A child miseducated is a child lost – Right to Education.
April 29, 2020
Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Education is an important part of an individual’s life. A person with knowledge can know and practice a better way of living life and one can’t get knowledge without education. It can be signed as a basic need for every human being, after proper education only the person can learn common activities and the necessary or the fundamental methods for his survival in the society. A person will only be treated well and respected and have dignity in this society if he’s educated enough. Generally, education is a process in human life to know about their ancestors, their past, culture, method of living and all the surroundings nearby, so it’s a process in human life to be matured.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, also known as the Right to Education Act is an act passed by the parliament of India on 4th of August 2009. It comes under Article 21(A) of the Indian Constitution which provides ‘free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of six to fourteen (6-14) years as a fundamental right in such a manner as the state may. by law, determine’. The RTE Act is the first legislation in the world that puts the responsibility of ensuring enrolment, attendance and completion of elementary education on the government of the Union. This act stipulates that no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education. It also stipulates that no child shall be subjected to physical punishment or mental harassment. The act suggests about the idea that learning should be in a manner which is child friendly.
The Right to Education has been universally recognized since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 but today, this essential act is still denied to millions all around the world. Former UN Special Reporter Katarina Tomasevski developed the concept of 4 A’s i.e. ‘available, accessible, acceptable and adaptable’ to be meaningful towards this act.
Features of RTE Act
The main features of the Right to Education Act are as follows:-
Free and compulsory education to all children in India irrespective of gender and social category.
Education accessible for all children coming from all sections of society.
25% of the seats are reserved for backward class and economically weaker sections children in private schools.
Bans the screening procedure of children for giving admission which justifies that no admission can be rejected on the basis of non-availability of required documents.
Provisions of the Right to Education Act
The matter starts with the right of children to free and compulsory education till the completion of elementary education where it clarifies the obligation of the appropriate government to take care of all the facilities with a proper manner including admission and document verifications. According to the provisions, no child shall be liable to pay any kind, which may prevent a child from pursuing education. The act also specifies the duties and responsibilities of the government or parent in providing education. Also, it looks over the development of curriculum in consonance with values enshrined with the Constitution that ensures all-round development of a child.
It also looks for some duties towards the teachers i.e. it provides for the rational development of teachers by ensuring the maintained the specified pupil-teacher ratio and looks over the appointment of appropriately trained teachers.
Criticism of the Right to Education Act
This act has been criticized for being hastily drafted, not considering the quality of education nor the group activities, infringing on the rights to private and religious minority schools to administer their system and excluding the age system. The idea of continuing the policy of Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan and World Bank Funded District Primary Education Programme were also criticized for being ineffective and corruption-ridden at the time of setting up of many schools in rural areas.
Standard of Education under Right to Education Act
The standard of education that is provided under this act is still at issue. Maximum schools which fall under the purview of this policy suffer from problems like shortage of teachers, infrastructure gaps and non-availability of proper resources. There are frequent allegations on the schools for being riddled with absenteeism and several appointments are also based on political supervision. The act is more concerned towards the extra facilities provided by the government, and not towards the class or level of education provided to the students for their better future.
The RTE Act has been in consideration since 1st April 2010 and several draft models have also been shared to states to formulate their rules on the basis of the same. It provides a platform to bridge the gap between education and every student, even the ones belonging to disadvantaged groups such as child labour, migrant children or the ones owing some social, cultural, economical, geographical, linguistic, or certain other factors. The act focuses on the quality of education and on accelerated efforts and substantial reforms. It works towards imparting the teachers with skills and to ensure child-friendly education. Substantial efforts are essential to eliminate disparities and ensure quality with equity. As per 2015 Legatum Prosperity Index, India ranks at 113th position amongst 167 countries when it comes to education.
The Right to Education Act guarantees free and compulsory education to all children aged between six to fourteen (6-14) years in India, the same has been mentioned under Article 21(A) of the Indian Constitution which makes it a fundamental right. It ensures all children, irrespective of gender and social category enables to acquire skills and knowledge that are necessary for a fundamental way. Before it, there was a provision of free and compulsory education for children under Article 45 but since it came under Directive Principles of the State Policy it was no compulsion on the government to provide it in a mannered way.
This act plays an important role in achieving universal elementary education and India must fabricate this act a reality through dialogue and consultation with key stakeholders within and outside the government. In the end, I’d like to conclude by saying that education which empowers the future generation should always be the main concern for any nation.