Paving the way for implementation of Right To Education Act, the Centre has approved a set of model rules, which prescribe taking up of household surveys and neighbourhood school mapping by authorities to ensure that all children are sent to school.

The Model Rules for the Act have been approved by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and elaborate on responsibilities of state governments, local authorities, school managements, parents and teachers for the purpose.

The rules were circulated to state education secretaries at a conference here on Friday, a ministry official said.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, which was passed by Parliament in August last year, provides for free and compulsory education as a fundamental right of every child in the 6-14 age group and earmarks 25 per cent seats to children from economically weaker sections in private schools.

The rules say that the state governments or local authorities will determine the neighbourhood schools by undertaking school mapping. Such agencies shall ensure that no child is subjected to caste, class, religious or gender abuse in the school.

The local authority will conduct a household survey and maintain a record of all children in its jurisdiction. The record will contain detailed information about the child and his/her parents, and will specify whether the child belongs to the weaker section or disadvantaged group or having any disability.

The state government or local authorities will identify children with disabilities and children from disadvantaged groups every year.

Unaided and private schools shall ensure that children from weaker sections and disadvantaged groups shall not be segregated from the other children in the classrooms nor shall their classes be held at places and timings different from the classes held for the other children.

Such children shall not be discriminated from the rest of the children in any manner pertaining to entitlements and facilities like text books, uniforms, library, ICT facilities, extra-curricular activities and sports, the rules said.

The school management committee or the local authority will identify the drop-out or out of school children above six years of age, and admit them in classes appropriate to their age after giving special training.

The duration of the training should be for three months and can be extended to two years. After admission, these children will continue to get special attention by teachers for their successful integration into the class “academically and emotionally”, the rules say.

The state government and local authorities will establish primary schools within walking distance of one km of the neighbourhood. In case of children for Class VI to VIII, the school should be within a walking distance of three km of the neighbourhood

The private schools will reserve 25 per cent seats for poor children and provide free education to them. The government will reimburse cost according to the per-child expenditure fixed by it.

The rules prescribe a formula to calculate the per-child expenditure. The annual recurring expenditure incurred by the state government on elementary education in respect of all schools established, owned or controlled by it or by the local authority, divided by the total number of children enrolled in all such schools, shall be the per-child expenditure.

In the absence of a school in small hamlets, the state government shall make adequate arrangement like free transportation and residential facilities. For physically challenged, the state government will make arrangement for their smooth transport and schooling.

The states will now prepare their own rules based on these Model Rules for implementation of the Act.