New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday rejected the demand of states to provide up to 100% funds for implementing Right to Education Act and asked them to contribute to the national mission as they have surplus funds.
“Several chief ministers have written to me asking for 100% funds or 90%... It is not possible as the Centre has done maximum possible by providing Rs231,000 crore... Now it is for the states to contribute,” human resource development minister Kapil Sibal said in the Lok Sabha.
The states have surplus budgets now, Sibal said during Question Hour, adding, “Moreover, this is not a centre-state issue, it is a national issue. I think efforts should be made by states to implement the RTE.”
Education ministers of many states have expressed willingness to collaborate with the Centre to achieve objectives under the RTE, he added.
Replying to a supplementary, Sibal said many children drop out of schools by the time they reach Vth or VIth standard and described it as an extremely serious issue, which his ministry was examining.
“We have formed management committees with 75% representations from localities. Mothers of every school-going child will be a member of this committee. We are examining the reasons behind drop out,” he said.
Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Raghuvansh Prasad Singh wanted to know government’s plans for children in the 3-6 age group as the RTE plan includes children only in the 6-14 age bracket.
He also raised the issues of shortage of teaching staff and funds in the states.
Sibal then informed the House that the government had convened a meeting of state education ministers in June in which issues relating to recruitment of teachers, redeployment and teachers’ qualifications and training were discussed in keeping with the provisions of RTE Act.
“The government is in constant dialogue with states and stakeholders with regard to implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act,” he said.