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Quality of elementary education to be ensured through appropriate learning levels under RTE Act: Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha
According to the information given by the Minister of State (HRD), Upendra Kushwaha in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 lays down the duties of the appropriate government and the local authority to ensure that good quality elementary education conforming to norms and standards is provided, curriculum and courses of study are prescribed in a timely manner, and teachers are trained.

In order to focus on quality education, the Central RTE Rules have been amended on 20th February, 2017 to include reference on class-wise, subject-wise Learning Outcomes.

"The Learning Outcomes for each class in Languages (Hindi, English and Urdu), Mathematics, Environmental Studies, Science and Social Science up to the elementary stage have, accordingly, been finalised and shared with all States and UTs. These would serve as a guideline for States and UTs to ensure that all children acquire appropriate learning level," sated an official release.

The release further stated that that under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Sarva Shiskha Abhiyan (SSA), the State Governments and UT Administrations were being supported on several interventions to improve teaching standards.

The quality will be ensured through measures such as regular in-service teachers' training, induction training for newly recruited teachers, training of all untrained teachers to acquire professional qualifications through Open Distance Learning (ODL) mode, recruitment of additional teachers for improving pupil-teacher ratios, academic support for teachers through block and cluster resource centres, continuous and comprehensive evaluation system to equip the teacher to measure pupil performance and provide remedial action wherever required, and teacher and school grants for development of appropriate teaching-learning materials, etc., the Parliament was informed.

Reacting to the information, Jaipur-based educator Prabha Kishore said the it would be better that the quality of teachers preparation should be ensured and monitored along with legal course of action on them if children's right to quality is violated by the teachers, schools and officers who are presiding over the system.

I feel that there is contradiction in some recent announcements, namely, restoring common examination for Classes V and VII to strike the fear of failure to improve learning outcomes; and viewing quality in terms of quality inputs and quality processes. This contradiction is likely to promote tuitions and coaching classes at elementary school level by teachers.

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