Bill seeking amendments in RTE Act introduced in Lok Sabha

A bill to amend the Right to Education Act to give elementary teachers time till 2019 to acquire minimum qualification as prescribed in the 2010 Law was passed by the government in Lok Sabha. As per the existing Act which came into effect from April 1, 2010, these teachers were to acquire minimum qualifications within five years by March 31, 2015. This bill has been bought because the state governments were not able to continue the training process for in-service untrained teachers, in so much hurry.

It was due to the request of the state governments’ to extend the period of training untrained teachers the bill has been bought so as to enable them to initiate and complete the said the training process. To bring in the required changes, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar introduced the ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017’.

The ministry has also proposed in the bill to insert a new provision in the Act – which provides for free and compulsory education to all children of 6 to 14 years of age. As per the new provision, if passed, every teacher appointed or in position as on March 31, 2015, who does not possess minimum qualifications, will be required to acquire such minimum qualifications within a period of four years on and from the date of commencement of the proposed legislation.

The expenditure related to the training of untrained teachers would come from the approved allocation under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) program. The amount would be shared between the Centre and the States concerned. In the financial memorandum of the bill, the government stated that it has been estimated that a non-recurring expenditure of Rs 453.62 crore involved would be carried over to subsequent years to complete the training of untrained teachers by March 31, 2019.

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