NEW DELHI: The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the Bill to include children with disabilities in the ambit of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. Moving the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2010, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said that it provides children with severe disabilities the right to receive home-based education. He said the parents would have an option to assure home-based education for these children. But the Bill , Sibal said, should not become an instrument for schools not wanting to take these children in classrooms.
Sibal said that the second amendment is that RTE Act shall not apply to two categories of institutions -- Madrasas and Vedic Patsalas. “We wanted to, actually, make sure that those institutions that impart religious instruction do not come within the ambit of this Act. And, this is what the demand of several members of the minority community,” Sibal said.
The Bill adds children with disability in the definition of “disadvantaged groups” and now will be part of the 25 per cent reservation offered to these groups.
According to the Bill, School Management Committees should be formed to prepare school development plan. Cutting across the party lines, members have welcomed the Bill. However, some members expressed concern over the implementation of the Act.
Winding up the debate on the Bill, Sibal assured that government was extremely sensitive to the concerns of the minority community. “Now, under this amendment, even in aided institutions, the management committees will not be governing the minority institutions. They will only have an advisory function,” Sibal said.