The Karnataka Compulsory Primary Education Bill, 2005

A Bill to provide for compulsory and free primary education as an extension of the basic human rights to all children in Karnataka and to involve stakeholders, providers of service and representatives in grass root local self government institutions with a sense of responsibility about constitutional duty and seriousness of approach for effective ensuring of fundamental right to education guaranteed in the Constitution and for coordinating with the measures for child welfare for a wholesome development of personality and a harmonious society and to replace the existing discretion-based scheme for compulsory education under Karnataka Education Act, 1983 by a more result-oriented scheme.
Be it enacted by the Karnataka State Legislature in the Fifty sixth year of the Republic of
India as follows:-


1. Short title, extent, application and commencement.-
(1) This Act shall be called the Karnataka Compulsory Primary Education Act, 2005.
(2) It shall extend to the whole of Karnataka.
(3) It shall come into effect immediately.

2. Definitions.-
(a) “Academic year” means academic year as defined under section 2(1) of the Karnataka Education Act, 1983.
(b) “Attendance authority” means any person having the prescribe qualification appointed to be attendance authority.
(c) “Child” means any boy or girl who has attained the age of 6 years but not completed the age of 14 years on the first day of the current academic year unless the context otherwise requires.
(d) “Census” means census conducted or caused to be conducted by the Government every year for the purpose of identifying and recording the details about children in any area specified for each school area for the purpose of admission of them to school for compulsory primary education during the next academic year.
(e) “Government” means the Government of Karnataka unless the context otherwise requires.

(f) “Grama Panchayat”, “Taluka Panchayat” and “Zilla Panchayat” shall mean in the same way as understood in Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act, 1993.
(g) “Higher Primary education” means education from V Standard to VII Standard, both being inclusive.
(h) “Lower primary education” means education from I Standard to IV Standard.
(i) “Parent” means natural parents, adoptive parents and guardians of the child in the absence of natural and adoptive parents.
(j) “Primary Education” means education from the I Standard to VIII Standard of schooling.
(k) “Private school” means approved school under the management of private management or charitable body.
(l) “Public school” means approved public school under the management of Government or a local authority or School Board or any school maintained out of grants in aid extended by the Government.


3. Primary Education to be compulsory.- (1) From the commencement of this Act, primary education shall be compulsory throughout the territory of Karnataka. No child shall be denied admission to any school on grounds only of race, religion, caste, sex, place of birth, language, parent’s income, anonymity or non-availability of parent, illness or allegation of HIV infection or leprosy:
Provided that a child who has completed the age of five years shall not be denied admission to school.
(2) It shall be the duty of the State to ensure that each child shall have acess to lower and higher primary schools within the minimum distances of 2 and 4 kilometers respectively from his place of residence.
(3) Adequate number of schools shall be established by the Government to meet the requirement of sub-section (2) of this section with sufficient facilities.
(4) In case of non availability of public schools for whatever reason the Government shall arrange with the recognised private schools governed under the Karnataka Education Act, 1983 by order to admit the child to the appropriate Standard or Class.
(5) It shall be obligatory on the part of the management of private schools to comply with the order issued.

4. Primary education to be free.-
(1) No fee shall be levied in respect of any child for attending any public school.
(2) In the context of sub-section (4) of section 3 above, the Government shall fully pay the fee levied by the private school.
(3) No capitation fee shall be levied or collected by any school, whether private or public, from parents or guardians.

5. Duty of parent to cause his child to attend school.-
(1) It shall be the duty of parent of every child to make admission of the child to an approved school whether public or private school and cause the child to regularly attend the school except in the justifying circumstances laid down in section 8.
(2) If the parent fails to compy with the duty prescribed by the sub-section (1) of section 5 by not admitting the child to the school or after having admitted the child by failing to cause the child to attend the school for more than ten days, he shall be served with a notice by the attendance authority asking for immediate compliance with the duty within ten days or for giving explanation for non-compliance.
(3) The explanation given by the parent shall be placed before the School Development and Monitoring Committee and the parent shall be counseled to respect the child’s fundamental right to education:
Provided that in case both the parents are available, there shall be counseling of both of them to persuade for admission and attendance to schools.

6. Public awareness programme for school admission and attendance.- (1) There shall be public awareness programmes such as school admission drives, jatha and public canvas for school admission of eligible children before the commencement of the academic year to be organised jointly by the Headmaster, Attendance Authority, Grama Panchayat or urban local self government, SDMC and the interested non-governmental organisations and funded by the Grama Panchayat or urban local self government as the case may be.
(2) Awareness programmes against dropouts may also be organised during the course of academic year if found necessary.

