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Rajasthan’s education guidelines irk NCPCR

File photo for representational purpose only.   | Photo Credit: N. Sridharan

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has pulled up the Rajasthan government for its new guidelines on elementary education that “violate” the Right to Education Act of 2009 and deny children from economically weaker sections the right to free education in nursery classes.

“In light of above, NCPCR seeks your comments on the matter within 7 days. NCPCR recommends that these Guidelines may be re-examined in light of the RTE Act, 2009 and necessary changes be made,” chairperson of the NCPCR Priyank Kanoongo wrote to the Secretary of the Department of School Education of Rajasthan on July 9.

Mr. Kanoongo also urged the State government to issue directions to ensure there was no loss of education to children due to the “faulty” guidelines.

The Rajasthan government’s Department of School Education guidelines issued earlier this month state that admissions to private schools under the RTE Act, 2009, for the 2020-21 academic year will take place only from class 1 or above, and that the law’s provisions will not be applicable for pre-schoolers. This is in contravention of the RTE Act 2009, which states that private schools will have to admit, “to the extent of at least twenty five per cent of the strength of that class, children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighbourhood and provide free and compulsory education till its completion.”

The guidelines also violate the RTE Act insofar as they recommend the age of admission to be “5 years or above but less than 7 years as of 31st March 2020.” However, under the Central law there is no such restriction and a “male or female child of the age of six to fourteen years” can seek admission.

Under the RTE Act, 2009, the NCPCR can inquire into complaints about violation of the law and can summon an individual, demand evidence, seek a magisterial enquiry as well as file a writ petition in the High Court or Supreme Court. It can also approach the government concerned for prosecution of the offender and recommend interim relief to those affected.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 8:56:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rajasthans-education-guidelines-irk-ncpcr/article32045698.ece

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