Is Fundamental Education a Right of Every Child?

“He, who opens a school door, closes a prison.”Victor Hugo

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Future of a nation depends on the education of the children. It’s the education that makes a child a noble person. So, they should not be deprived of their elementary right to education. But, unfortunately, a large number of children still have not signed up for primary education. Considering this, Indian Parliament passed RTE (Right to Education Act) on August 4, 2009.  April 1, 2010….a historic day for all Indians. On this day, RTE act came into effect.

Highlights of the Act

  • This act provides a provision of compulsory and free education to every child between the age group of 6 to 14 years.
  • Madarsas (protected under Article 29 and 30), Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya and Kendriya Vidyalaya are excluded from this act. These schools are kept under “specified category.”
  • As per this act, until the completion of the basic education, no child shall be required to pass a board exam, held back or debarred.
  • A provision for special training to those students, who had dropped-out due to certain reasons, is also provided by this act.
  • This act inhibits admission interview for the child, capitation fees and donations.
  • This act also prohibits the unrecognized schools.
  • Under Section 12 of this act, it’s mandatory for private educational institutes to keep 25% reservation for the children, belonging to disadvantaged and weaker groups. For these students, the private schools will get reimbursement from the state government. The state administration would reimburse either per child expenses in state schools or a sum equivalent to the fees charged by the school, whichever is lower.
  • Section 19 of the act specifies the recognition criteria for the private schools.  These criteria include Head Teacher cum office room, adequate sized library, school buildings, fencing and boundary walls, one-classroom-one-teacher, toilets of specific dimensions, playground and drinking water facilities.
    Maximum time duration of 3 years has been set for those schools, which are established before the initiation of the act, to comply with these regulations. The recognition of those schools, which fails to comply, will be withdrawn.
  • According to the section 21(1) and 21(2) of the act, a School Management Committee (SMC) shall be framed by all government-aided and government schools. The committee will be comprised of the elected representatives of the teachers, guardians, parents and local authority. SMCs will perform the following functions:
  • Monitoring the work of the school.
  • Monitoring the utilization of government grants.
  • Preparing developmental plans for the school.

Prior to the implementation of this act, the quality education was within the reach of only a few children of the specific society. This act has exposed the poor and weaker children from rural areas to education.

In my opinion, it’s one of the most appreciable steps taken by the government.