Government has ruled out extension of the deadline for enforcing the Right to Education Act beyond March 2013 as several states are yet to achieve the RTE standards for school infrastructure.
HRD minister M M Pallam Raju said that while Bihar Education Minister demanded the need for extending RTE deadline some other Education Ministers did not support such an extension.
Talking to reporters following the conclusion of theCentral Advisory Board of Education (CABE) meet in New Delhi, he said “efforts have to be redoubled by states to achieve RTE standards for school infrastructure as we do not want to dilute the Act.”
The minister’s remarks came amidst reports that the deadline for enforcing RTE Act could be extended by another two years to address infrastructural shortcomings.
He also noted that over 12,000 new schools remained to be opened and over 2.5 lakh additional classrooms, toilets and drinking water facilities are under construction. He said CABE would review the progress again in the next meeting which would be held next year.
Talking about the proposed legislation to curb unfair practices in schools relating to capitation fees and donation, Raju said CABE reiterated the need for such an initiative and “unanimously endorsed the proposed legislation.”
Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor said that as per the proposed penal provisions for those who resorted to unfair practices, there could be a fine to the tune of Rs 10 lakh as well as imprisonment.
As per the HRD ministry’s draft ‘Prohibition Of Unfair Practices in Schools Bill’, 2012, no school shall directly or indirectly demand or accept capitation fee or demand any donation for admission to any class.