(Pb. Act IX of 1994)

5th December 1994
An Act to provide for compulsory primary
education in the Province of the Punjab

Preamble.— Whereas it is expedient to provide for compulsory primary education in the Punjab.

It is hereby enacted as follows:-

1. Short title, extent and commencement.— (1) This Act may be called the Punjab Compulsory Primary Education Act 1994.

(2) It shall extend to the whole of the Punjab.

(3) It shall come into force at once.

2. Definitions.— In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

(a) ‘child’ means a child of either sex whose age at the beginning of the school year is not less than five years and not more than ten years;

(b) ‘parent’ includes a guardian or any other person who has the custody of a child;

(c) ‘primary school’ means a school in which primary education is imparted; and

(d) ‘primary education’ means education pertaining to all or any of the classes I to V in a school.

3. Compulsory primary education.— The parent of a child shall except in the case of a reasonable excuse cause a child to attend a primary school until the child has completed the primary education course.

4. Reasonable excuse for non-attendance.— Reasonable excuse for the purpose of section 3 shall include any of the following cases:-

(a) Where the prescribed authority is satisfied that the child is incapable of attending school by reason of sickness or infirmity or that by reason of the child’s mental incapacity it is not desirable that the child should be compelled to carry on his study further;

(b) Where the child is receiving otherwise than in a school, instruction which in the opinion of the prescribed authority, is sufficient; or

(c) Where there is no school within a distance of two kilometers measured according to the nearest route from the residence of the child.

5. School attendance authority.— (1) Government may constitute one or more School Attendance Authorities for the purposes of this Act.

(2) A School Attendance Authority shall ensure that every child required to attend a school under this Act attends a school and for this purpose it shall take such steps as may be considered necessary by the Authority or as may be specified by Government.

(3) Where a School Attendance Authority is satisfied that a parent who is required under the Act to cause a child to attend a school has failed to do so, the Authority, after giving the parent an opportunity of being heard and after such enquiries as it considers necessary, may pass an order directing the parent to cause such child to attend a school on and from a date which shall be specified in the order.

6. Offences.— (1) Any parent who fails to comply with an order issued under sub-section (3) of section 5 shall on conviction before a Magistrate be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees and with further fine which may extend to twenty rupees for every day after the conviction for which the failure continues or with imprisonment which may extend to one week or with both.

(2) Any parent of a child or employer of such a child who, after receiving due warning from the School Attendance Authority continues to employee a child whether on remuneration or otherwise required under this Act to attend a School shall on conviction before a Magistrate, be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees and with a further fine which may extend to fifty rupees for everyday after the conviction for which the non-attendance at a school continues or with imprisonment which may extend to one month or with both.

(3) No Court shall take cognizance of any offence under this Act except on a complaint in writing made by the School Attendance Authority.

7. Power to make rules.— The Government may make rules for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this Act.

8. Repeal.— The Punjab Primary Education Ordinance, 1962 (XXIX of 1962) is hereby repealed.

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