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RTE Act: PIL in SC seeks common syllabus for children across India

The plea said the current system does not provide equal opportunity to all children

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A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court against certain sections of the Right to Education Act 2009 for being "arbitrary and irrational" and seeking the introduction of a common syllabus and curriculum for children across the country.

The plea filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay said that sections 1 (4) and 1 (5) of the RTE Act are the biggest barriers in expounding the Constitution and the absence of a common curriculum in mother language leads to the fostering and perpetuation of ignorance.

The PIL said it is the duty of the Union to effectuate a common education system but it has failed in the fulfilment of this necessary obligation as it has simply adopted the pre-existing National Curriculum Framework (NCF) of 2005.

"Centre inserted S 1(4) and 1(5) to deprive educational excellence to Madrasas, Vedic Pathshalas and educational institutions imparting religious instruction. Petitioner submits that S.1(4) and 1(5) not only offend Articles 14, 15, 16, 21, 21A but also contrary to Articles 38, 39 and 46 and Preamble," said the plea, filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.

The plea said the prevailing system does not provide equal opportunity to all children as the syllabus and curriculum varies for each stratum of the society.

"It is necessary to state that the purposive and harmonious construction of Articles 14, 15, 16, 21, 21A with Articles 38, 39, 46 confirms that education is a basic right of every child and the State cannot discriminate against this most important right...

"Right of a child should not be restricted only to free education but must be extended to have equal quality education without discrimination on the ground of child's social economic and cultural background. Therefore, the Court may declare Sections 1(4) and 1(5) arbitrary, irrational and violative of Articles 14, 15, 16 and 21 and direct the Centre to implement common syllabus and common curriculum for the students of I-VIII standard throughout the country," the plea said.

The petition said that a common minimum education programme for children up to 14 years would achieve the code of common culture, removal of disparity and depletion of discriminatory values in human relations.

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