Extend RTE benefits to 3-6 year olds: NCPCR

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Wednesday said benefits of the Right to Education (RTE) Act should also be extended to children in the age group of three to six years.

The commission had organised seminars seeking suggestions from state governments to re-engage ‘Out of the School Children’ back to mainstream education.

“Various stakeholders who participated in the consultation process with NCPCR were of the view that 3-6 year-old children should be brought under the RTE Act,” said a statement released by the commission on Thursday.

Backing the demand, NCPCR chairperson Stuti Kacker said the commission will define ‘Out of the School Children’, while preparing a report highlighting the reasons and situations which compelled them to move out of school.

“A capsule course would be developed by the Commission for children whose positions remain unattended under the existing laws. The nation is losing precious human resources as children who could not attend school often indulge in crimes and tend to live on streets. This retorts them to begging most of the time,” Kacker said.

She said technology must be used to bring street children back to school and they must be imparted skill-based education.

Commission member Rupa Kapoor said NCPCR was in the process of drafting a Standard Operating Procedure for street children and views of state governments would be incorporated.

Another member Yashwant Jain cited the example of Chhattisgarh where ‘Out of the School Children’ in Maoist-affected areas have been placed in schools though residential hostels programme.

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