The year of right to education

The year of right to education

The enactment of the Right to Education Act providing free and compulsory education to children from 6-14 years, was the most important achievement of 2010.

The Act proved to be a milestone not only in making education a fundamental right, but also by banning screening tests, capitation and donations for admission, prohibiting corporal punishment, making it mandatory even for private schools to reserve 25 per cent of the seats for the economically backward children of the locality.

The implementation of the Act would prove to be a Herculean task no doubt, but Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal could certainly take the credit of making a ‘beginning.’

In fact, Sibal, who once said that education was his passion, had a series of hits and misses this year.

Deferment of a key bill on tribunals came as a major setback for him in his efforts to push forward the reform agenda in higher education during the year.

CBSE exam

Carrying forward its reforms process, CBSE decided to conduct proficiency test at the end of Class X in all the five main subjects from next year as its continuous and comprehensive and evaluation process evoked mixed response from students and parents.

The ministry also entered into an MoU with Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)to enable tracking student’s mobility by creating an electronic registry of all students, right from primary and elementary level through secondary and higher education, as also among the institutions.

A task force set up to prepare the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER)bill also made a presentation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, amid indication that it suggested bringing legal education under the ambit of the proposed body.

The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), which was bogged down by a number of controversies including arrest of a couple of former senior officers on charges of corruption, was revamped .

Towards the middle of the year, the ministry unveiled a plan with a prototype of low-cost computer for students carrying a price tag of Rs 1,500 ($35) and having all elementary features.

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