New Delhi: Parliament on Wednesday passed a Bill that makes children with disabilities eligible for free and compulsory education under the Right to Education Act in all schools.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, passed by the Rajya Sabha on April 24, also exempts madarsas and Vedic pathshalas, which impart religious teachings, from the Right to Education Act.
Another amendment makes it clear that school management committees in aided minority schools would function only in an advisory capacity and would not be required to prepare the school development plans.
However, after a number of representations from members, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said he would set up a Committee to formulate the guidelines for deciding the cases in which home-based education would be imparted for children with disabilities.
Several members, including Supriya Sule (NCP) and Priya Dutt (Cong), were of the opinion that home-based education will increase the feeling of loneliness among children with disabilities. They said such children should be encouraged to get out of their homes for study in schools.
The amendment was necessitates as the RTE Act does not include children with disabilities under `child belonging to the disadvantaged group` category.
The amendment extends the right to free and compulsory education to children with cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism and multiple disabilities.