7. Enforcement of parents’ duty.- (1) If any parent fails to comply with the admission/attendance enforcement order without showing any justifying reason enumerated in section 8, the attendance authority shall given an opportunity for personal hearing and record the statements adduced by the parents.
(2) After personal hearing of both the parents and at least one of the parents, if the Attendance Authority is satisfied that the reason given by the parent is not justified under section 8, it shall cause a written warning served to the parents bringing to their notice the fundamental and legal duty of the parent to send the child to school and the fundamental right of the child to education. It shall also apprise to the parent in the written warning the possible penal consequences of non-compliance with the duty and fix a date ten clear days ahead from the date of service of warning for the ultimate compliance.
(3) In case the parent fails to comply with the written warning issued by the attendance authority within the prescribed date, it shall record the matter of non-compliance and submit the same to the Tahsildar in charge of the area for further action under sub-section (4) of this section.
(4) The Tahsildar shall after being satisfied on the basis of record submitted to him under sub-section (3) above that non-compliance with the attendance enforcement order is not justified, cause further counseling of the parent with the held of SDMC of the school and give another opportunity for compliance and fix the last date for the same.

(5) The attendance authority shall report to the Tahsildar about the fact of compliance or non-compliance by the parent with the Tahsildar’s order issued under sub-section (4) whereupon the Tahsildar shall issue a notice calling for showing causes why any of the facilities provided to him by the Government like ration card, housing facility, employment guarantee order issued to him shall not be suspended for want of non-compliance with the attendance enforcement order before a fixed date.
(6) The Tahsildar may, after being satisfied that there is no convincing reason for noncompliance with the attendance enforcement order, issue order withdrawing any of the facilities enjoyed by the parent. An appeal shall lie before the Assistant Commissioner of the area upon the order issued by the Tahsildar under this sub-section within three months from the date of the order. 8. Reasonable excuse for non-attendance.- For the purpose of this Act, any of the following circumstances shall be deemed to be reasonable excuse for the non-attendance of the child at an approved school, whether public or private, namely:-

(a) That the child is receiving instruction in some other manner in Non Formal Educational Institution for a period of 8 years which the competent authority of Government declares as equivalent to primary education in approved schools;
(b) That the child has already completed primary education by resorting to voluntary primary school system;
(c) That the child suffers from a physical or mental challenge which prevents from attending regular school and that the child is admitted to any of the Special Schools for the physically and mentally deficient children;
(d) That the child has been granted temporary leave of absence not exceeding the prescribed period by the medical officer not below the rank of surgeon in the Governmental hospital of the Taluk; and
(e) That there is any compelling circumstance which, in the estimation of attendance authority, temporarily prevents the child from attending the school:
Provided that soon after the compelling circumstance has subsided the child shall be readmitted to the school.

9. Special Schools for physically or mentally deficient children
.- If there is in existence a special school within the prescribed distance from the residence of a child who is suffering from physical or mental defect, the attendance authority may, if it is satisfied that the child is not receiving any instruction in some other manner considered by it as satisfactory, by order require the child to attend that special school; and it shall be the duty of the parent of such child to cause the child to attend the special school unless there be a reasonable excure for the non-attendance of the child under section 8 above.

10. Obligation upon the employers not to obstruct attendance of children to schools.- (1) No person shall employ a child in a manner which shall prevent the child from attending an approved school.
(2) Any contravention of sub-section (1) above shall be deemed to be employing the child in hazardous work and attract the provisions of Child Labour (Prohibition) Act, 1986.
(3) On the basis of complaint by any person, the District Human Rights Court or the District Court shall pass an order directing the employer to send the child to school regularly and deposit a sum of money not exceeding rupees Twenty Thousand in the name of the child in a scheduled bank to be operated under the instruction of the Court.


11. Attendance Authority’s composition and responsibility.- (1) There shall be an Attendance Authority for each school in which there shall be a chairman who shall have qualification of Assistant Education Officer. He shall be appointed or designated by the Government for all schools in each village having experience and commitment to literacy programmes. He may be a retired official or an active social worker recommended by the Grama Sabha, and shall be entitled to sitting fee in case of meetings. Two other members shall be a representative of the School Development and Monitoring Committee and the Headmater of the school.
(2) The Attendance Authority shall perform the functions entrusted in sections 5,6,7 and 8 of this Act.

