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Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education


Title: Further discussion on the motion for consideration of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2012 moved by Shri Kapil Sibal on 08.05.2012  (Discussion Concluded and Bill Passed). 

Date: 09-05-2012

Thank you Madam for giving me this opportunity to put forth my views, my observations on this path-breaking legislation, the RTE which ensures free and compulsory education to all children, and by all children we mean children with disabilities as well.

          I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the hon. Minister for laying the much required emphasis on the differently abled children and their education. After years of struggle and strife by persons working in the disability sector, today we have seen results and we have seen fruition to this and I thank the Minister for the same.

          Madam, I do have some apprehensions which I would like to bring to the notice of the Minister for his consideration. One apprehension, like many other colleagues have pointed out, is regarding the home study, the option of home study.

I know the hon. Minister has already clarified that the option of home study lies with the parents. But, Madam, I want to speak from my personal experience as I have worked with children with disabilities. I worked in a special school and we have tried for years to integrate these children into regular mainstream schools. I must say that with the vision of dedicated teachers and educationists, we were very successful. We were very successful with some hand-holding, with some counselling and coercing to get these children admitted in our neighbourhood mainstream schools and the results were fantastic. We saw these children flourished in every way. When we asked those children, ‘Do you want to come back to your special school?’ All of them said, ‘No Madam, we do not want to come back; we are really happy here.’ This is what the achievement of integrated education is.