The Government of India plans to introduce the 93rd amendment bill in the winter session of the parliament.
" We support this bill which will make education a fundamental right of every citizen in the country."
" We also support this amendment that should inspire the nation to meet the challenge of achieving the goal of education for all within a period of 10 years of its commencement."
We also believe that the present provisions of the 93rd Constitution Amendment bill does not include rights that were already available to them as a result of the Unnikrishnan Judgement, 1993.
We therefore demand that any Constitution Amendment bill brought forward to give Fundamental Right to education must ensure the following provisions detailed below and leave no room for ambiguity in its interpretation.
The Bill must include:
- Early childhood care and education for all children in the 0-6 age group as part of the Fundamental Right.
- Support Compulsory education:
Fundamental Right to education is an obligation of the State under the constitution, and no part of this obligation should be abdicated by the State, by transferring it as a "Fundamental duty of the parents". We therefore call for withdrawal of the proposed clause.
- The article 45 must be retained and direct the State to ensure free and compulsory Education to children in 14-18 age group within a specified time period, instead of including children in 0-6 age group in this clause.
- Define Quality of Education:
The proposed Bill must include an unambiguous reference for ensuring equitable Quality of Education for all children and delete it's present reference which allows the various States to give Education "in such manner as the State may, by law, determine".
This last phrase has been included in the Bill in order to justify cheap alternatives for the poor children such as Education Guarantee scheme [EGS], Alternative School, NFE, Literacy classes, para teachers and now the latest NCERT proposal of correspondence Education for this age group.
- Increased budgetary allocation:
The Government must include a financial memo in the Bill, which will be based upon the Tapas Mazumdar committee recommendations as the basic minimum requirement of 6-14 years and must also make adequate provisions for 0-6 year