- Global recognition of education
- Education in India
- Right To Education Act
- Provisions of the Act
- Advantages of the Right To Education Act 2009
- The implication of the Act
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
The importance of education cannot be undermined. A good education is a foundation for a better future. Therefore, every country emphasizes the need to educate the youth for a better tomorrow.
Similarly, India too has taken certain measures to ensure that the youth of today are properly educated so that the country sees a brighter future.
Education and Its International Recognition
Education has been recognised as an important aspect when it comes to the well-being of a human being.
Consequently, Education has been internationally acclaimed as the single most factor responsible for the development of a nation.
To this effect, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations in 1948.
One of the main principles of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights embodies the right to education. This was the first international instrument that recognised the right to education as a fundamental right.
The Universal Declaration on human rights states that:
“Every human being has the right to education. Education must be free, at least in the primary and fundamental stages. Moreover, primary education shall be compulsory. Advance and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be accessible to all based on merit and equality.”
Apart from the Universal Declaration of Human rights, there are other international organisations, treaties, and instruments that are working towards the promotion of education.
- The World Bank
- The International Labour Organization
- Amnesty International
Education in India
The importance of education is not a new concept in India. Education was given a pivotal role as early as the Vedic period. History has shown the efforts made to promote education among the youth of the country.
However, with the growing population and unabated poverty, the importance given to education began to decline.
Noticing this steady decline in the proportion of educated youth, the Government of India has taken certain measures to ensure that education reaches every nook and corner of the vast and diverse nation
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Right to Education Act
The right to education in India was made a fundamental right only in the 86th amendment in 2002 to the Constitution Act.
Before this right to education amendment, education came under the Directive Principles Of State Policy which directed states to ensure the right to education.
However, after the 86th right to education amendment, Education is now embodied under Article 21A as a fundamental right guaranteed under the constitution of India.
It provides that “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all the children of the age of 6 to 14 years in such manner as the state may, by law determine.”
A fundamental right is a right guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution. There are 6 fundamental rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution
- Right to equality
- Right to freedom of speech
- Right against exploitation
- Right to freedom of religion
- Cultural and educational rights
- Right to constitutional remedies.
The right to education is an important fundamental right that guarantees the prosperity of the country.
Further, realizing the importance of the right to education in India, The Government of India passed the “The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act”.
It was passed by the Parliament in August 2009. With the passing of this Act, India is now part of 135 countries where education is a fundamental right of every child.
Provision of the Right to Education Act:
- The Act makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14
- The Act stipulates that all private schools(except the minority institutions) shall reserve 25% of seats for the poor and other categories of children
- This percentage of seats shall be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan
- Children shall be admitted into private schools based on caste-based reservations.
- The Act prohibits all unrecognised schools from practicing.
- The Right to Education Act stipulated that no donation or capitation fees and no interview of the child or parent are required for admission.
- The Act provides that no child shall be held back, expelled, or required to pass a board examination until the completion of elementary education.
- There is provision for special training of school drop-outs to bring them up to par with students of the same age.
- The RTE act requires surveys to be conducted from time to time. These surveys will monitor all neighbourhoods, identify children requiring education, and set up facilities for providing it.
- The Right to Education Act in India also makes provisions regarding infrastructure and improving facilities in schools.
Advantages of RTE Act 2009
The RTE Act 2009 has several advantages. Here, we have enumerated certain benefits of RTE
1. The Benefit to The Community
Education ensures the development of the community. It ensures the nation’s progress. Therefore, one of the advantages of RTE ACT is that it ensures the development of the community and the nation as a whole.
2. Ensures Quality of Education
As the Act ensures constant vigilance on educational institutions, one of the benefits of RTE Act 2009 is that it ensures quality education through its provisions.
For example, the Act stipulates the optimum teacher-student ratio, minimum infrastructure, and facilities among other provisions. These provisions ensure that only quality education is meted out to students.
3. Equality in Education
Equality in education is a major advantage of the RTE ACT 2009. It stipulates that all private institutions must provide 25% seats to the poor and other categories of children.
Thereby providing equal opportunity to all in education. The Act seeks to provide social integration in education.
4. Eradicates Poverty
One of the important benefits of RTE ACT is that it is one of the means of eradicating poverty.
One of the main reasons for poverty in the country is the lack of educated youth. Uneducated youth cannot secure jobs that generate decent take-home packages.
Education can lift individuals out of poverty and into rewarding careers.
5. No Tolerance Towards Discrimination
The provisions of the Right to Education Act 2009 stresses the nondiscrimination of students based on caste, creed, or religion. This is a step towards freeing the country from the clutches of social discrimination.
6. Provides Recourse
The RTE ACT also makes provisions to approach the Government in case provisions of the RTE ACT 2009 are not being implemented in the state or in any school.
Implications of Right to Education Act 2009
Increase in The Admission of Students
Research conducted by Observer Research Foundation has shown a steady increase in admissions and enrolments of students in classes from 6 to 8.
The survey stated that The RTE Act has successfully managed to increase enrolment in the upper primary level (Class 6-8).
Nationally, between 2009 – 2016, the number of students in the upper primary level increased by 19.4 percent. In rural India, only 3.3 percent of children in the 6-14 years of age were out of school in 2016.
Table 1: Percentage increase in enrolment in the upper primary levels
|Year||No. of students enrolled in class VI-VIII (upper primary)||Year-on-year increase (in %)|
Source: District Information System of Education
The RTE Act 2009 is a step forward in the right direction. The Act has been globally recognised.
The World Bank education specialist for India, Sam Carlson, has observed: The RTE Act is the first legislation in the world that puts the responsibility of ensuring enrolment, attendance, and completion on the Government.
It is the parents’ responsibility to send the children to schools in the US and other countries.
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