Quality education for all kids

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Equal educational opportunities for all children were demanded by a large contingent of people who walked to Bal Bhavan in support of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsary Education Act, 2009. December 11 was the day India ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to demand the right to education for every Indian child. Seventeen years after India ratified the UNCRC, millions of children do not have access to good quality education. Child Rights and You marked this occasion with a national campaign in which more than 7.7lack people from 18 states have signed a charter demanding equal quality education for all Indian children.

Children from various sectors also raised their voice for equal opportunities of education. Eminent economist Jean Dreze who was also a part of the contingent said the current Act does not hold anyone responsible for the children not being in school. There is no punitive action taken for schools for not coming forward and taking proper action. According to him, the Act needs to be strengthened to meet the realities. The Act needs to be equally applicable for private schools according to activist-advocate Ashok Agarwal. The activists claimed that the Act is limited in scope and it needs three key amendments—including children below six years as well as 15to 18 years in the Act, ensure a complete education for every child below the age of 18 years and prevent drop-outs, especially for girls.

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