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Updated: December 4, 2009 17:02 IST

Sibal for making secondary education a right of every child

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A file photo of Kapil SIbal.
The Hindu
A file photo of Kapil SIbal.

After elementary education, the government aims to make secondary education a right of every child in the country in the next five years, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said on Friday.

The Parliament passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill in the last session, making education a fundamental right of every child in the age group of six to 14 years.

“Hopefully by 2013 or 2015, we should make free and compulsory education a right at secondary stage also,” the minister said at the ICC Regional CEO Forum on ‘Globalisation and Inclusive Growth’

The government is in the process of framing the rules for Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act.

The rules will be circulated among states which can adopt them after making suitable changes. The government has estimated that implementing the Act would cost about Rs. 1.71 lakh crore in the next five years.

The Right to Education Act will give an estimated 160 million children, who are presently out of school, access to quality education, he said.

Mr. Sibal said the government wants to increase the enrolment rate in higher education from 12.4 per cent at present to around 30 per cent by 2020. If the target is achieved, there will be about 40 million additional students in the higher education sector.

At present, there are 480 universities and 22,000 colleges for higher studies in India. The country will need 27,000 additional institutions of higher learning to increase the Gross Enrolment Rate (GER). There will be need for 14,000 general colleges, 12,775 professional institutes and 269 universities.

Sibal also harped on skill development programmes as only five per cent of the workforce in the country have got some skill certification.

About 13 million people join the labour force every year. However, only two million of them have got skill training, he said

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