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Right to Education (RTE) Act to move to the next level
After successful implementation of the current programme to provide free education to children in the age group of 6-14 under RTE, the government plans to extend it to the secondary level. It is designed to check drop out and youth unemployment rates

New Delhi: The Government of India was considering extending the Right to Education up to secondary school levels from the existing class 8 levels to check dropout rates as well as youth unemployment, Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal said here on Tuesday.

“The idea is still in its nursery stage and after successful implementation of the current programme to provide free education to children in the age group of 6-14 under RTE, the government would paddle the next cycle,” Sibal said.

He said statistics show that 60 per cent of the children who begin classes from primary level dropout after completing class 8 and it was resulting in creation of huge lot of unemployed youths. It has its repercussions in many forms which were detrimental for the youths and society as well.

During the extended period, the students would also be imparted vocational training besides the regular secondary level teaching so that after coming out of the school they could get livelihood, he added.

Since education upto class 8 levels for all children has now been made a constitutional right ;suitable amendments would be made in the RTE Act  it to work it upto secondary levels, Sibal added.

He said the government was committed to implement the RTE Act in its true spirit and to extend the facilities to all the unprivileged children, the government was planning to open schools in small places where even a population of 500 people existed.

Sibal  was speaking at a function organised by the UNICEF to mark the release of a Unicef map representing the collective voice of more than two lakh Awaaz Do champions speaking up for the eight million children in the country who are currently out of school.

"There are eight million children who need to be provided a discrimination free, inclusive education. RTE provides for equitable and quality education. The Awaaz Do campaign helps ensure it.Let us be part of it,” Sibal said.

The campaign was launched by UNICEF three months ago to raise awareness for the Right To Education Act and to build support for its full implementation across the country.

The Act guarantees free and compulsory education for every child six to fourteen years old regardless of caste, religion or background.

The map of India presented to the Minister includes a graphic representation of geographical spread of Awaaz Do champions who who have pledged their support. It shows how people from towns and cities in the farthest corners of the country have come together to voice their support for the RTE.

The campaign uses the Internet, social networking and mobile technologies to mobilize and empower supporters to become actively engaged in discussions and debates.

Speaking on the occasion Unicef India Deputy Representative David McLoughlin said."We need to continue to build on this tremendous momentum and commitment in support of the campaign across the country. We all have to do our bit to make sure that the rights enshrined in the legislation becomes the reality for every child in India."

Source: iGovernment