July 27, 2018
The Lok Sabha yesterday passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017 which seeks to amend Section 16 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act)
The RTE Act, provides for free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years.
At present Section 16 of the Act states that no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education.
The Amendment Bill in this context states that in the recent years, States and Union territories have raised concern of adverse effect on the learning levels of children as section 16 does not allow holding back of children in any class till the completion of elementary education.
In view of the aforesaid, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has sought amendment of Section 16 of the RTE Act which substitute a new section for section 16 of RTE Act, relating to prohibition of holding back and expulsion.
Sub-section (3) of the proposed section 16 seeks to empower the appropriate Government to make rules to provide for the manner and the conditions subject to which a child may be held back in the fifth class or in the eighth class or in both classes if he fails in the re-examination.
Here it would be relevant to mention that in a recent case Master Vatsal Khakhariya vs State Of Chhattisgarh, the High Court of Chhattisgarh had held that there is a statutory prohibition of failing a child upto elementary education in view of Section 16 of the RTE Act and held that the promotion to higher class is automatic.
The Bill can be accessed here.