Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Govt bans tests, interviews for primary school admissions

Private Schools To Reserve 25% For Poor Students, Say State’s RTE Rules
Ahmedabad: Primary schools will not be allowed to interview children or their parents for admissions from the new academic session beginning June this year. Schools will have to take in children on first-come-first-served basis or by draw of lots. Primary education will work on a whole new set of rules from this academic year after the Gujarat government put out a notification to enforce the right of children to free and compulsory education act, 2009. The new rules apply to all school boards, including state CBSE, ISCE and others.
   Private schools will have to reserve 25 per cent of their seats for underprivileged children in primary sections. This is aimed at integrating poor students into the mainstream. “All the parents should be given admission forms without any questions. Any form of capitation fee is also prohibited,” the notification of February 18 says. The rule wants school to declare under what categories students are getting admissions.
   State education secretary R P Gupta said the notification to implement right to education act will bring sweeping reforms in the schools. “Schools found violating any of the admission rules will be fined Rs 25,000 for the first time and Rs 50,000 thereafter,” said Gupta.


Teachers have to compulsorily put in 8 hours daily at school. Earlier, they spent 6 hours Complete ban on corporal punishment or mental harassment of students. Rule breakers will face disciplinary action School teachers banned from taking tuition

Promote all    
From now on, schools will have to promote children even if they failed primary sections. Schools cannot use the performance of children in a school exam against them to make them repeat a year. The state education department notification recommends a consistent and overall evaluation of the child, instead of exams as a parameter. “The performance of a student in exams indicates what the school and the teacher should do better to improve the student,” the notification says.

Work hours for primary school teachers increased from 6 to 8
Extra Hours Will Be Used To Check Homework & Plan For Next Day’s Teaching

Ahmedabad: Teachers in all primary schools, including government and private schools of all the boards, will have to mandatorily put in eight hours at work. Currently, they work for nearly six hours.
   The increase in the working hours has been laid out in the notification issued by the state education department implementing `The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009’ from June this year.
   The notification says that teachers teaching in class 1-5 are required to complete 800 hours of work in 200 teaching days. Those teaching in class 6-8 will be required to complete 1,000 hours of work and 220 academic days.
   The teachers will put in eight hours of work on weekdays from Monday to Friday and five hours on Saturday.
   Education secretary RP Gupta said that the hours of work have been increased as per the act ratified by the parliament. The extra hours will be used by the teachers to check homework, workbooks as well plan for the next day’s teaching.
   This is expected to improve the quality of teaching as the teachers will get specific hours for checking home-work and planning without eating into the teaching hours.
   Chandu Joshi of the Gujarat State Primary Teachers Association (GSPTA) said that the directive is likely to impact personal-professional balance that the teachers strike. “Nearly 60 per cent of the teachers in all schools are women who prefer this profession due to the working hours which allow them to be home by afternoon to take care of the family as well. This directive will directly impact the work-life balance of these teachers and is likely to create problems in retaining and hiring teachers especially women”, Joshi said.
Greater responsibility, restrictions too The notification has put not only more responsibility on teachers in terms of extra hours at work, the teachers are now also required to stay away from taking tuitions or any other educational activities outside school for monetary gain. “Teachers are prohibitted from taking tuitions as well as causing physical harm or mental harassment to the students. Disciplinary action will be taken against those found violating the norms”, the notification states. Teachers have been prohibited from both taking tuitions and corporal punishment through earlier state rules as well, but the same had hardly been implemented. “Implementation of the Act is going to be strict”, officials warned.

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