Knowing how to read is knowing how to walk. Knowing how to write is knowing how to ascend. Feet, arms, wings, all these are given to man by his first and most humble schoolbooks. 1 The Right to food, Right to Information, and Right to education are considered to be fundamental and crucial rights for social well-being. Education as we all know is one of the most powerful instrument for reducing poverty and inequality. It would also play an important role in improving India’s competitiveness in the global economy.
So quality education will go a long way in bringing in economic and social development in India. The historic act the Right to Education (RTE) act was passed by Indian parliament on 4th August 2009 and the act came into force on April 1, 2010 with this India became one of the 135 countries to implement free and compulsory education for every child. Salient features of the act are: All children in the age group of 6 to 14 years will be given free and compulsory education. Any time of academic year, a child can go to a school and demand hat this right is respected. Private educational institutions have to reserve 25% seats to the economically weaker children. The school needs to have certain minimum infrastructure facilities, teachers, etc. The government need to develop some policies for developing the backward schools as well. The state government should establish primary schools within walking distance of one km neighbourhood and at a distance of three km in case of VI to VIII class students. The Right to Education Act – A history
Just after the Indian constitution was framed after the independence, the article 45 stated that “The state shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years”. The recent historical details of the Right to Education Act are as follows: In 2002 the 86th Constitutional Amendment was passed. In 2003, the first draft of the Right to Education bill was circulated for public review.
In 2004, the second draft of the bill, drafted after consideration of the feedback to the first draft, was posted on the Education Department website. In June 2005, the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) committee drafted the ‘Right to Education Bill’ and submitted to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). MHRD sent it to the National Advisory Council (NAC) where Mrs. Sonia Gandhi was the Chairperson. The NAC sent the Bill to the Prime Minister for his observation.
In July 2006, the finance committee and planning commission rejected the Bill citing the lack of funds and a Model bill was sent to states for the making necessary arrangements. (Post-86th amendment, States had already cited lack of funds at State level) The States promptly sent the model bill back to the Centre citing lack of funds. The bill was virtually buried for two years. In February 2008, the Ministry of Human Resource Development circulated another draft of the bill.
In August, the Union Cabinet referred the Right to Education Bill to the Group of Ministers (GoM), a high-powered group of ministers formed to look into operationalising the Fundamental Right to Education. On October 31, the Union Cabinet cleared a revised draft of the bill, as yet unreleased to the public. The GoM had passed on the draft to the Cabinet earlier that month. On December 15, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha and released to the public on the Rajya Sabha website.
The Rajya Sabha referred the bill to the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development. 2009 On February 18, the Standing Committee released its report of recommendations and placed it before both the houses of Parliament, which were in session at the time. On February 26, the Parliament ended its budget session without passing the bill. On July 20, the Rajya Sabha passed the bill with minor changes to the 2008 draft bill. On August 4, the Lok Sabha passed the bill. On August 26, the President gave her assent to the bill. 2010
From 1 April, 2010 The ‘Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009’ came into existence with much fanfare and an address by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. RESPONSIBILITIES ASSIGNED BY RTE A) STATE: * The state should ensure the availability of neighbourhood school for each and every child (within three years of commencement of the act). In cases of unavailability it is the duty of state to arrange transport facilities to the nearby school. * Ensuring the non enrolled children in the age group of 7-9 are enrolled to the programs in their neighbourhood schools within one year of commencement of the act.
And the children who are in the age group of 9-12 at the time of commencement of the act should be enrolled to similar programs in the neighbourhood school, if available, in failing that to any other school to enable then to get admitted to an appropriate grade in the neighbourhood schools within three years of commencement of the Act. * Regular monitoring of enrolment, participation and attainment of success by every child . And also to make sure that the child completes the elementary education. * To ensure that economic, social, cultural, administrative, locational, linguistic, gender arriers prevents the children from getting the elementary education. * The state should enforce the government and aided schools to provide pre-school education or an alternative facility for the children of the age group of 6-9. B) CENTRAL GOVERNMENT: * To provide financial assistance to the State Governments in accordance of the pre decided formulae and frequent conversations for the implementation of this act. * To govern the performance of the appropriate bodies, there by developing a national frame work for the enactment of the act and enforcing quality norms for the training and qualifications of the primary school teachers. Provision of technical assistance for the promotion of innovations and advanced researches through proper authorities. C) LOCAL AUTHORITIES: * Maintain a record of the children below 14 years of age with special reference to weaker and disadvantaged sections. * Ensuring all the children in the age group of 6 to16 of the jurisdiction are enrolled to the nearby primary schools for the primary education. * Filling up the gaps of additional schools, teachers and other facilities. * Monitoring the overall implementation of the act. Plans referred under section 22 (1), (2) & (3) i. e. , to develop a School development plan for the schools under its territory for catering the preliminary education needs of the neighbourhood children. D) SCHOOLS: Responsibility of Schools to provide Free and Compulsory Education Schools shall provide free and compulsory elementary education to children entitled under Section entitled under Section 3 to the extent and in the manner specified below: * State schools, except schools of specified categories, and fully aided schools – to all admitted children.
