New Delhi: A day after the Minister of Human Resource Development Pallam Raju announced that there will be no extension of the deadline to comply with the infrastructure norms specified under the Right To Education (RTE) Act, primary school teachers, who have gathered in the capital from across India, will march to Parliament to reiterate their demand to implement the RTE Act and seek scrapping of the public private partnership (PPP) policy in school education.
Organised by the All India Primary Teachers Federation (AIPTF), a teachers union, 40,000 teachers are expected to join the march from Ramlila Maidan to the Parliament today.
Addressing a national convention on status of the implementation of the Right to Education in the Delhi yesterday, S Eswaran, secretary general of AIPTF said, “The PPP policy in school education launched by the central government will not benefit the poor. The government is opening 2500 model schools under this policy. These schools will not be of any relief to children from marginalized sections of society because of high tuition fee and other expenses that will be charged by such schools.”
The Human Resource Development Ministry has announced that from 2012-13, 2500 model schools under the PPP mode will be set up “in blocks which are not educationally backward”.
According to the Ministry, “The selected private entities will develop, design, build and operate these schools for which the Government will contribute to recurring cost on per capita basis for the students sponsored. Maximum 10 per cent of the capital investment in the school shall be provided as infrastructure grant. The initial agreement for such provision of quality education would be for 10 years for each school, which is extendable by mutual consent. The scheme provides for reservation to SCs, STs and OBCs as per the State norms.” (Read full statement here)
Opposing the move to introduce PPP model in school education, Eswaran said, “With the commercialization of school education there will be two sets of schools – schools for the rich and schools for the poor. The former will have the qualified teachers, good infrastructure facilities thus rendering the learning conditions to be excellent.
“On the other hand, government schools will be temples of learning of the poorest of the poor which will have neither qualified teachers nor good infrastructure. The PPP policy will only further the gap between the poor and rich, while the examinations for both will be the same. This is a pity.”
The AIPTF is demanding the scrapping of the introduction of the PPP model in school education and the introduction of a common school system.
Highlighting the crisis of teacher shortage and prevalence of non-qualified teachers in government schools, he said, “Eleven lakh teacher posts are vacant. Besides, about 8.6 lakh teachers, that is 20 per cent of the workforce are either professionally untrained or are under squalified.”
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Updated Date: Apr 04, 2013 11:00:51 IST