The government today introduced in the Lok Sabha a bill seeking to amend the Right to Education Act to allow elementary teachers time till 2019 to get acquire minimum qualifications as mandated under the 2010 law. As per the existing Act which came into effect from April 1, 2010, these teachers were to acquire minimum qualifications within five years by March 31, 2015. To bring in the required changes, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar introduced the ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017’. The new bill has been brought as the state governments were not able to continue the training process for in-service untrained teachers.
Subsequently, the state governments had requested for extending the period for “training untrained teachers so as to enable them to initiate and complete the said the training process”, according to the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill. The ministry has brought in the bill to insert a new provision in the Act — which provides for free and compulsory education to all children of 6 to 14 years of age.
Under the new provision, “every teacher appointed or in position as on March 31, 2015, who does not possess minimum qualifications… shall acquire such minimum qualifications within a period of four years on and from the date of commencement of the proposed legislation”. The expenditure related to training of untrained teachers would come from the approved allocation under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme. The amount would be shared between the Centre and the states concerned.
“It is estimated that a non-recurring expenditure of Rs 453.62 crore involved would be carried over to subsequent years to complete the training of untrained teachers by March 31, 2019,” the government said in the financial memorandum of the bill.