Students of a government middle school on their campus in Ratu, Ranchi
The Union ministry of human resource development has directed its state counterpart as well as nodal agency Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC) to prepare a comprehensive plan to effectively and meaningfully implement the Right to Education Act (2009) for the 2013-14 fiscal.
The state department and JEPC are now jointly preparing the annual budget “in crores” to decide how best to create a conducive environment to implement the RTE Act.
Under the quality development plan, officials will start advocacy at school, community and policy levels. The thrust is on attitude change among masses, infrastructure availability in schools and motivation for teachers.
The JEPC, which will implement the tasks on the ground, will host an annual conference of village education committees and award teachers who have done commendable work to implement RTE.
Then, JEPC officials will act on what they term intervention plans. Taking the RTE Act as a guiding light, the modus operandi is multi-pronged, from setting student enrolment targets to building infrastructure such as toilets, drinking water and libraries to deploying personnel.
JEPC officials with the help of educators will also target dropouts and improve their IQ, language and activity skill-sets. Out-of-school children will get three years of training under quality development programme and then put in cradles to “mainstream” them.
“We are preparing an annual budget in consultation with districts so that we can make an estimate and use funds to groom children for education or send them to school as mandated by the RTE Act,” said Baikunth Pandey, JEPC pedagogue officer.
Pandey added they would tighten the noose around private schools who failed to obey the 25 per cent reservation for needy students under RTE Act and did not admit poor children at the entry level. “We will cancel no-objection certificates if private schools fail to admit children from disadvantaged groups,” he said.
Pandey said they kept on hearing that private schools were unable to get BPL (below-poverty-line) children for admission. “They say they don’t get enough funds from the government for BPL children. Schools also make excuses that these children can’t pick up lessons. They need to be addressed with micro planning.”
These apart, JEPC will also host bal melas to help children express their creativity and involve residents to make the RTE Act effective through Lok Bhagidari (peoples’ partnership) programme.