New Delhi: With two years into the RTE and 32 states having notified the rules, government on Saturday said they should now also focus on strict implementation of provisions against corporal punishment and detention and initiate curricular reforms.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal asserted that improving quality is critical if the objective of the Right to Education (RTE) is to be fulfilled even as he noted a decline in dropout rates in states like Bihar where it has come down to about seven percent following RTE.

"We have issued advisory to the state education ministers to initiate curriculum reforms as it is a matter of concern that not much attention is being paid to improve quality," the
Minister told reporters here.

He said more than 31 states have notified academic authority as per RTE provisions which would look into the curriculum reforms process.

While RTE has seen an increased allocation of Rs 25,000 crore for the 2012-13 fiscal, up from Rs 13,000 crore, Sibal said the states should take steps to hasten the process of teachers’ appointment as the Centre has already sanctioned six lakh posts.

He said as against mandated teacher student ratio of 30:1, 43 per cent primary schools have over 40 children per one teacher.

With 4.96 lakh classrooms having been sanctioned under Sarva Sikshya Abhiyan -- which is being aligned with RTE, Sibal asked the state to put "all RTE provisions into practice in schools including prohibition of corporal punishment, detention and expulsion".

Listing out steps which the states should ensure for efficient implementation of RTE, the HRD Minister said textbooks and uniforms should be provided at the beginning of the academic year along with school related grants like teacher grant, maintenance grants.

Besides, "implement and monitor admission of children from disadvantaged groups and weaker sections as per the RTE provision," he said.

States, he said, should put in place a grievance redressal mechanism in each school for which the Ministry has already issued an advisory.

Harping on the need for revising curriculum, Sibal said review of teacher training modules should also be ensured by the states so that they conform to the revised syllabi.

While he observed the outcome of RTE would be felt in about three years from now, the Minister said it is already showing some positive results as student accessibility to schools has increased and there is reducton in drop our rates.

"The dropout rate in Bihar has declined to seven per cent, in Jharkhand it has come down to five per cent, in Nagaland to about 6 per and in Uttar Pradesh, it has come down to about
5.5 per cent decline. However in some states, the drop out rate has increased like in Harayana in Mizoram. We have to look into this," he said.

He hoped the remaining two states of Goa and Karnataka will notify the RTE rules soon, pending which they would also start receiving the central grants.

(Agencies)