New Delhi:  Emphasising on the need for greater resources for effective implementation of Right to Education Act (RTE), the state governments have demanded the Centre to grant them complete autonomy in spending the funds.

The demand was raised during the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) meeting chaired by Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal. The meeting was held to chart a road map on educational reforms such as free and compulsory education up to class X, to check unfair practices in private schools and to frame a National Policy for professional education.

Voicing for a change in the funding norms for implementing RTE, Bihar HRD minister KP Sahi said, “The Centre should stop nano management of funds and allow the states to spend the amount on its own. The states are ready to give every detail of the expenditure.”

“The Centre’s decision of extending RTE from class VIII to class X is a welcome move, however, the Centre should provide funds to meet the expense for such extension,” Shahi added while suggesting that the Centre must hike its contribution in implementing RTE from 65 to 90 percent.

“An alternative should be devised to check unfair practices in schools, but it should be flexible for running the school properly, failing which every individual will approach courts for trivial issues,” Shahi said while highlighting the importance of monitoring the functioning of private schools.

On this, Sibal said, “There will not be regulators to monitors the schools. Schools can upload all their details on the websites and in case of any anomaly action will be taken.”

The education minister of Jharkhand agreed to extend the free and compulsory education to class X, however, he asked the Centre to do a reality check before it and evaluate the outcome of the RTE implemented till class VIII.

Legislation for checking irregularities

Haryana government stressed for the need to check unfair practices in private schools such as charging exorbitant fees, admission through non-transparent processes and underpayment to teachers.

It also suggested for the provision of stern action against the schools involved in unfair activities.

However, the UP government expressed displeasure over the Centre’s inability to provide funds. “The Union Government is not providing the money which the state is bound to get for promoting education. In the wake of the implementation of Sixth Pay Commission, the state government has already spend Rs 800 crore, the rest of the proposal is pending at the University Grant Commission (UGC),” said UP Education Minister, Rakesh Dhar Tripathi adding that there is acute shortage of resources in the state.

JPN/Bureau