12. School Development and Monitoring Committee.- (1) There shall be a School Development and Monitoring Committee for each school and shall have tenure for three years.
(2) It shall compose of,-
(a) Nine members chose from parents’ meeting out of whom 3 shall be women, 2 shall represent Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and one shall represent minorities;
(b) Four ex-officio members who shall include representative of the village in Grama Panchayat, Taluk Panchayat or Zilla Panchayat, one anganwadi teacher, one PH worker and the Head Master;

(c) Six nominated members include adopter of the school, donor, education expert or retired teacher of the area, 2 members of local Self Help Group interested in primary education, one officer bearer of Youth Club or Young Women’s club and one student of 8th standard.
(3) The responsibilities of SDMC prominently include motivating the parents of all the children within the jurisdiction of the school who are not in the school roll to admit them to the school and make them regularly attend the school. It shall organise registration drive, bridge course, and other programmes. It shall assist the midday meal and health care programme.

14. Panchayat or Municipal Standing Committee on Education.- There shall be a Standing Committee on Education in each Grama Panchayat or Municipal body, which shall consist of not less than nine and not more than fifteen members of whom one third of the members shall be women. It shall have the following composition:
(a) Chairman of the Grama Panchayat or the Municipal body as its chairman;
(b) One member each representing Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward
Classes and the minorities;
(c) Two representatives of parents chosen by School Development and Monitoring

Committee in the village or municipal body:
Provided that if there are schools more than one in the Grama Panchayat area, the representatives shall be chosen on the basis of rotation so as to give maximum representation to all school areas;
(d) One educationist or a person interested in universal education;
(e) One representative of non-governmental organisation dedicated to the cause of primary education;
(f) One anganwadi worker; and
(g) One Headmaster nominated by the Grama Panchayat or Municipal body as member Secretary.

15. Responsibility of the Standing Committee regarding compulsory education.-
The Standing Committee constituted under section 14 above shall include,-
(i) Generation and sustenance of awareness about right to primary education;
(ii) Oversee teacher-community partnership to effectively manage compulsory education programme;
(iii) Visit schools and promote enrolment drive;
(iv) Provide for and oversee the facilities including sanitary and drinking water facilities in the schools; and
(v) Check the attendance and suggest for improvement if required.


16. Annual preparation of the list of eligible children.- (1) The Headmaster and the teachers of every public school shall make an annual survey of all children who are not admitted to school within radius of three kilometres from their school or such other areas intimated by the Grama Panchayat and prepare the list of eligible children for admission to the First standard in the next academic year.
(2) Such survey shall be conducted in the month of December every year and the list shall be cross-checked with other available records like enrolment in ration cards and birth registers and should finalised after making sure that no eligible child's name is left out.
(3) The list of children who have left the course in the middle or who were not admitted so far, but falling within the age group of seven to fourteen shall be separately listed for absorbing them to appropriate classes after conducting bridge course with the help of Grama Panchayat or Municipal Body.

(4) The copies of the lists prepared in accordance with sub-sections (2) and (3) of this section shall be given to representatives of Grama Panchayat and shall be exhibited in the notice board of the school; any non-government organisation interested in universalisation of education shall be allowed to cross check the list by conducting its own survey, and the list shall be finalised after necessary modification.
(5) Omission of the name/s of any eligible children in the list prepared by the Head Master and teachers either by negligence or deliberate act shall be deemed as misconduct for the purpose of section 19 of this Act.
(6) The parents of the eligible children included in the list shall be intimated about the duty to send children to the approved schools and be reminded before the commencement of the academic year to admit them to schools.

17. Holding of the public awareness programme.- (1) It shall be the duty of the Head Master and the teachers to organise public awareness programme in collaboration with Standing Committee on Education, School Development and Monitoring Committee before the commencement of each academic year highlighting the duties of parents and rights of children to free and compulsory education.
(2) Parents of eligible children and the children shall be the special invitees in the awareness programme.

18. Responsibility of admission and regular attendance.- (1) It shall be the collective duty of the Head Master and teachers to every eligible child is admitted to school without any omission unless there is a justifying reason under section 8 above.
(2) It shall also be the collective duty of the Headmaster and teachers to ensure that parent is reminded to send the child to school regularly in case the child is absent continuously for ten days.

(3) The reminders issued under sub-section (2) above shall be both oral and written and shall be communicated to the parents with adequate persuasion, counselling and warning about the consequences.
(4) The Head Master shall report about the non admission or non attendance of any child to the Attendance Authority for taking necessary action sunder the Act. (5) Any omission or negligence to perform the duties herein laid down committed by the
Head Master and the teachers shall be dealt under section 19.

