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Maharashtra Government Plans to bring a Law to regulate Pre-Primary Education: Minister

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School children, (representational Image). Wikimedia

Mumbai, April 24, 2017: To regulate pre-primary education in the state, the Maharashtra government is planning to bring a law, School Education Minister Vinod Tawde said here today.

He mentioned that the proposed law will deal with three key aspects of fees, academics, and teachers.

As of today, the government has no data with it on the present scenario of the pre-primary education in the state.

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According to the “Statistics of School Education Report of 2010-2011” that was brought out by the Union HRD Ministry, there were 56,145 pre-primary educational institutions having a total enrollment of 23,66,806 students in Maharashtra, mentioned PTI report.

“At present, the government is already working on the draft legislation. The focus of the proposed law will be on aspects like fee control, academics, qualification criteria of teachers and infrastructure provided by the pre-primary schools,” Tawde added.

The legal aspects was also examined by the government so that the law does not fail the scrutiny of the court when implemented.

However, sources in the School Education department said that if the government is in charge of the pre-primary education, then the exchequer will have to bear a financial burden of Rs 1,200 crore by way of grants, mentioned PTI.

In the event of the government regulating the pre-primary section, the schools are bound to seek the government grants, added the sources.

For numerous years now, parents have been up in arms due to the alleged exorbitant fees being charged by the pre-primary schools run by several trusts as well as overall lack of control over academics and other factors.

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The pre-primary sector includes pre-primary classes prior to standard I, kindergarten and playgroups.

The state government at present has no control over these institutions.

Last year in March, the issues of hefty fees and interviews of children and their parents for admission were raised in the state legislature.

A 21-member committee was set up by the previous Congress-led state government under the chairmanship of then School Education Minister Fauzia Khan.

Further, in July 2012, in its report submitted to the government, the panel suggested to enact a law titled “The Maharashtra Pre-Primary Education Act”.

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According to the PTI report, the committee had recommended that the law should ban capitation fees, interviews or tests for children and their parents. It also recommended to make the registration or recognition of all pre-primary schools mandatory.

However, the report was put in the cold storage by the erstwhile government.

According to the Union HRD ministry report of 2010-2011, there were 56,145 pre-primary educational institutions in the state.

The total 23,66,806 enrollment of students included 12,59,699 boys and 11,07,107 girl students. The enrollment of Schedule Caste students then was 3,78,578, whereas the enrollment of Schedule Tribe students was 2,69,412.

When it came to teachers in pre-primary schools, all the schools had 56,145 teachers.

In pre-primary schools, the percentage of trained teachers then was 99 percent in the state and the pupil-to-teacher ratio stood at one teacher per 42 students.

– prepared by Staff writer at NewsGram 

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Lawmakers In Egypt To Submit Request For Constitutional Amendments

Egyptian court had scheduled hearings on a petition by a number of Egyptian citizens demanding that the parliament speaker take steps to introduce constitutional changes that would allow Sissi to seek re-election after his second term in office expires.

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Members of Egypt's parliament convene in Cairo. VOA

A coalition of Egyptian parliamentarians will submit a request for constitutional amendments providing for a second chamber of parliament and the appointment of one or more deputy presidents, state news agency MENA reported on Saturday.

The move follows a separate attempt by a group of ordinary Egyptians to change presidential term limits in the constitution, which was adopted in 2014 after the military overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Morsi following protests against his rule.

Speculation has been rife that the authorities will seek changes to the constitution, which limits a president to two four-year terms in office, since President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi’s re-election in March in a vote against a marginal opponent.

The lawmakers’ proposed amendments will be presented to parliament speaker Ali Abdelaal on Sunday. Any changes need approval by two-thirds of parliament members, followed by a referendum.

FILE - Egyptian Shura Council members meet in the parliament's upper house, April 23, 2013.
Egyptian Shura Council members meet in the parliament’s upper house, April 23, 2013. VOA

MENA said the lawmakers’ proposed changes include restoring the Shura Council, an upper chamber that operated alongside the current 596-member House of Representatives, previously known as the People’s Assembly, until it was canceled in 2014; and the appointment of one deputy or more for the president.

The proposed amendments also include a quota guaranteeing women at least 25 percent of parliament seats, as well as “adequate representation” for youth, farmers, workers and the country’s Christian minority.

There was no word on any proposed changes to the limit on presidential terms, but the head of the “Support Egypt” coalition, which is spearheading the amendments, Abdel-Hadi al-Qassabi, said that parliament members were entitled to present a request to amend any article in the constitution.

melania trump
First Lady Melania Trump meets with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and his wife Entissar Mohameed Amer at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt. VOA

Qassabi said that Article 226 of the constitution allows the president and a fifth of parliament members to propose an amendment to any article of the constitution.

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MENA said in December that an Egyptian court had scheduled hearings on a petition by a number of Egyptian citizens demanding that the parliament speaker take steps to introduce constitutional changes that would allow Sissi to seek re-election after his second term in office expires.

The petitioners argue that Article 140 of the constitution, which sets the term limits, is “unfair to the great Egyptian people” and that eight years gives a president little time to deal with the economic and security challenges facing the country. (VOA)