Education is the treasure which can be preserved without the fear of loss. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “everyone has the right to education which shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages”. The passing of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act (Right to Education Act 2009) marks a historic moment for the children of India. For the first time in India’s history, children have been guaranteed their right to quality elementary education by the State with the help of families and communities. RTE came into force on 1st April 2010. India joined the group of 135 countries in the world to make education a fundamental right of every child
Provisions of Right to Education Act 2009
Under the provisions of this Act:
- Every child in the age group of 6-14 years will be provided eight years of elementary education in an age appropriate classroom in the vicinity of his/her neighborhood
- No child shall be denied admission for want of documents
- No child shall be turned away if the admission cycle in the school is over
- No child shall be asked to take an admission test.
- Children with disabilities will also be educated in the mainstream schools
- Section 12 of RTE is one of the key provision, which mandates 25 percent reservation in unaided schools for children from economically weaker section and disadvantaged groups.
- School teachers will need adequate professional degree within five years or else will lose job
- Financial burden will be shared between state and central government.
- Will apply to all of India except Jammu and Kashmir;
- Calls for a fixed student-teacher ratio;
History of Right to Education in India
- 1870: Compulsory Education Act passed in Britain.
- 1882: Indian Education Commission: Indian leaders demand provision for mass education and Compulsory Education Acts.
- 1893: Maharaja of Baroda introduces Compulsory Education for boys in Amreli Taluk.
- 1906: Maharaja of Baroda extends Compulsory Education to rest of the State.
- 1906: Gopal Krishna Gokhale makes a plea to Imperial Legislative Council for introduction of Free and Compulsory Education
- 1910: Gokhale proposes Private members Bill (Rejected citing shortage of resources).
- 1917: Vithalbhai Patel is successful in getting the Bill passed – First Law on Compulsory Education passed (Popularly Known as Patel Act).
- 1918: Every Province in British India gets Compulsory Education Act on its Statute Bok.
- 1930: Hartog Committee Recommendation for better quality (les focus on quantity) curtails spread of primary education
- 1946: Constituent Assembly began its task
- 1947: Ways and Means (Kher) Committee set up to explore ways and means of achieving Universal Elementary Education within ten years at lesser cost.
- 1947: Constituent Assembly sub committee on Fundamental Rights places free and compulsory education on list of Fundamental Rights: “Clause 23 – Every citizen is entitled as of… right to free primary education and it shall be the duty of the State to provide within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution for free and compulsory primary education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.”
- 1947 (April): Advisory Committee of the Constituent Assembly rejects free and compulsory education as a fundamental right (costs being the reason). Sends clause to list of “non – justifiable fundamental rights” (later termed as ‘Directive Principles of State Policy).
- 1949: Debate in Constituent Assembly removes the first line of ‘Article 36’, “Every citizen is entitled as of right to free primary education and it shall be the duty of the State to.” and replaces it with “The State shall endeavour to.” Dr Ambedkar points out that Universal Primary Education is essential to end child labour for under 14 years old children, however, the argument is not accepted.
- 1950: Finally, Article 45 of Directive Principles of State Policy accepted: “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 fourten years”. This provision denied a justifable right. The inadequacy of the final Article 45 was foreseen by K.T. Shah in his note of dissent in April1947, “Once an unambiguous declaration of such a (justifiable) right is made, those responsible for it would have to find ways and mean to give effect to it. If they had not such obligation placed upon them they might be inclined to avail themselves of every excuse to justify their own inactivity in the mater, indifference or worse”
- 2003: The Free and Compulsory Education for Children Bill, 2003
- 2004: The Free and Compulsory Education For Children Bill, 2004
- 2005: The Right to Education Bill, 205 (June) (CABE Bill)
- 2005: The Right to Education Bill, 205 (August)
- 2006: Central legislation discarded. States advised to make their own Bills based on The Model Right to Education Bill, 206
- 2008/9: Central legislation revived. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Bill, 2008, introduced / passed in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.
- 2009: President’s assent in August 209
- 2010: Notification of the Act and the 86th amendment, issued on Feb 19, 2010 in the Gazette of India, stating that implementation will begin from April 1, 2010, eight months after the presidential assent
We hope you liked this article on Right to Education Act. Here are some useful articles for you to read next:
Download this article as PDF
Click to go to RBI Grade B Preparation Page
Tags: Right to Education Act, Right to Education Act 2009, Right to Education Act pdf