Right to Education: Success or Failure

MS. PALLAVI SHARMA

The Rights and Fundamental Rights are sections of the Constitution of India that gives people with their rights. These Fundamental Rights are considered as basic human rights of all citizens, regardless of their gender, caste, religion or creed etc. These sections plays most important role in the constitution, which was developed between 1947 and 1949 by the Constitution of India.
There are six fundamental rights in India. They’re Right to Equality, Right to Freedom, Right against Exploitation, Right to Freedom of faith, Cultural and academic Rights, and Right to Constitutional Remedies.

The Indian Constitution is as follows 1:

  1. Right to Equality: Right to equality says equal rights to all the citizen of the country. Equality actually shows the prohibition of inequality on the basis of caste, gender, religion, places of birth, races etc. It also shows how equality provides the equal opportunity in getting the government job rather having inequality on the basis of different grounds.
  2. Right to Freedom: Right to freedom gives us much other type of rights like right of expression, speech, freedom to assemble without arms, freedom to move through the country, freedom of association, freedom to practice any type of profession in the country, freedom to live anywhere in the country.
  3. Right against Exploitation: Right to exploitation criticizes the human trafficking, child labor, forced labor or any other labor who is working without getting any wages, remuneration or money unless that work can be for community or NGO purpose.
  4. Right to Freedom of faith: Right to faith gives us some faith gives us some type of trust or believe towards the religion and secularism in India. The Constitutions of India says that every States should treat all religions equally and independently. No state has its own politician religion. It also guarantees all people the freedom of ethics and also the right to evangelize practice and publicize any religion of their choice.
  5. Cultural and academic Rights: Cultural and academic Rights protects the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic minorities by enabling them to safeguard their custom and protecting them against unfairness. Educational rights ensure education for everybody regardless of their caste, gender, religion, etc.
  6. Right to Constitutional Remedies: Right to Constitutional Remedies ensures citizens to travel to the supreme court of India to stimulate enforcement or protection against violation of their fundamental rights. The Supreme Court has the authority to enforce the basic Rights even against private bodies, and just in case of any violation, award compensation still to the affected individual.
  7. In recent time Supreme Court added Right to Privacy in the fundamental rights.

RIGHT TO EDUCATION

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE) is an Act of the Parliament of India established on 4 August 2009, which describes the importance of free and compulsory education for children who are between the age of 6 to 14 years in India and this comes under the Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. There are 135 countries in the world who have already done this and India become one of them to make education a fundamental right for every child after the act came into force on 1 April 2010. The heading of the RTE Act comprises of the words ‘free and compulsory’. ‘Free education’ means when there is no child left, except a child who has been admitted by his or her parents to a school which is not supported by the appropriate Government, shall be accountable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may stop him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education. ‘Compulsory education’ forces a restriction on the suitable Government and local authorities to offer and make sure admission, attendance and completion of basic education by all children in the 6-14 age groups. With this, India has moved forward to a rights based structure that casts a legal obligation on the Central and State Governments to appreciate this fundamental child right as enshrined in the Article 21A of the Constitution, in agreement with the supplies of the RTE Act.17.
Right to education gives many challenges to both the state and central government for many years in India. The Right to Education Act 2009 frames out many roles and responsibilities for the centre, state and all local bodies to repair the gaps in their education system in order to improve the class of education in the country.

There are things which are included in this RTE Act17, which are as follows 2 :

