Ministry of Education Issues Advisory on RTE

Ministry of Education Issues Advisory on RTE

Last Updated Jun - 14 - 2024, 05:13 PM | Source : PIB | Visitors : 11

The Ministry of Education advises States and UTs to ensure RTE entitlements for children with special needs, including free textbooks, uniforms, and midday meal
Ministry of Education Issues Advisory on RTE

On June 7, 2024, the Department of School Education & Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education, Government of India, sent a comprehensive recommendation to all States and Union Territories (UTs), marking a significant step towards achieving the goals of the NEP 2020.

The advisory highlights the necessity of taking the necessary steps to guarantee that all children with special needs (CwSN) enrolled in inclusive, home-based, or government-aided schools receive their RTE entitlements.

These entitlements include free textbooks and uniforms, interventions under the Samagra Shiksha Scheme’s Inclusive Education component, and midday meals under PM POSHAN, if necessary in the form of dry ration or Direct Benefit Transfer.

The issued advisory is a notable move by the Ministry as it specifically addresses the nutritional needs of the CwSN students of Special Schools under the Social Welfare Department and also students with severe and multiple disabilities enrolled in home-based education by extending the coverage of its centrally sponsored PM Poshan scheme; either in the form of dry rations or DBT as the case may be.

The aim is to ensure the NEP 2020 objective of providing access to quality education for all including CwSN thereby realizing their Right to Education and promoting inclusive education.

The National Education Policy 2020 emphasises that the education system must aim to attain equity and inclusion of all children including CwSN as defined under the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The Samagra Shiksha scheme of the Ministry is fully integrated with the objectives of NEP 2020.

The Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, mandates that all children between the age of 6 and 14 years have the right to free and compulsory education. RTE Entitlements is one of the major interventions across all levels of school education under the Centrally sponsored Samagra Shiksha Scheme. Financial support is provided to States/UTs for these RTE entitlements comprising of free uniforms; free textbooks; reimbursement towards expenditure incurred for 25% of admissions under Section 12 (1) (c), RTE Act, special training for age-appropriate admission of out-of-school children at the elementary level, etc.

The Inclusive Education (lE) component within the Samagra Shiksha program strives to guarantee fair access to high-quality education for CwSN by furnishing them with essential academic assistance and resources. This initiative offers financial assistance to CwSN through targeted interventions, including organizing identification and assessment camps, supplying aids, appliances, and assistive devices, facilitating transportation, providing scribe and escort allowance support, offering Braille books and large print books, granting stipends for girls with special needs, and providing teaching-learning materials. These efforts aim to effectively cater to their distinctive educational needs within mainstream schools.

Additionally, the Centrally sponsored PM POSHAN scheme provides nutritional support to children from pre-primary to Class VIII of government and government-aided schools.

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