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Workshop on Right to Education Bill

Staff Reporter

Its positive aspects and shortcomings to be discussed

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Science Forum will organise a two-day workshop in the city to discuss the draft of the Right to Education Bill that is likely to come up in the winter session of Parliament.

The workshop, to be held on November 6 and 7 will discuss both positive aspects and shortcomings of the Bill. Educationists, NGO representatives, activists and government officials will participate.

"There is a lack of clarity - even among educators - on the Right to Education Bill and the National Curriculum Framework," said R. Ramanujam president of the forum. The workshop is part of a campaign for better awareness on aspects such as compulsory education, standards of quality and privatisation. One of the points to be debated is the immunity offered by the Bill to private and unaided schools in the country. "Why is that regulations in the Bill cover only Government and aided schools?" Mr. Ramanujam asked. Another point of discussion will be the concept of neighbourhood schools.

C. Ramalingam, secretary of the forum said that positive points in the Bill include abolition of corporeal punishment and introduction of syllabus closely linked to work skills for the future. However, the Bill lacks teeth as it does not provide for legal action against government authorities if regulations are violated, he noted. Recommendations from the workshop would be presented to government officials and members of Parliament.

Speakers at the workshop are education experts including Vasanthi Devi, Anita Kaul, S.S. Rajagopalan, Arvind Kumar and V.B. Athreya. The venue of the two-day workshop is Gandhimathi Kalyana Mandapam on North Boag Road. A public meeting on the same subject will also be held at the German Hall in North Boag Road between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on November 7.

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