November 16th, 2011
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Compulsory education to all kids

right-to-educationChennai: The Tamilnadu government has notified the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009, which provides for free and compulsory education to all children aged between 6 and 14 years, a year after the Central Act came into force. While the notification was published in the Government gazette dated 12 November, the rules were displayed in the public domain ( on Tuesday.

The School Education Department said the draft guidelines had been prepared on the lines of model guidelines issued by Ministry of Human Resource and Development which has been approved by the State government. The Tamilnadu Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011 has instructed that unaided private schools should not discriminate against children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group. Child belonging to disadvantaged group means a child who is an orphan, or affected with HIV or a transgender or child of a scavenger.

The Central Act defines such children as those from SC and ST communities among others. A child from a weaker section, according to the State government notification, means the ward of persons or guardians whose annual income is lower than Rs two lakh only. The unaided schools shall ensure that children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group admitted in pursuance of relevant clauses of the Central act ‘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 other children,’ it said.

Similarly, no discrimination of children should be done in any manner pertaining to entitlements and facilities such as textbooks, uniforms, library and information, communication and technology facilities, extra-curricular and sports. Further, the area of limits of neighbourhood within which a school shall be established by the State government was one km for students of classes I-V and a distance of three km for those from Classes VI-VIII.

At least 20 States have already notified their draft rules, including Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Delhi. The notification comes close on the heels of the Union Human Resources Minister Kapil Sibal’s comments in October asking States to notify the rules in order to implement the act, as non implementation would be a ‘historic failure’.


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