Free schooling for children of cancer, HIV patients

Children of HIV-positive and cancer patients will get free education under the 25 per cent admission for disadvantaged and weaker sections under the Right to Education Act 2009 in Uttar Pradesh.

The state government has included them, as well as the children belonging to Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes, socially and educationally backward groups, and disabled and homeless children in the group defined as 'disadvantaged section'.

'Children of weaker sections' are those whose parents or guardians are BPL card owners or whose names are included in the BPL list of Rural Development Department. Children of parents who are beneficiaries of disability, old age or widow pension as well as those whose annual income is below Rs 1 lakh are also included in the group.

However, children of parents whose annual income is less than Rs 35,000 will be given priority. If the seats are still vacant after accommodating all such children, then priority will be decided by a list prepared in the ascending order of the annual income of parents having an annual income of more than Rs 35,000.

The parents suffering from cancer and HIV will have to submit suitable medical certificate for the admission of their children. For homeless children, the tehsildar will certify the status, whereas the other categories will have to attach their respective income or caste certificates along with their forms.

The government has also decided that only in case the students of these sections are unable to get admission in state government-owned or aided schools because of scarcity of seats, will these students be admitted to private unaided schools. In order to grant admission in private schools, the district Basic Education Officer will get a proposal approved from the respective district magistrate within five working days of the application moved by the parents.

The basic education officer has also been instructed to regularly review the students admitted under the category and ensure that the seats vacated due to drop-outs are filled up soon. The officer will also have to put the details of payment made to the schools against the education of these students online.

The arrangements will be implemented by the state government from the academic session 2013-14. The publicity of the scheme will be done two months in advance of the beginning of the session, said the order.

Under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009, every child of the age of six to fourteen years has a right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till completion of elementary education. Under the Act, 25 per cent seats in private schools are to be reserved for the children belonging to weaker and disadvantaged sections of the society, the cost of which is to be borne by the state and central governments.

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