The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal to amend the RTE Act to make it mandatory for teachers to acquire minimum qualification. The amendment in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, will enable in-service untrained elementary teachers to complete their training which is imperative to maintain the standard of teaching quality. “The amendment will ensure that all teachers, in position as on 31st March, 2015, acquire the minimum qualifications prescribed by the academic authority to extend the period for such training for four years up to 31st March, 2019,” an official statement said.
This would result in improvement in overall quality of teachers, teaching processes and consequently learning outcomes of children and reinforce the government’s emphasis on improvement of quality of elementary education, it added.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect in April, 2010.
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It envisages free and compulsory elementary education to every child in the age group of 6-14 years.
The proviso to Section 23(2) of the Act specifies that all teachers at elementary level who, at the commencement of this Act, did not possess the minimum qualifications as laid down under the RTE Act, 2009, need to acquire these within a period of five years i.e. by 31st March, 2015.
However, several state governments have reported that out of a total of 66.41 lakh teachers at the elementary level, 11.00 lakh are still untrained (of this, 5.12 lakh are in government and aided schools and 5.98 lakh in private ones).
In order to ensure that all teachers, in position as on 31st March, 2015, acquire the minimum qualifications prescribed by the academic authority, it was necessary to carry out appropriate amendment in the RTE Act to extend the period for such training for four years up to 31st March, 2019.