Despite demands from state governments, the Centre on Tuesday preferred to stick to its March 31 deadline for schools to implement the Right to Education (RTE) norms.
After the 61st meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), Union Minister for Human Resource Development M M Pallam Raju ruled out the extension of the deadline which ended on Sunday (March 31). However, he said that some states have expressed concerns and wanted an extension.
The HRD minister said: “Going by the consensus in the CABE meeting, as of now we have decided not to extend the deadline for implementation of the RTE Act. We stick by the deadline.” He asked the states to act tough on schools, which have not taken any steps to implement the act. “States have the right to take action against schools, who have not budged an inch, but due procedure has to be followed before initiating action. Each state is aware of which school is acting on it (the RTE). It is left to the discretion of the states as to whether they want to give little bit of time and put pressure on schools or take action,” he added. Pointing out that 90 per cent norms have been met like construction of classrooms, libraries, toilets and physically-challenged friendly environment on campuses, Raju said “it’s a milestone. Although 100 per cent target has not been achieved, we are confident it is not an elusive target. We will accelerate in the coming months.”
He said that recruitment of teachers is still a challenge. Many States, including Haryana, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir, demanded the extension of the deadline and additional funds for implementation of the RTE norms. Some States, including Haryana, demanded for a review of the “no retention” policy.