19. Liability of Headmaster and teachers for misconduct and negligence.- (1) The misconduct committed by the Head Master and teachers within the meaning of section 16(5) and any omission or negligence under section 18(5) shall be to disciplinary procedure under sub-section (2) and liability under sub-section (3) of this section.
(2) There shall be disciplinary proceeding conducted by the officer not below the rank of Assistant Education Officer of the Taluk about the misconduct, omission or negligence.
(3) The Assistant Education Officer may impose monetary liability upon the Head Master and teachers of the school who were held liable under sub-section (2) in such a manner that each person shall be liable to pay at the rate of Rupees 100 per month per eligible candidate who could not be schooled. Over the decision of the Assistant Education Officer there is opportunity to file appeal before the District Education Officer.
(4) The liability imposed under sub-section (3) shall be enforced by deducting from the salary of the respective Head Master and teachers and shall be remitted to the education fund of Grama Panchayat or Municipality.


20. Application of this chapter.- This Chapter is applicable to the representatives of Panchayat of all the three levels under the Karnataka Panchayat Act, 1993 and the municipal bodies or urban local self-government bodies.

21. Responsibility of representatives.- (1) It shall be the responsibility of the representatives to ensure that all eligible children of their locality or area of representation are admitted to the schools and that there is no drop out of students after admission.
(2) The representatives shall involve in public awareness programme for universalisation of primary education and persuade the parents at their level about school admission and regular attendance.
(3) Non-performance of the above duties by the representatives resulting in non-admission or non-attendance of eligible children shall incur the liabilities mentioned under sub-section (4) of this section.

(4) The State Election Commission after being satisfied about non-performance of the duty under this section may declare the representative as disqualified for representing under the Karnataka Panchayat Act or Karnataka Municipalities Act for subsequent one term.
(5) In the eligibility criteria for being candidate to any of the representative position under this chapter, the Government may by rule include a condition that a candidate for election to any of this positions shall file an affidavit that there is no child in his family without being admitted or regularly sent to the school.


22. Early Childhood Education.- The Government shall strive towards providing early childhood care and education facilities to the best of its efforts and resources by establishing as may pre primary or anganwadi schools as possible throughout the territory of Karnataka for Children between the ages of three years and six years.

23. Infrastructural Facilities.- The Government shall provide following facilities in each primary school,-
(a) Adequate building with furniture; 79
(b) Safe drinking water;
(c) Playground of adequate dimension prescribed under rules preferably 2 acres for schools with student strength of 500 and 5 acres if the student strength is 1000;
(d) Separate toilet facilities for boys and girls.

24. Involving the retired public servants, educated youth and public.- (1) In order to involve the retired public servants in the universalisation of primary education a list of retired public servants of the area shall be prepared and they shall be persuaded to held building public awareness and motivation for compulsory primary education.
(2) The educated youth and the public shall also be motivated by the School Development and Monitoring Committee and select Committee on Education to ensure 100% enrolment and attendance.

25. Borstal and Certified Schools.- There shall be adequate facilities for effective learning in the schools meant for children brought under the jurisdiction of Juvenile Justice Act.

26. Responsibility of private educational institutions.- The private educational institutions shall coordinate in their activities with the purpose of compulsory primary education.

27. Repeal.- Sections 11 to 20 of the Karnataka Education Act, 1983 shall be repealed.

It is considered necessary to replace Chapter III of the Karnataka Education Act, 1983, which provides for enforcement of compulsory primary education (sections 11 to 20) by a new legislation called, the Karnataka Compulsory Primary Education Act, 2005 for the following reasons:

(i) In view of Article 21A of the Constitution, the State has the duty to provide compulsory and free primary education in such manner as it determines by law and the present legal frame work falls short of this requirement, and this lacuna shall be repaired by a mandatory principle.

(ii) The problem of non-admission of eligible children to primary school and dropouts shall be effectively dealt by imposing binding obligation upon the parents, school teachers and representatives of Grama Panchayat or local self government at the grass root level.

(iii) There shall be better coordination amidst stakeholders’ committee like School Development and Monitoring Committee, the Panchayat, the School and the NGOs in the matter of universalisation of primary education. People’s and NGO participation for this cause shall be given adequate encouragement. There shall be consequential amendment to Panchayat rules.

(iv) There shall be appropriate link between this legislation and the legislations for child welfare, eradication of child labour, and ensuring of health and food.

(v) Supervisory body’s power about attendance enforcement and ensuring compliance with law shall be provided for Infrastructural facilities like play ground, drinking water and sanitary facilities for all round development of the children shall be provided for.


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