Rajya Sabha passes bill to include disabled in RTE Act (Lead)

April 24th, 2012 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) A bill to include children with disabilities in the ambit of the Right to Education (RTE) Act was passed by the Rajya Sabha Tuesday.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2010, adds children with disability to the definition of “disadvantaged groups” and will now be a part of the 25 percent reservation offered to these groups.

The Bill also gives children suffering from autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities the benefit of choosing to study from home.

“They will also have the right to home-based education. Parents will have the option to assure home-based education for these children. But it should not become an instrument for schools not wanting to take these children in classrooms. It should just remain an option for parents,” Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal told the Rajya Sabha.

He said the amendment also included one to keep religious institutions out of the RTE Act’s ambit.

Extending support, BJP member Kaptan Singh Solanki said the amendment had made the Bill complete.

“This provision should have been there since the beginning. I believe this legislation is now complete. Hence, we, the Opposition, support and welcome it,” he said.

The Right to Education Act makes it the state’s responsibility to educate all children aged between six and 14.

Sibal said implementing the Act was a greater challenge, and called upon all stakeholders, including parents, social activists, teachers and school management, to join hands with the government and ensure effective implementation of the Bill.

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