Aided schools, other than fully aided schools – to at least such proportion of their admitted children. * State schools of specified categories, and unaided schools, to at least 25% children admitted to class 1 after the commencement of this Act, from among children belonging to weaker sections randomly selected by the school, and for the continued education of such hildren in the School thereafter till completion of elementary education or till they seek transfer from the school, whichever is earlier. * For every child admitted and educated in pursuance of (iii) of sub-clause (1), the appropriate government shall reimburse to the school at a rate equal to the per child expenditure in state schools/fully aided schools and state funded preschools, or the actual amount charged per student by such school, whichever is less, in such manner as may be prescribed. It shall be the duty of every school to supply to the appropriate government or to an authority designated by such government, such information as the appropriate government may direct to be furnished for the purposes of Section 5(3). * Prohibition of Screening Procedures and Capitation Fees No child or her family shall not be subjected to any screening procedure by a school while deciding about admission to the school at the elementary stage, nor shall the family be required to make any payment in the nature of capitation fee. Admission to Schools to be Generally done at the Commencement of the Academic Year but not to be Denied at Other Times Children shall be admitted to schools as far as possible at the commencement of the academic year, or within such period thereof as may be prescribed: * A child admitted later in the academic year, who has not come on transfer from another school, shall complete the class with the next batch of students, unless the school is of the opinion that the child has made sufficient progress in the remaining part of the academic year to merit promotion to the next class along with the regular batch of students.
E) TEACHERS: * Regularly attend school for its full duration Transact and complete the curriculum in accordance with the principles laid down in clause 29, * Transact the curriculum in accordance with the time schedule, decided by the school, subject to general guidelines of the Competent Academic Authority, * Report every case of non-attendance to the parent or guardian concerned in the first instance, and in case it persists, to the SMC constituted under Section 22, * Regularly assess the learning level of each child, and to provide supplementary instruction needed by the child, * Regularly apprise every parent/guardian about the progress of learning and development of his child/ward studying in the school, and to also regularly report about such progress to the SMC, in such manner as may be prescribed, and * Perform such other functions as the appropriate government or the appointing authority may specify, consistent with the provisions of Section 20. Advantages ) “Tens of millions of children will benefit from this initiative ensuring quality education with equity,” 2) Without India, the world cannot reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of having every child complete primary school by 2015, which the UN has set. 3) It contains specific provisions for disadvantaged groups, such as child labourers, migrant children, children with special needs, or those who have a ‘disadvantage owing to social, cultural, economical, geographical, gender or such other factor. ‘Which many other countries who have adopted this policy don’t have. 4) The act will not only help reduce poverty but will also reduce the unemployment in our country, for which India is very well known. ) Especially states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand are specially looked into under this act as they are doing very poor as far as education is considered and it is said that this Act will change the educational landscape of these states and the country as a whole. 6) After the implementation of the rte act the centre is trying to bring in the later group of including the students of secondary level (9th and 10th) under this act. 7) The RTE has adopted a learning process which will be comprehensive, which will also include social skills as an important curriculum, therefore help children in their complete development. 8) The implementation will increase the countries status in the coming years with an increase in the HDI (Human Development Index). 9) The Right to education Act will make the country alluring for tourists and trade. Disadvantages
There is a popular Sanskrit Sloka:-“Anna Chinta Chamatkara Katare Kavita Kutah” i. e. you can’t read, write, think or enjoy poetry when you are hungry or when your stomach is empty. Families who are incapable of ensuring a minimum of 2 meals for their family would find it hard to accept this act. Those parents who can’t afford two meals a day for them and their kids can’t think of RTE, as it doesn’t have any relevance to them. A family who cannot satisfy their basic needs, how can they afford to send their children’s to school, therefore we suggest that the government should take an extra step of providing the children with at least two meals a day.
The government has declared that parents who are unwilling to send their children to school will be punished, but What about those persons who are employing the minors in their homes? Even, the academicians who are shouting in the meetings have working minors in their homes. Who will punish them? Unless and until the educated segments of the society implement it in real sense, RTE will remain as a dream. The rte covers only children in the age group between 6 and 14, clearly excluding and violating the rights of the 0-6 and 14 to 18 year olds, these age groups are given no importance. The previous government activities which implemented schools in some rural areas have been ineffective and corruption-ridden.