  1. Compulsory & Free education for all: For Government it become
    mandatory to provide free and compulsory elementary education to each and every child, there should be a school in a neighborhood within 1 km, up to class 8 in India. No child is officially accountable to pay fees or any other expenditures that may stop him or her from following basic education. Textbooks, uniforms, stationery items and special educational material are also included in free education for children with disabilities in order to reduce the burden of school expenses.
  2. The benchmark mandate: Pupil- teacher- Ratio (number of student per teacher ) comes under The Right to Education Act. This Act also covers classrooms, separate toilets for girls and boys, drinking water facility, number of school-working days, working hours of teachers, etc. In India each and every elementary school (Primary school + Middle School) has to obey with these set of norms to maintain at-least minimum standard set by the Right to Education Act.
  3. Special provisions for special case: The Right to Education Act also facilitates that if there is any child didn’t get knowledge at appropriate age then there is a facility to have extra class or special training to get the knowledge.
  4. Quantity and quality of teachers: The Right to Education Act provides appropriate numbers of teachers by checking the Pupil-Teacher-Ratio which is mandatory for every school. The school can be in urban or rural area but there should not be any imbalance related to trained and qualified teachers for appropriate class.
  5. Zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment: The Right to Education Act 2009 do not allow any types of physical punishment and mental harassment, biasness based on gender, caste, class and religion, screening procedures for admittance of children admission fee, private tuition centres, and functioning of unrecognised schools. However this facility is been not come into action up-till 2014 where during the time of admission there is biasness among students. Due to biasness only every child didn’t get the education properly.
  6. Ensuring all round development of children: The Right to Education Act 2009 includes the development related to curriculum human potential, talent etc. For such type of development new teacher are also appoint related to the pedagogy of latest pattern and development of student.
  7. Improving learning outcomes to minimise detention: The Right to Education Act says that no student will be held back or detain in the previous class up to the class 8 th . To improve the performance of students the RTE Act also introduced CCE system( Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation) in which it is mention that only grades are allowed till the class 8 th . The reason behind such system is just to initiate about the development of student only.
  8. Monitoring compliance of RTE norms: School Management Committees (SMCs) play a essential role in strengthening participatory democracy and governance in basic education. All schools covered under the proper to Education Act 2009 are obliged to comprise a college Management Committee comprising of a head, local elected representative, parents, community members etc. The committees are empowered to observe the functioning of colleges and to arrange school development plan.
  1.  Right to Education Act is justiciable: The Right to Education Act is justiciable means it is backed by a Grievance Redressal (GR) mechanism. This type of mechanism helps people to take action against non-compliance of provisions of the Right to Education Act 2009.
  2. Creating inclusive spaces for all: The Right to Education Act 2009 mandates for all private schools to order 25 per cent of their seats for kids belonging to socially disadvantaged and economically weaker sections. This provision of the Act is geared toward boosting social inclusion to produce for a more just and equal nation.

The Right of kids to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (or RTE Act) guarantees eight years of free and compulsory education for all children of the cohort between 6-14 years in neighborhood schools. The responsibility of mapping out-of-school-children lies with government agency and teachers. The Department of Education undertakes child tracking at the start of the session within the name of enrollment drive. For tracking out-of-school- children, earlier, the government accustomed undertake household mapping of kids. But there’s a serious chunk of youngsters who are either homeless or not living at home- these include migrant children, street children, children living at railway stations, child labor etc.

Criticism related to Right to Education Act 2009

There are many favourable things related to the RTE Act 2009 but there are many effects on whose basis The Right To Education Act 2009 has been criticised. It is said that this Act is just a continuing process of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan 2000, where it is already stated that education for 6-14 years of age or till the 8 th class is free for all the children of India. Former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee always says “Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat”. Following are the few points on which RTE Act has been criticized:

  1. Public-private partnership : To address these quality issues, the Act has provisions for compensating private schools for admission of kids under the 25% quota which has been compared to highschool vouchers, whereby parents may “send” their children in any school, private or public. All measures with PPP (Public Private Partnership) and few organization viewing a little bit like the All India Forum for Right to Education (AIF- RTE), because all the states are obliged towards providing the elementary education.
  2. Infringement on private schools: Forcing many unaided private school to admit 25% disadvantaged students. These schools also pay tax and other formality related to school government, which give lot of loss and problem to the school.
  3. Barrier for orphans: This act don’t provide admissions for orphanage children as government school provide admissions with some papers or documents like caste certificates, BPL cards and birth certificates. As Orphan children don’t have such papers and documents so they don’t get admission in such schools. 3

CONCLUSION

From all the research and study it is quite evident that among maximum out-of-school children there are schedule caste, schedule tribe, Muslim, girl and vulnerable children. Such type of families don’t nor able to afford education or not allowed to sit with other caste children. Also such children get the education without the fear of detention or failure. ‘Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)’ scheme helps students to get the education without fear. As according to this scheme no student can be detained till the class 8. RTE Act is also beneficial to those families who all are in very heartbreaking conditions and not been able to fulfill their daily necessities like food. In such scenario Sarva Siksha Abhiyan also help the poor family by providing one time food at school only. The Right to education Act helps India in progress as education is the basic right in many other developing countries so as to upgrade the standard of living and thinking.

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