The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has been mandated to monitor the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
A special division within the panel will undertake this task in the coming months and a special toll-free helpline to register complaints will be set up.
The NCPCR has invited all civil society groups, students, teachers, administrators, artists, government officials, legislators and members of the judiciary apart from all other stakeholders to join hands and work together to build a movement to ensure that every child of this country is in school and gets at least 8 years of quality education.
The Right to Education Act, 2009 — that became effective from Thursday — makes elementary education a fundamental right under Article 21 (A) of the Constitution. Every child in the age group of 6-14 will be provided elementary education in the age-appropriate classroom in the vicinity of his/her neighbourhood. Any cost that prevents a child from accessing school will be borne by the State which shall have the responsibility of enrolling the child as well as ensuring attendance and completion of eight years of schooling. No child will be denied admission for want of documents, no child will be turned away if the admission cycle in the school is over and no child will be asked to take an admission test.
Into the mainstream
Children with disabilities will also be educated in the mainstream schools. Further, all private schools shall be required to enrol children from weaker sections and disadvantaged communities in their incoming class to the extent of 25 per cent of their enrolment, by simple random selection. No seats in this quota will be left vacant. These children will be treated on a par with all other children in the school and subsidised by the State at the rate of average per learner costs in the government schools.
All schools will have to follow norms and standards laid out in the Act and all private schools will have to apply for recognition, failing which they will be penalised to the tune of Rs. 1 lakh and if they still continue to function, they will be liable to pay Rs. 10,000 per day as fine.