Need to focus on learning to achieve RTE goals: UNICEF

April 26, 2014

With learning outcome remaining an area of concern even after the implementation of Right to Education, UNICEF has suggested a shift in focus towards learning aspect from right to access to achieve RTE goals.
“We need to shift the focus from ‘right of access to education’ towards ‘right to learn’ to achieve the promise of RTE and quality education with equity for all girls and boys,” chief of Education, UNICEF (India), Urmila Sarkar said.

Her statement assumes significance in the light of various studies highlighting less than anticipated learning outcomes in classrooms across the country.

Speaking at a roundtable on RTE Act in New Delhi on April 15, participants favoured inclusion of pre-school and secondary education in the Act.

The panel discussion also pointed out several scalable examples in states and the way forward to meet challenges on ground.

For example, to tackle the gap in teacher recruitment and the large number of untrained teachers, Bihar has set an example by initiating training of untrained teachers through an innovative two-year distance education program.

In 27 districts across Bihar, 10,800 teachers have been trained and teacher attendance rates have gone up by an impressive 90 percent, they said.

The roundtable was an opportunity to highlight significant initiatives undertaken and reflect on ways to address challenges as well as identify innovative solutions that show the way forward.

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