Is Goa Government’s Education Department prepared to implement “The Right of Children to free and compulsory education Act, 2009?”
Presently there is lot of discussion/debate on education department’s “no fail” policy up to VIII standard, I feel there is no point in discussing this and wasting valuable time. Instead academicians, educational department’s officials should work on how to implement the right of children to free and compulsory education Act, 2009.
The purpose of this act is that no child should remain home without education till he or she attains the age of 14. There are 37 provisions in this Act and all are very important for successful implementation of this Act, and instead of working on how to fulfill all these important provisions, every one is concentrating only on provision number 16 which pertains to prohibition of holding back and expulsion.
The area I am going to highlight is more important than anything else for successful implementation. As per the said Act there are clear norms and standards given and academicians, bureaucrats, government and parents must work to see that these conditions are fulfilled at the earliest for its success.
Following is the summary of Norms and standards for School for successful implementation of the right to free and compulsory education Act. 2009
Pupil – teacher ratio for class I to V
In case of admitted students up to 60, number of teachers are 2 and for every additional student up to 90, 3 teachers and between 91 to 120 students 4 teachers and between 121 to 200, numbers of teachers required is 5. For above 150 children; 5 teachers plus 1 Head teacher and above 200 children, Pupil-Teacher Ratio (excluding Head teacher) shall not exceed 40.
Are we fulfilling this criterion?
In case of class VI to VIII class
At least 1 teacher for every 35 students, and at least 1 teacher per class, so that there shall be at least 1 teacher each in the subject of science and mathematics, social studies and languages. Where admission of children is above one hundred a full time head-teacher and part time instructors for:
(A) Art Education
(B) Health and Physical Education
(C) Work Education
Are we fluffing this criterion?
Building should consist of at least one class-room for every teacher and an office-cum-store-cum-Head teacher’s Room plus
1) Separate toilets for boys and girls
2) Safe and adequate drinking water facility to all children
3) A kitchen where mid-day meal is cooked in the school
5) Arrangements for securing the school building by boundary wall or fencing
Are our school buildings equipped with these infrastructure facilities?
Minimum number of working days/instructional hours in an academic year
Two hundred working days for first class to fifth class
Two hundred and twenty working days for sixth class to eighth class
Eight hundred instructional hours per academic year for first class to fifth class
One thousand instructional hours per academic year for sixth class to eighth class
Minimum number of working hours per week for the teacher
Forty-five teaching plus preparation hours
Do we have place to accommodate students and teacher for six and half hour in school?
There shall be a library in each school providing newspaper, magazines and books on all subjects, including story-books.
Where is the library in Goa government schools?
Play material, games sports equipment
Play material, games sports equipment shall be provided to each class as required.
Just to see how for Goa government schools are prepared for implementing this Act. A cursory survey in one of the Government primary school located in housing Board Margao revealed that instruction is given in Marathi and Urdu language for the primary section, namely Class I to Class IV. However, due to lack of space, I and IV classes in Marathi and Urdu are held in the morning session and in the afternoon session II and III standard classes are held in both Marathi as well as Urdu.
Besides, the said building doesn’t fulfill minimum infrastructure criteria, it has no staff room for teachers, they have to use classroom as staff room, no library, no playground; o this school is not fulfilling the minimum standard of norm as per act and similarly one can find many school building in Goa with this limitations too. So with this can we conclude that Goa government can implement this Act successfully?
Sanjay P Sawant Dessai
VVMs Shree Damodar College Margao Goa