New Delhi: The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 provides for access to elementary schools for children of the age group of 6-14 years, within the defined area or limits of neighbourhood. Section 12 (1)(c) of the RTE Act, 2009 provides for admission of children belonging to disadvantaged groups (DG) and economically weaker sections (EWS) in private unaided schools to the extent of at least 25 percent of the strength of class I or below.
The Department of School Education and Literacy had launched an Integrated Scheme for School Education – Samagra Shiksha with effect from 2018-19. The scheme envisages school education as a continuum from pre-school to senior secondary level and aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all. Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided to States and UTs for undertaking various activities to reduce number of out of school children including opening/strengthening of new schools upto senior secondary level, construction of school buildings & additional classrooms, setting up, up-gradation and running of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBV), setting up of residential schools/hostels, free uniforms, free text books and undertaking enrolment & retention drives. Further, special training for age appropriate admission of out of school and residential as well as non-residential training for older children, seasonal hostels / residential camps, special training centres at worksites, transport/ escort facility are also supported to bring out of school children to the formal schooling system. Also, mid-day meal is provided to students at the elementary level of education. Further, under the student oriented component for the children with special needs, financial assistance is provided for identification and assessment of children with special needs, aids and appliances, braille kits and books, appropriate teaching learning material and stipend to girl students with disability etc.
In addition, a Central Sector Scheme ‘National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship
Scheme (NMMSS)’ was launched in May, 2008 with the objective to award scholarships
to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to arrest their drop out at class
VIII and encourage them to continue their studies at secondary stage. Under NMMSS, scholarship @ Rs. 12,000/- per annum is given to students belonging to economically weaker sections of the society for study in class IX to XII in a State Government, Government-aided and Local Body schools.
The information was given by the Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.