Chandigarh, Nov 11 – The biggest ever social campaign in the history of India known as “shiksha ka haq” (Right to Education) was launched by Lok Sabha Speaker Mrs Meira Kumar, Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister Mr Kapil Sibal and Haryana Chief Minister Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda at Nuh today as the nation celebrated birth anniversary of India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, which is observed as National Education Day. Also, it was revealed on this occasion by Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda that with a view to promote teaching of Urdu in Mewat, 550 teachers of Urdu language would be recruited and a separate cadre of teachers was being made for Mewat.
The implementation of Right To Education (RTE) will ensure free and compulsory education to the students between the age of 6 to 14 years that is upto eighth standard in the country. Under this, not only the fee will be waived of but the students would also get uniform, books and lunch free of cost in the schools and the government would bear the expenses.
While addressing the well attended gathering at the ground of Mewat Model School, Mrs Meira Kumar said that the campaign aims at generating awareness among the masses about the importance of education. The message of free and compulsory education reaches every household and every child so that the children in the age of 6 to 14 years receive eight years of meaningful education and no child is deprived of education. She said that the names of all children should be enrolled in schools and no child should work as labourer. She said that Mewat has to become a harbinger of a social transformation through education. She said that a period of three years was fixed for meeting the infrastructural requirements in the schools as per the RTE Act, out of which one-and-a-half years’ time has already elapsed.
She congratulated Haryana for having implemented the RTE and hoped that other states would also do the needfull in the remaining period of one-and-a-half year. She also pointed out the ill effects of illiteracy and said that when the family is in distress, it is the girl child who is withdrawn from the school and the male child is facilitated. In today’s world there is no work or job which a boy can do and the girls can’t. Boys and girls are equal, there is no difference between the two, Mrs Meira Kumar asserted. Earlier, the Union Human Resources Development Minister Mr Kapil Sibbal said that only passing an Act in the Parliament was not enough, the message should percolate down to every child that it is his or her right to receive free and compulsory education upto eighth standard, that’s why the nation-wide campaign has been launched today. He said that everybody including teachers, children, panchayats, State government, Central government and the School Management Committees (SMC) should contribute in making the campaign a success. The SMC would be looking after all affairs ranging from management to providing of facilities.
It is the duty of whole society to ensure that no child is left out of school and when the future of children is secure, the future of the nation would be much brighter. He said that the government did not want that any child is deprived of receiving education due to unavailability of funds. The aim is to make every child a good citizen of the country. He said that not only the students, the rights of teachers were also looked after in the RTE. For example, he said that RTE provides that the teacher- student ratio should be 1 : 30 and there should be a class room for every class. It ensures proper sports facilities, period for games, separate toilets for boys and girls in schools and that the teachers should be qualified. For the unqualified teachers, training classes would be organized, Mr Sibbal said. He praised Haryana Chief Minister for getting refunded Rs 17 crore to the students of poor families who had deposited the fee before implementation of RTE in the state. The Haryana Chief Minister Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda highlighted the steps taken to bring a qualitative change in the education system in the state. He said that now there were 23 universities in the state whereas in 2004-05, their number was only seven. He said that monthly scholarshilps from Rs 75 to 400 were being given to 16. 70 lakh students belonging to SC, BCA and BPL in the state. He said that Haryana has already implemented RTE. Mr Hooda also honoured master Salman Ali of Mewat by presenting a cheque of Rs 21 lakh to him. Salman Ali was runners up in the ‘ Sare Gama Pa – Little Champs’ programme of Zee TV. Mr Hooda also announced to give Rs 2.51 lakh for the students who performed in today’s programme.
The Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development Dr D. Purandeshwari read out the Prime Minister’s letter which was addressed to the students. The Prime Minister had stressed upon attending school by every child and assured that adequate facilities would be provided in the schools. In the programme, those 36 villages of district Mewat were honoured whose 100 per cent children were enrolled in schools during the one month’s ‘ Dastak-A-Taleem’ programme implemented in the district.
The campaign was launched in the presence of Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Dr D. Purandeshwari, Haryana Education Minister Mrs Geeta Bhukal, President of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee Mr Phool Chand Mullana, MLAs Aftab Ahmed and Mr Naresh Sharma. Ms Meira Kumar, Mr Kapil Sibal, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Mrs Geeta Bhukkal lighted the traditional lamp to begin the campaign and also released a booklet and posters highlighting the main features of the RTE. All the speakers paid tributes to India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and said that he was in favour of providing compulsory elementary education to all the students so that they became good citizens of the country who would take the nation to new heights.
On the occasion, Union Secretary Higher Education Ms Vibha Puri Das, Secretary School Education and Literacy Mrs Anshu Vyas, Deputy Commissioner Mewat, Balraj Mor, Superintendent of Police, Yogender Singh Nehra, Chairperson Zila Parishad Mrs Hazra Begum, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary Education Haryana Mrs Surina Rajan, Director General Secondary Education Haryana Vijayender Singh and Director Elementary Education Haryana Dr Abhey Singh Yadav were also present.