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The Union Cabinet Wednesday approved the proposal to extend the deadline for teacher training till 2019 under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The decision was taken at the behest of several states, which were requesting an extension, ever since the first deadline under the RTE Act, 2009, expired in March 2015. As first reported by The Indian Express, the HRD Ministry had circulated the Cabinet note on October 10, 2016.
The RTE Act guarantees free and compulsory education to all children aged between six and 14. Section 23 of the law currently mandates that all government school teachers should possess minimum qualifications laid down by National Council of Teacher Education. Those who weren’t qualified had time till March 31, 2015, to complete the training. However, once this deadline expired, hiring of teachers came to a halt.
“Several state governments have reported that out of a total number of 66.41 lakh teachers at the elementary level, 11.00 lakh are still untrained (of this, 5.12 lakh are in Government and Aided Schools and 5.98 lakh are in private schools). In order to ensure that all teachers, in position as on 31st March, 2015, acquire the minimum qualifications prescribed by the academic authority, it is necessary to carry out appropriate amendment in the RTE Act, 2009 to extend the period for such training for four years up to 31st March, 2019,” states the government’s press release.