Goa to increase school hours, says HRD

In accordance with the provisions under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, officials of the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry have asked Goa to increase its school timings. The former was in the state to conduct a workshop for the southern and western states of India on the Act's implementation. At a one-day seminar held at the Goa International Centre at Dona Paula on June 26, ten states and union territories were briefed on the measures to be implemented to bring the RTE into force. Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Dadra Nagar Haveli were among the regions that participated. At the workshop, the three HRD officials took stock of the existing education scenario in the states and union territories and suggested measures to improve the quality of education in the regions.

Goa was asked to appropriately amend the Goa School Education Rules, 1986 to increase school hours in Goa so that they meet the provision of seven and half hours of schooling daily as per the RTE Act. Goa has also been advised to review its own act in a manner that will facilitate the implementation of new requirements in the education sector. The state has been asked to empower village education committees that were formed under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. These have the power to take up civil works of government schools in the area worth upto INR 50,000.