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What is the Right to Education (RTE)

 

What is the Right to Education (RTE)

Do people often ask what is Right to Education Act is? The Right to Education Act of 2009, commonly called the RTE Act 2009, was passed by the Parliament of India on 4 August 2009. The Act describes the importance of free and compulsory education for children aged between 6-14 years in India under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. This Act casts a legal obligation on the state as well as the central governments to execute the children’s right to education.

Importance of Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009                     

India has developed tremendously over the past decade. But the actual growth cannot really be measured through the number of flyovers or shopping malls that have been built. How literate and educated the populace of a country is is a sound indicator of the progress it (the country) has made. Education is a significant part of our lives. A society can only grow if people are educated and aware. Therefore, an education system, which is sturdy and robust, goes a long way in ensuring the spread of education in society.

According to the 7th All India Education Survey, 2002, less than half of India’s children between the age of 6 and 14 go to school and a little over one-third of all children who enroll in the 1st grade reach the 8th grade. In spite of various efforts being made to change the education scenario in India, at least 35 million children aged 6 – 14 years still do not attend school and 53% of girls in the age group of 5 to 9 years are illiterate.

86th Amendment Act, Article 21(A) made the Right to Primary Education part of the Right to Freedom. Education was not a fundamental right in India until it was made a fundamental right in the 86th amendment to the Constitution.

The right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 is an endeavor to directly benefit all the children in the 6-14 years age group who are not enrolled in schools. There are millions of children who are still deprived of their rights. It is important for children and their families from economically backward and marginalized areas to become aware of the Right to Education (RTE).
Enshrined in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, the Right to Education has been recognized as a basic human right.

In one of his speeches, Manmohan Singh, the then Prime Minister of India stated that “We are committed to ensuring that all children, irrespective of gender and social category, have access to education. An education that enables them to acquire the skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes necessary to become responsible and active citizens of India.” Even after so many years of attaining independence, people continue to be slaves of their own primitive mindsets and somehow feudal social structure. Children need to become aware of their fundamental rights.

Main Features of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009

  • Free and compulsory education to all children of India in the 6 to 14 age group.
  • No child shall be held back, expelled, or required to pass a board examination until the completion of elementary education.
  • If a child above 6 years of age has not been admitted to any school or could not complete his or her elementary education, then he or she shall be admitted to a class appropriate to his or her age. However, if a case may be where a child is directly admitted to a class appropriate to his or her age, then, in order to be at par with others, he or she shall have a right to receive special training within such time limits as may be prescribed. Provided further that a child so admitted to elementary education shall be entitled to free education till the completion of elementary education even after 14 years.
  • Proof of age for admission: For the purpose of admission to elementary education, the age of a child shall be determined on the basis of the birth certificate issued in accordance with the provisions of Birth. Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1856, or on the basis of such other document as may be Prescribed.No child shall be denied admission in a school for lack of age proof
  • A child who completes elementary education shall be awarded a certificate.
  • Call needs to be taken for a fixed student–teacher ratio.
  • Twenty-five percent reservation for economically disadvantaged communities in admission to Class I in all private schools is to be done.
  • Improvement in the quality of education is important.
  • School teachers will need adequate professional degrees within five years or else will lose their jobs.
  • School infrastructure (where there is a problem) needs to be improved every 3 years, or else recognition will be canceled.
  • Financial burden will be shared between the state and the central government.

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