GUWAHATI, July 6 � The Right to Education Act is now a reality in Assam with the State Cabinet, on Tuesday, unanimously approving the implementation of the legislation in the State.
Assam is the 19th State in the country to have implemented the Act since it was passed in 2009.
Briefing the media today, State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed that the Act was approved during the Cabinet meeting after almost two hours of discussion.
�As per the Act, the State should have at least one government lower primary school in every one kilometer distance and at least one government middle English school in every three kilometer stretch. Free and compulsory elementary education is what the Act aims at,� Sarma said.
�There are at present 35,000 LP schools and 7,000 ME schools in the State and more schools will be set up after assessing the requirement through satellite mapping and household survey, for which additional persons have also been appointed,� the minister pointed out. He also urged the people to feed the community resource centres if there exist any lacunae in implementation of the Act.
�Moreover, a student would be entitled not only to free education but also free-of-cost textbooks, free uniform and learning materials,� the minister stated quoting the Act.
Sarma also mentioned that even the authorities of the non-government LP and ME schools will also have to get registered with a district level committee which will ensure that at least 25 per cent seats are reserved for the disadvantaged (BPL) students for Class I till Class VIII.
�Be it the private or government schools, each one of them will have to abide by the rule. The State government will reimburse certain amount of money to the schools against the 25 per cent enrolment,� the minister divulged. As per the government estimate, around Rs 2,000 crore would have to be spent for effective implementation of the Act.
It was also decided during the Cabinet meeting that no teacher would henceforth be appointed if he or she has scored less than 50 per cent in the Higher Secondary examination. Besides, the candidate must clear the Teachers� Entrance Test (TET) and would have to be a diploma holder in LP and ME education.
�As the diploma course is of two years, it can be said that there would virtually be no fresh appointment of teachers till 2014,� Sarma said, adding maintaining 30:1 student teacher ratio in all the schools will be must and every school will have at least two teachers.