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Govt told to implement plea to extend RTE to pre-primary, secondary, higher secondary

By Our Representative
The Right to Education (RTE) Forum has welcomed the draft National Education Policy (NEP) proposing to extend the RTE Act to include pre-primary and secondary and higher secondary education, insisting, the government must implement it in its full spirit so that school education becomes a legal entitlement of millions of children of India.
Also welcoming the “emphasis on instruction in the mother tongue of students in schools at primary, preferably at elementary level in the NEP”, the RTE Forum, in a statement by its convener Ambarish Rai, has said, the Forum had been demanding the regularization of teachers and the elimination of Para teachers from schools and this has also been “reinforced in the draft document.”
“Other much needed inclusions are doubling of the overall financial allocation to education, strengthening decentralized mechanisms of teacher management and support, expansion of school nutrition programme from Mid-Day Meal to include provision of school breakfast, and a possible return of the No Detention Policy”, the statement said.
Stating that “another big move as mentioned in the NEP is the 5+3+3+4 structure of education”, the Forum pointed towards “some deficiencies” which are “worrisome”. Thus, “there has been relaxation and loosening of RTE norms to promote school choice and competition”, insisting, “It is necessary to chalk out a regulatory framework for private schools.”
“Closure of schools in the name of consolidation is another regressive move mentioned in NEP”, it said, adding, “Another proposal in the document is that parents become de-facto regulators of private schools instead of this function being the role of the state. It is an area of concern to regulate and monitor private schools complying with quality, safety and equity norms.”

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