Suggestion to punish parents -Basant Kumar Mohanty
New Delhi: A sub-committee of the highest advisory body on education has recommended including a provision for punishing parents if they don't send their wards to schools.
A draft report placed before a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (Cabe) on Monday said the Right to Education Act needed to be looked into afresh.
"The provisions of the RTE Act 2009 need to be re-looked as there is no penal provision for parents who do not send their children to school," the report, on the extension of the act to pre-school and secondary education, said.
The RTE Act, which came into effect in April 2010, makes education a fundamental right of every child between six and 14. There is a provision for special training of school dropouts to bring them up on a par with students of the same age.
But the law is silent on any penal provision for school authorities or parents in case their children have not been enrolled or dropouts are not provided age-appropriate education.
The panel, headed by junior HRD minister Satya Pal Singh, recommended universalisation of pre-primary education for children below six.
Under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), children in rural areas go to anganwadi centres where they are involved in some activities. But instructors at such centres are not properly trained in early childhood care and education.
The committee said states need to be encouraged to explore options like integrating pre-primary education with school education, either by opening pre-primary sections in schools or in convergence with the ICDS programme, to make the transition from anganwadi centres to schools easier for children.
The panel suggested that students dropping out at the secondary level should be given skill training or education through open schooling.
Several Cabe members told The Telegraph that the meeting, chaired by human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar, did not discuss the panel's recommendations.
Javadekar, however, told reporters the suggestions were under discussion.
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The Telegraph, 16 January, 2018, https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/suggestion-to-punish-parents-201470?ref=hm-ft-stry-7