Disabled children too will get free education: Sibal

New Delhi: The government today said that children with all kinds of disability will be provided free and compulsory education, either in school or at home, under the Right to Education Act. "Children with all kinds of disability will be protected under the Act," HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said, moving amendments to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 in the Lok Sabha.

The amendment bill, which was earlier approved by the Rajya Sabha, seeks to widen the beneficiary net for disabled children under the Act and provide those with severe disability the option of receiving education at home. Sibal said that under the Act children suffering from all kinds of disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy and mental retardation would be provided free and compulsory education.

He said diseases like dyslexia which are not specifically mentioned in the Bill would be covered once the changes, which are being considered by the government, are made in the legislations dealing with disabilities. On the demand of minorities for making explicit reference to provisions of Articles 29 and 30 dealing with rights of minorities, Sibal said it was not needed as Constitution is supreme and everything flows from it.

He said the Supreme Court in a recent judgement has made it clear that the Right to Education Act would not apply to unaided minority institutions. It would also not apply to Vedic Pathshalas and Muslim Madarsas. Kirit Solanki (BJP), however, demanded that all religious educational institutions should be brought within the ambit of the Right to Education Act.