SSA) which is being aligned with RTE, Sibal asked the state to put “All RTE provisions into practice in schools including prohibition of corporal punishment, detention and expulsion”.
Listing out steps which the states should ensure for efficient implementation of RTE, Kapil Sibal said textbooks and uniforms should be provided at the beginning of the academic year along with school related grants like teacher grant, maintenance grants and more.