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PART II
Compulsory Education


21. Application of the part.-This Part shall apply to-
(i) the area to which the provisions of the Travancore Primary Education Act, 1121, the Cochin Free Compulsory Primary Education Act, IX of 1123 or the Madras Elementary Education Act, 1920, have been brought into force; and
(ii) any other area to which it may be extended by the Government by notification in the Gazette.
22. Definitions.-In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires,-
(i) “area of compulsion” means an area to which this Part applies;
(ii) “child” means a boy or a girl between the age of six and fourteen at the beginning of the academic year;
(iii) “guardian” includes a parent and any person who has the actual custody of the child;
(iv) “to attend a school” means to be regularly present for instruction at such school on such days, at such time or times and for such period or periods on each day as may be prescribed by the Local Education Committee for that area with the approval of the Education Department;
(v) “Local Education Committee” means the committee constituted under section 24.
23. State to provide free compulsory education of children.-The Government shall provide for free and compulsory education of children throughout the State within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Act.
24. Local education Committee.- (1) The Government shall appoint for each area of compulsion or for any portion of the area of compulsion a Local Education Committee.
(2) The Committee shall be constituted in such manner and for such period as may be prescribed.
25. Functions of Local committee.- (1) It shall be the duty of the Local Education Committee to implement the provisions of this Act in regard to attendance at schools and to ensure that the employment, if any, of children does not interfere with their attendance in Government or Private Schools.
(2) The Local Education Committee may from time to time delegate any of its powers and duties to any Sub-Committee or member. Such Committee or member shall conform to any instruction that may from time to time be given by the Local Education Committee. The Committee may at any time discontinue or alter the constitution of any Sub-Committee so formed or withdraw any of the powers or duties delegated.
26. Obligation on guardian to send children to school.-In any area of compulsion, the guardian of every child shall, if such guardian ordinarily resides in such area , cause such child to attend a Government, or Private School and once a child has been so caused to attend school and once a child has been so caused to attend school under this Act the child shall be compelled to complete the full course of primary education or the child shall be compelled to attend school till it reaches the age of fourteen.
27. Exemption from attendance.-A child may be exempted for a specified period or periods from compulsory attendance at school under this act-
(1) by the Government on religious grounds or on account of social customs; and
(2) by the Local Education Committee-
(a) When it is receiving otherwise than in a Government or Private School, instruction in an educational institution approved by the Local Education Committee: or
(b) When it is otherwise receiving education which in the opinion of the Local Education Committee is efficient or has received from the Local Education Committee is efficient or has received from the Local Education Committee a certificate of having completed its primary education: or
(c) Where it is impracticable or inexpedient that it should attend school on account of illness, disease, injury, affliction, infirmity or of any other cause regarded as sufficient by the Local Education Committee, subject to such rules as may be prescribed in this behalf: or
(d) Where there is no Government or Private School within a distance of one mile measured along the nearest road from the residence of the child which the child can attend.
28. Warning for failure to discharge obligation and for interference.-(1) When the Local Education Committee has reason to believe that a guardian of any child to whom this Act applies and who is bound under section 26 cause such child to attend a Government or Private School has failed to do or that any person other than the guardian is utilising the time or services of a child in connection with any employment, whether for remuneration or not, in such a manner as to interfere with the attendance of the child at Government or Private School, it shall warn him in writing that within one week of the receipt of the warning he shall cause the child to attend school or shall refrain from utilizing the services of the child as aforesaid.
(2) When a Local Education Committee is satisfied that a guardian has failed to cause his child to attend school or that any person is interfering with such attendance of a child even after the warning mentioned in sub-section (1), the Local Education Committee or any member authorized by the Committee shall lodge a complaint against such guardian or other person with the Magistrate having local jurisdiction.
(3) If the Magistrate is satisfied that the complaint is well-founded, he shall pass an order directing the guardian or other person to cause the child concerned to attend school regularly or to refrain from interfering with the attendance of the child, as the case may be , after a specified date. If the guardian or other person fails to comply with such order, he shall on conviction be liable to fine not exceeding five rupees for the first offence and twenty rupees for every subsequent offence.
29. Penalty for employment of children or interference with their attendance at school.-Any person other than the guardian who shall utilise the time or services of a child in connection with any employment, whether for remuneration or not, in such a manner as to interfere with the attendance of the child at a Government or Private School in spite of; a warning given under section 28, shall be liable to fine not exceeding fifteen rupees for the first offence and not exceeding thirty rupees for each subsequent offence.
30. Noon-day meals, clothing, etc., to poor pupils,-It shall be the duty of the Government to see that noon-day meals, clothing, books and writing materials are provided for poor people free of cost.
31. Inspection of offices, books and accounts of Local Education Committee.-(1) The Local Education Committee shall maintain such books, accounts and registers as may be prescribed.
(2) The office, books and accounts of every Local Education Committee shall be open to inspection by the Government.