Both Punjab and Haryana are yet to notify the rules for the implementation of the Right to Education Act . The Act was adopted by the two states last year on April 1 but even after one year the two states are yet to finalise the rules that will guide the implementation of the Act.
In Punjab,the draft rules have been prepared and are awaiting a go-ahead from the legal department before these can be sent to the Cabinet of ministers for final approval.
The draft rules were sent to the department of finance for approval. The department while giving its sanction to the rules asked that the rules be sent to the personnel and the legal departments also for clearance. We are in the process of getting those clearances, said Punjabs principal secretary education,C Roul.
Once the clearances are done,these rules would be sent to the Cabinet for final approval and these would be ready for implementation. We are expecting that the whole process would be completed by the end of this month, he added.
In Haryana too the draft rules were prepared and posted on the official website of the education department for discussion and comments. We had invited objections and ideas from the general public as also the stakeholders. Now we will be giving a final shape to the draft rules and send these for approvals. We only need an approval from the finance department following which the rules would be sent to the Cabinet, said Haryana principal secretary education,Surina Rajan. She added that the whole process is likely to take about a month.
The RTE rules drafted by both the states more or less follow the provisions suggested by the Centre. These rules provide for the recognition of all unrecognised schools in the state as also provision of minimum standard facilities and equipment that the school would have to maintain in order to be recognized.
While new schools would have to follow the norms laid down in the rules with immediate effect,private schools already running in the states have been given three years to comply with the norms laid down to be recognized. The three-year period begins from April 1,2010 when the Act came into being and not the date of notification of the rules, said Surina Rajan.
Under the RTE Act,every school is expected to admit 25 per cent of its total student strength from among the economically weaker families. In Punjab,while 75 per cent of the rest of the students can be admitted from anywhere through a lottery system the students from the weaker sections would be admitted only from the area defined as neighbourhood.
The rules also lay down that governments would ensure that a child belonging to a weaker section and a child belonging to disadvantaged group is not segregated or discriminated against.