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Schools to have 30 to 35 students in a division

Dec 2013 Source: Times of India

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The Maharashtra State Education department notified that from the academic year 2014 – 2015 only 30 students will be accommodated in a division for classes 1 to 5 and the strength of 35 students in a division for classes 6 to 8. This is in order to comply with the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act.

As of now, about 60 to 70 students are enrolled in one division. Extra teachers will be appointed by the government where the need arises.

Mahavir Mane, director of primary education said, "The rule will initially be implemented in schools run by the local self-government bodies. Private government schools will be incorporated later on. The state government will appoint teachers based on the number of divisions. Now, every 30 students will get one teacher, so as to comply with the RTE norms." 

"If the1:30 teacher-student ratio for class I to V and 1:35 ratio for class VI to VIII is implemented in the state, schools will have to provide additional classrooms. Most of the institutions are ready to provide these classrooms if the government appoints more teachers," said Vijay Naval Patil, president of the state Educational Institutions Association. Students will be allocated seats in other nearby schools that have vacancies if the school is unable to provide extra class rooms to accommodate students.

A state-wide inspection was conducted in 2011 to identify inflated student intake. The 2011 inspection found some schools in the state to have extra teachers. Mane said, "These teachers will now heave a sigh of relief, as they will be accommodated in schools where there is a shortage." Also, schools that have more than 150 enrolments for one class will have to appoint an independent principal for that section. "In several schools, the principal is usually appointed for classes I to X. However, as per the new rules, primary and upper primary section must have separate principals if the enrolment crosses 150 students in one class," Mane said. After accommodating the extra teachers found in the inspections, if required, the state government will carry out recruitments through the teachers' eligibility test (TET) conducted recently.

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