'RTE Act doesn’t define outcome of learning'

Jan 28 2013, 09:59 IST
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SummaryInterview with L V Sehgal — Chairman of the National Progressive Schools Conference & Principal Bal Bharati School, Ganga Ram Hospital Marg.

of Rs 300 from its students, how will they pay such amounts? When compared with government schools, these schools are doing a reasonable good service in terms of teaching and learning.

All schools may not have the same necessary standards. There can be different categories of schools and they can have different criteria for recognition.

There is also the question of achieving 100 per cent enrollment through RTE. Would you say we are anywhere close to that?

Surveys have shown that enrollment has increased in the last three years but do we want enrolment or quality education. RTE is good but it is mostly an input-oriented Act. Nothing is specified about the output. Learning outcomes need to be defined. Schooling up to Class VIII is not the aim, there should be defined parameters to ascertain the child’s performance after he/she completes Class VIII.

What about the fact that no student is failed till Class VIII?

If a child has not achieved certain learning outcomes, both the child and the school have failed. Children will come out of the school system by the millions as not qualified. This way, the accountability of the teacher is also being diluted.

The school should be allowed to retain a child till they meet the learning requirement. We also have to provide an “Elementary School Certificate” to those students who complete education till Class VIII, irrespective of how they have done. It is a measure of “completion of school” and not passing or failing. There has to be some sort of screening.

After Class VIII, these students are introduced to CCE, which is performance oriented and stresses on quality. How do they cope?

The CCE is a step in the right direction but it needs explanation and teacher training. Also, it should now stabilise — every now and then new changes are being made.

The main problem is teacher training. The CBSE has been conducting workshops with parents and the CBSE chairman has directly met parents, but their focus is on awareness. Teachers are aware of CCE and its requirements. But they do not know what activities need to be conducted in class. Inter-curricular approach is missing. If four teachers decide to develop student projects together, they cannot do this as they have not been trained for it. A pool of resources needs to be created for it. Earlier universities were provided funding by the UGC for training school teachers. That has not

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