NEW DELHI: With the government planning to bring children studying in madrasas and Vedic schools under the ambit of the Right to Education Act (RTE), students of religious seminaries might soon get benefits such as mid-day meals, free books and uniforms. Special certificates will also be given to children of migrant labourers.
Schools and houses have also been sought to prevent them from dropping out. At a recent meeting of State education secretaries, the problems of students in madrasas and Vedic schools were discussed. They are considered ‘out of school’ as religious seminaries do not come under the RTE ambit.
The meeting was organised following a directive of the Central Advisory Board of Education and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to formulate the recommendations and send them to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD). Recommendations for special certificates to children of migrant labourers have been sent to HRD.
“The recommendations seek a convergence between the Ministries of Human Resource Development and Women and Child Development to address the issues. Special schools and residential facilities for tribal children have also been sought,” sources told Express.
India has about 40,000 madrasas and over 50 Vedic schools. RTE, enacted on August 4, 2009, describes the importance of free and compulsory education for children between six and 14 years. India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right when the Act came into force in 2010.
Recently, complaints emerged against private schools collecting excess fees from students admitted under the Right to Education quota. A complaint was filed against a Bengaluru-based private school, which is forcing the parents of RTE kids to pay excess fee. It has also come to light that several schools across the country are discriminating against children admitted under RTE.