UP, Bihar, WB demand additional funds to implement RTE Act

During a meeting with HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, the education ministers of these states also discussed the problem of scarcity of teachers faced by them.

Sibal was informed that they have drafted the State Rules for implementing the RTE Act and those would be notified soon, a HRD Ministry official said. The implementation of the Act would require Rs 1.71 lakh crore in the next five years. These states are currently giving 45 per cent share for the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan scheme which would be the main vehicle for implementation of RTE Act.

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar would require the major share of the estimated Rs 1.71 lakh crore for implementation of the Act. While 24 per cent of this fund would be required for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar will need 17 per cent followed by West Bengal (eight per cent).

Earlier, chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had expressed inability to fund the implementation of the Act. West Bengal has also raised the issue of scarcity of funds.

Bihar HRD Minister Hari Narayan Singh said the academic authority for the state as per RTE Act would be the State Council for Education Research and Training. The state has already prepared the curriculum and re-written books for classes I, III and V.

Basic Education Minister for Uttar Pradesh Dharam Singh Saini highlighted the problem of teachers training. It was decided that the two-year diploma in primary education offered by IGNOU for Bihar and UP teachers would be suitably revised to address the concerns on quality.

West Bengal Minister for School Education Partho Dey raised the need to transit from the present structure of I to IV as primary and V to X as part of secondary to the three tier structure of I to V as primary, VI to VII as upper primary and IX to X in secondary. Sibal assured them all possible support for implementation of the Act which came into force from April one this year.

He stressed on the need for recruiting qualified and trained elementary school teachers. He underscored the need for rational redeployment of teachers to fulfil pupil teacher ratio mandated by the RTE Act. In fact, states like UP and Bihar pose a dismal picture in elementary education.

According to Reports on Demand and Supply Estimates of School Teachers and Teacher Educators (2007-08 to 2016-17) for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, prepared by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), both the states suffer from a huge scarcity of teachers.

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