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HC asks AG – have rules been framed, if not, why?

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Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009

Srinagar September 09: The High Court today directed the Advocate General (AG) to seek instructions and file response regarding framing of rules under right of children to free and compulsory education.

Passing its orders on a public interest litigation (PIL), the Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Puneet Gupta directed the advocate general of the union territory to seek instructions and to file response if any rules under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 have been framed.

The judges directed the advocate general to file compliance report if the rules have been framed and notified under the Act. They further directed that if the rules have not been framed and notified the reasons thereof should be explained.

The time frame, within which the respondents propose to take necessary action, should be put in plain words before the next date of hearing, the bench directed.

The PIL had also prayed for a direction commanding the respondents to file report disclosing a list of aided and unaided private schools in Jammu and Kashmir.

It also sought details the about the amount of aid provided to the private schools and the proportion of children being provided free education in these schools since the enforcement of the relevant Act .

A number of children from rural areas in the Union Territory continue to be poor in terms of getting basic education, annual status of education rural (ASER) children data has revealed.

According to the data Anganwari centers are still the preferred choice for parents to send their children for early education. Around 56.6 per cent of three-year-old children are enrolled in different anganwadi centres across J&K.

This is followed by private LKG/UKG 12 per cent; government pre-primary 3.5 per cent, government schools 2.8 per cent and private schools 0.8 per cent.

The data says that 24 per cent rural children of three years of age have not been enrolled anywhere.

Further, 15.5 per cent children of 4 years of age are not enrolled in any government or private educational institute. Report throws light on the non-enrolment of girls between age group of 15-16, wherein 12.5 per cent girls have not been enrolled in any school.

According to the law, every child in the age group of four to fourteen years has the right to free and compulsory education till the completion of elementary education.

The government claims to have made special provisions for children from the weaker sections of the society. It also says that steps have also been taken to upgrade the education infrastructure for rural students.

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