Sunday, 18 January 2015

Daily News Mail

Right to Education
The essence and role of education articulated in the National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986/92 (The first NPE was promulgated in 1968 by the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and the second by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1986) continues to be relevant even 25 years after its formulation. National Policy on Education(NPE) states:

  • In our national perception education is essentially for all. This is fundamental to our all-round development.
  • Education has an acculturating role. It refines sensitivities and perceptions that contribute to national cohesion, a scientific temper and independence of mind and spirit - thus furthering the goals of socialism, secularism and democracy enshrined in our Constitution.
  • Education develops manpower for different levels of the economy. It is also the substrate on which research and development flourish, being the ultimate guarantee of national self-reliance.
  • In sum, education is a unique investment in the present and the future. This cardinal principle is the key to the National Policy on Education.

In 2010 the country achieved a historic milestone when Article 21-A and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 became operative on 1st April 2010. The enforcement of Article 21-A and the RTE Act represented a momentous step forward in our country’s struggle for universalising elementary education. The RTE Act is anchored in the belief that the values of equality, social justice and democracy and the creation of a just and humane society can be achieved only through provision of inclusive elementary education to all.
In keeping with the vision of providing education of equitable quality to fully harness the nation’s human potential, the Department has laid down the following objectives to :

  • Reinforce the national and integrative character of education in partnership with States/UTs.
  • Improve quality and standards of school education and literacy towards building a society committed to Constitutional values.
  • Universalise elementary education in keeping with the rights conferred under the RTE Act.
  • Universalise opportunities for quality secondary education.
  • Establish a fully literate society.

These objectives are intended to be accomplished through the following major programmes of the Department:

  • Elementary level: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Mid Day Meal (MDM)
  • Secondary level: Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), Model Schools,
  • Vocational Education, Girls’ Hostel, Inclusive Education of the Disabled, ICT at School
  • Adult Education: Saakshar Bharat
  • Teacher Education: Scheme for Strengthening Teacher Education
  • Women’s education: Mahila Samakhya
  • Minority Education: Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madarsas (SPQEM)
  • Infrastructure Development of Minority Institutions (IDMI)

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan:
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is Government of India's flagship programme (SSA has become operational since 2000-01 and it is pioneered by then P.M. Atal Bihari Vajpayee) for achievement of Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE) in a time bound manner, as mandated by 86th amendment to the Constitution of India making free and compulsory Education to the Children of 6-14 years age group, a Fundamental Right.

SSA is being implemented in partnership with State Governments to cover the entire country and address the needs of 192 million children in 1.1 million habitations.

The programme seeks to open new schools in those habitations which do not have schooling facilities and strengthen existing school infrastructure through provision of additional class rooms, toilets, drinking water, maintenance grant and school improvement grants.

Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat is a nationwide sub-programme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Existing schools with inadequate teacher strength are provided with additional teachers, while the capacity of existing teachers is being strengthened by extensive training, grants for developing teaching-learning materials and strengthening of the academic support structure at a cluster, block and district level.

SSA seeks to provide quality elementary education including life skills. SSA has a special focus on girl's education and children with special needs. SSA also seeks to provide computer education to bridge the digital divide.

25% quota for socially and economically backward students under RTE Act

Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, mandated every school, including privately-run ones, to give immediately free education to students from socially and economically backward classes from class-I till they reach the age of 14 years. 

Private unaided minority schools, however, would be exempt from the RTE Act, which mandates that 25% students of every school will be for boys and girls from poor families. 

Section12(1)(c) of the Act that says every recognized school imparting elementary education, even if it is an unaided school not receiving any kind of aid or grant to meet its expenses, is obliged to admit disadvantaged boys and girls from their neighbourhood. 

Section 12(1)(c) provides for a level-playing field in the matter of right to education to children who are prevented from accessing education because they do not have the means or their parents do not have the means to pay for their fees." 

According to 2007-08 statistics, out of the 12,50,755 schools imparting elementary education in India, 80.2% were government run, 5.8% private aided and 13.1% are private unaided. Of these, 87.2% of the schools were located in rural areas. 

And the today's news pertinent to above article is:
RTE application process goes online
The State government of Karnataka has decided to convert the entire process of submission of applications and admission of the students to different schools under the Right To Education (RTE) quota online, with an intention to end the complaints of irregularities in the selection process.

Arrival of Lesser Flamingo has declined at Sambhar Lake
  • The number of Lesser Flamingos visiting the Sambhar Lake and adjoining waterbodies in Rajasthan has declined to 54 this year from 1,812 recorded last year, according to a survey. The bird has already been declared an endangered species and put on the IUCN-Red List.
  • The lesser flamingo is a species of flamingo occurring in sub-Saharan Africa with another population in India. 
  • This species feeds primarily on Spirulina, algae which grow only in very alkaline lakes.
  • Sambhar is the largest inland saline lake in the country and the largest Ramsar site in Rajasthan.


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