The Act provides that every child between the age of six and fourteen shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till the completion of elementary education, that is up to class eight. If a child is not admitted to school at the age of six he or she can seek admission even later on in a class appropriate to his/ her age, and will be entitled to free training to ensure that he is at par with his class. No child can be denied admission, expelled or held back before completing elementary education, and will continue to get free education even beyond the age of fourteen if he does not complete elementary education within that age.
What are the respective obligations of the Centre, States, local governments, schools and parents under the Act ?
The Central Government shall develop a framework of national curriculum , enforce standards for training of teachers and provide necessary technical support and resources to the State Government for promoting innovations, researches, planning and capacity building.
The State and local Governments shall ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by every child of he age of six to fourteen years; ensure availability of a neighbourhood school , ensure that the children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged groups are not discriminated against , provide infrastructure including school building, teaching staff and learning equipment; ensure good quality elementary education, provide training for teachers, and monitor the working of schools.
While free education would be provided by government schools, even private schools and special category schools have to provide 25 percent reservation for economically disadvantaged communities in admission to Class One .No school can charge any capitation fee or adopt any screening procedure for parents/child. The former can attract a fine of upto ten times the capitation fee, and the later Rs 25,000/- for first contravention and Rs 50,000 for subsequent contraventions. No School is to be established without obtaining certificate of recognition from an authority as prescribed. Schools will have to satisfy norms and standards specified under the Act.
How will the functioning of schools be monitored ?
What are the provisions for improving quality of teaching in schools ?
Who will determine the curriculum and evaluation procedure for elementary education ?
This will be laid down by an academic authority to be specified by the appropriate Government, in conformity with the values enshrined in the Constitution and will focus on all round development of the child, building up his knowledge, potential and talent, full physical and mental development and making him free of fear, trauma and anxiety . No child shall be required to pass any Board examination till completion of elementary education and every child completing his elementary education shall be awarded a certificate.
How are grievances to be redressed under the Act ?
The National/ State Commission for Protection of Child Rights constituted under provisions of the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 shall, in addition to their other functions, also examine and review the safeguards for rights provided under this Act and recommend measures for their effective implementation and inquire into complaints relating to child's right to free and compulsory education. Any person having any grievance relating to the right of a child under this Act may make a written complaint to the local authority having jurisdiction. The local authority shall decide the matter as early as possible after affording a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the parties concerned. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the local authority may prefer an appeal to the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
What would be the function of the proposed National Advisory Council ?