Many reputed NGO’s have been complaining that the act is not very well framed, and they feel the government should have consulted them before implementing the RTE; after all they were the people working for child welfare before the government involved themselves. States such as Uttar Pradesh which is well known for its corruption ridden state government has failed to implement the RTE Act; the centre should take appropriate action against state governments who fail to implement the act. The act should not be based on age group but on basic schooling. RTE IN NEWS Pre-school education may come under RTE ambit New Delhi, July 20, DHNS: The Centre is now seriously exploring ways to bring pre-school education under Right to Education Act to provide free and compulsory education to children between the age group of four and six.
The move has been initiated following a recommendation made by National Advisory Council (NAC), headed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, which stressed that bringing pre-school education under the ambit of RTE Act would ensure continuity in the child’s education. A sub-group of Planning Commission set up to prepare the next five year plan on elementary education is examining the possibility of widening the reach of the RTE Act to include children between the age of four and six. Another sub-group of the Central Advisory Board of Education, set up by the HRD Ministry recently to examining the possibility of extending the law to cover secondary education up to class 10, will be asked to look into the inclusion of pre-school learning. Sources said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has directed that a final decision on increasing the ambit of the RTE should be taken by the end of July.
The inclusion of children between the ages of four and six would mean reworking the ambit of the Ministry of women and child development, which is implementing a pre-school education programme for children below the age of six through its Integrated Child Development Schemes (ICDS). According to sources, the Ministry does not want to give up its pre-school education programme. It has already initiated efforts to strengthen its pre-school education programme across the country and has marked it as an important agenda item for discussion at a meeting with state ministers, which began here on Wednesday. However, the NAC has favoured a comprehensive national policy for early childhood and pre-school education underlining that the policy must identify and propose appropriate curricular modules, promote age-appropriate learning and develop pre-school teacher-training modules and mechanisms.
REFERENCE: http://www. deccanherald. com/content/177898/pre-school-edn-may-come. html FAQs Significance of the act and what does it mean for India? The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 marks a historic moment for the children of India. This Act serves as a building block to ensure that every child has his or her right (as an entitlement) to get a quality elementary education, and that the State, with the help of families and communities, fulfils this obligation. Few countries in the world have such a national provision to ensure both free and child-centred, and friendly education. What is ‘Free and Compulsory Elementary Education?
All children between the ages of 6 and 14 shall have the right to free and compulsory elementary education at a neighbourhood school. There is no direct (school fees) or indirect cost (uniforms, textbooks, mid-day meals, transportation) to be borne by the child or the parents to obtain elementary education. The government will provide schooling free-of-cost until a child’s elementary education is completed. How RTE is Useful? Despite of having many disadvantages there are various befits of having this act, which have been stated below: – 1) Help to Poor Students:-Now, any student can claim for education with the provision of required facilities, what he needs is a little support of the government and some enthusiastic social workers. ) Expectations from Private Schools:-The Act also orders the Private schools to reserve 25 per cent seats for children from the weaker and disadvantaged sections which is an intelligent step which the government has taken. All the schools have been asked to admit such students without admission tests and other documental requisites. Also, the schools can’t refuse the entry of students with reasons like late or early admission, full seats etc. 3) Financial Help from Government:-The Finance Commission has provided a sum of Rs 25,000 crore to the states for implementation of the Act. The education minister Mr. Sibbal has further announced that the government has full arrangements of the funds required for efficient implementation of the Act. Conclusion:
All of us might be wondering, in an economy like ours, a democracy, a people’s economy, and a rapidly developing economy, would this act bring a change to our people, or would it remain a dream and fade away like all other acts which were previously implemented have due to the corruption ridden system in our country. Promises and rules should be kept and made, but only if one can keep them and abide by them. As far as the RTE act is concerned, it has been a turning point in the life of us Indians, despite of which section we come from, be it the lower middle or higher class, the proper and rightful implementation of this act will affect all of us positively. With the implementation of the act, every child will enjoy the right for primary education.
With the enactment of this rule, the living conditions of people below the poverty line are expected to improve. Also Literacy in India has had a steady growth till independence. The literacy rate is expected to grow tremendously in the coming years which would lead to a decrease in child labour and increasing job opportunities through the education provided to them. Pratham a very well known NGO, known for helping the government in implementing the act, conducted a survey in around 14000 villages, covering an estimated 700000 children revealed that 96. 5% of all children in the age group of 6-14 have been enrolled into schools as per the act.
A very important problem that has come to our notice is that the government is finding it difficult to find teaching staff for the schools, and are yet to discover ways to raise efficient faculties, the government should find ways to overcome this issue within the time frame allocated by them. Even though the government has given a start to this act, it is very essential to study and take every step from here onwards cautiously and with utmost care. RTE can be said as the seed towards a shining and developed India, free of poverty and unemployment. If implemented properly, India is sure to have a very bright future. 3REFERENCES: ELECTRONIC REF. :- 1- 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7- 8-