Education should be free for all children in a safe and secure environment, according to a statement released by leading NGO Care India here on Friday.
'Children between 0-6 years age group and 14-18 years age group should come under the ambit of Right To Education (RTE) and education must be strictly owned by the state,' it said.
'In view of the large number of out-of-school children in the country, there is a need to spell out a systematic and clear approach or strategy to address their needs and how they will be mainstreamed into formal schools,' the statement added.
Care India demanded a gender transformative approach and emphasis on quality teachers in a safe, secure environment under new National Education Policy 2016.
The National Policy on Education was formulated in 1986 and then underwent modifications in 1992.
Care India recommended a focus on ensuring that children learn in a time-bound manner where classroom processes are equitable and promote learning.
'The new policy must focus on a highlighted use of multilingual resources and pedagogy to help children acquire early literacy and language skills,' the statement said.
Noting that more than 50 per cent children who are attending school, Care India recommended to recognise that children are out of school due to social, pedagogical and systemic factors, hence customised and contextualised education needs to be developed, inclusive of an empowering gender, social inclusive curriculum and teacher development programme based on it.
According to Care India, school curriculum should be localised for the diverse country where mother tongue-based education is promoted in both urban and rural areas.
'One of the important focus areas has to be recruitment of quality teachers with adequate resources to implement a complex early literacy and language programme with a strong gender and equity component at all levels.'