New Delhi: Aspiring for total literacy in the country, the government on Friday said the bill to make primary education free and compulsory for children in the 6-14 age bracket would help create an intellectual asset.
Moving the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2009 in the Lok Sabha, human resource development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal said “intellectual asset forms part of nation’s wealth” and any opposition to it would be an “anti-national act.”
He said the landmark bill, already passed by the Rajya Sabha, sought put the onus on the government of ensuring that all children got free and quality education.
“In the 21st Century, intellectual asset forms part of the wealth of the country. Any opposition to this bill, I think, is anti-national. A child is entitled to quality education and it is a constitutional right,” he said.
Sibal expressed confidence that the next census in 2011 will show a 10% jump in literacy level to 75%. “But, we cannot be satisfied with this,” he said.
He said in several states, schools lacked infrastructure and in some rural areas, there were no teachers.
In a veiled reference to political indoctrination in school syllabus, Sibal said, “We do not want an education that defies Constitution”.
Speaking on the bill, Kirti Azad (BJP) said his party would support it, but asked the minister to specify financial sources and spending plan for the purpose.