Quality Education in Government Schools
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 has been enacted for universalization of elementary education i.e for classes I to VIII across the country. The RTE Act, 2009 in its Schedule lays down pupil teacher ratio (PTR) for both primary and upper primary schools. At primary level the PTR should be 30:1 and at the upper primary level it should be 35:1. The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) framework stipulates that the PTR at secondary level should be 30:1.
As per Unified District Information System For Education (UDISE) 2015-16 (Provisional), the PTR at national level for elementary schools is 24:1 and for secondary schools it is 27:1. The PTR in most of the States and UTs is found to be satisfactory. However, since some schools have lesser number of teachers than the required PTR, it is clear that while there is sufficient number of teachers, the main issue is of their optimum deployment in schools.
The recruitment, service conditions and deployment of teachers are primarily in the domain of the State Governments and UT Administrations. However, the Central Government through the flagship programmes of Sarva Shiksa Abhiyan (SSA) at elementary level and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) at secondary level provides assistance to the State Governments and UTs for additional teachers to maintain appropriate Pupil Teacher Ratio as per the prescribed norms for various levels of schooling.
The Central Government has been consistently pursuing the matter of expeditious recruitment and redeployment of teachers with the States and UTs at various fora. Advisories on this issue have also been issued to States and UTs from time to time.
Provision for in-service teacher training is an integral component of both the SSA and RMSA programmes. Under SSA, there is provision of refresher residential or non-residential in-service training of 10 days for all teachers each year at Block Resource Centre (BRC) level and upto 10 days at Cluster Resource Centre ( CRC) level, residential Induction training for newly recruited teachers for 30 days and training of untrained teachers to enable them to acquire professional qualifications. The training provided to teachers is subject specific and need based. The training modules are developed by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) in the State and the training is imparted through a cascade model of the State level Key Resource Persons training master trainers at district level who then train teachers at Block and Cluster level. The training content for Block level training is focused on concepts and methodology related to the programmes focused on improving learning outcomes. The Cluster level is a follow-up of the Block level training to help address issues that the teachers may be facing in their classroom practice.
Under RMSA, there is a provision of 10 days of in service teacher training, including 05 days of subject specific training and for the remaining 05 days training on ICT Component, Inclusive Education, Gender Sensitization and Adolescent Education is provided. Under both SSA and RMSA, the focus is to give subject specific, need based and relevant in service teacher training to both elementary and secondary teachers for their professional development.
Additionally, Schedule of Norms and Standards for a school of the RTE Act, 2009 mandates for 200 working days at primary level and 220 working days at upper primary level. As per UDISE 2015-16 (provisional) at national level, schools were open for an average of 224 days at primary level and 223 days at upper primary level.
Section 24 of the RTE Act, 2009 mandates that a teacher appointed under sub-section (1) of the Section 23 shall perform the following duties, namely (a) maintain regularity and punctuality in attending school and (b) complete entire curriculum within specified time. The steps taken by the Central Government to improve teachers’ attendance include, inter alia, monitoring teachers’ attendance through School Management Committees/School Management Development Committees/Block Resource Centres/Clusters Resource Centres and encouraging States and UTs to use digital technology like installation of Bio-metric attendance system in schools.
This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Shri Upendra Kushwaha today in a written reply to a Lok Sabha question.