ABIDe presents rules for implementation of RTE in Karnataka
ABIDe proposes greater participation by local communities in the management of educational institutions, creation of regulatory framework independent of the service providers and recommends separate set of rules within ambit of RTE.
The passage of Right to Education Act has turned the focus to its implementation. The RTE has very laudable objectives and is necessary but the framing of the legislation itself has many deficiencies and lacunae. While the Act has enshrined into law the treatment of Education as a right of young Indians, it has, by its silence on certain critical aspects of implementation, left unsaid how to ensure certain key goals. These lacunae and ambiguities has caused several stakeholders to challenge it in Supreme Court and hence the rules in our state need to be framed to ensure there is no conflict and discord in the stakeholders of Education in our state and city.
The formulation of the Rules for the Act is being urgently taken up by the States, with a view to begin implementing it from the academic year 2011-12. With this in mind, and at the urging of several educationists as well as school administrators in the Bangalore region, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament and Convener, ABIDe Task Force ABIDe constituted a Working Group on the Implementation of the Right to Education Act. This group, whose members include representation from visionaries, education experts, advocates of a strong government education system as well as leaders from the private sector researched the questions raised by the passage of the RTE Act, and has put together the suggestions in this report, for the consideration of the Government.
The Rules proposed by ABIDe’s Working Group (WG) recognised the need to strengthen the public education system, and a substantial portion of the Rules, therefore, is focused on government and aided schools. For these, the WG has proposed new arrangements that would (a) give local communities greater participation in the management of educational institutions; (b) create a regulatory framework that is independent of the service providers; (c) measure the learning outcomes of children in public schools; and (d) make it possible for parents to choose their schools based on knowledge of their performance.
Says Rajeev Chandrasekhar “ The ABIDe Working Group has recommended rules that ensures access to education all children, especially from the Government schools, by way of quality education becoming available in all schools, participation of multiple stakeholders to avoid disputes and divisiveness and encouraging private investment and capacity into Education through PPPs, NGOs etc. We look forward to a bright new chapter in school education in Karnataka, with the implementation of the Act under these Rules”.
Role for Elected Representatives
Moreover, consistent with the stance taken by ABIDe in all of its previous reports to the Government, this document too creates an important place for elected representatives, by requiring school districts and blocks to be aligned to electoral constituencies. Indeed, in due course we must go further down this path, and bring more of our public schools under the jurisdiction of local governments, especially in urban areas (which are still dominated by State-government run schools).
Rules for Unaided Schools
The rules for unaided schools have been crafted to ensure access to these institutions for those students who are not adequately served by the public education system. At the same time, the WG is confident that the rules for unaided schools provided here would (a) preserve their administrative autonomy and financial viability, and (b) also retain the well-functioning mechanisms of their affiliating boards. These rules would also (c) give private school managements and innovators in the education sector confidence that they should create more new institutions that provide quality education, without fear of draconian regulation.