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Updated: Feb 20, 2022

Written by: MEDHA REDDY

We are living in a world of need and fate, and we should be reborn into a world of creativity and liberty. Right to Education was created out of this significance. According to Article 21(a)[1] of the Indian Constitution, the right to education is a fundamental right and this right has been given the same legal value as the right to life. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009 is defined as "an act to provide for free and compulsory education for all children between the age of 6 to 14 years." The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, also known as the Right to Education Act (RTE)[2], was enacted on August 4th, 2009, and came into force on April 1st, 2010. According to article 21(a) of fundamental rights, children aged 6 to 14 should be educated compulsory and should be provided free education. RTE outlines the methods of the significance of primary education for children in India, between the age of 6 to 14.

According to the Act, any costs associated with a child's inability to attend school would be carried by the state, which will also be responsible for enrolling the child and ensuring that they complete their eight years of education. No child shall be disqualified from entry due to a lack of certificates; nor shall any child be rejected if the school's admission cycle has ended, nor shall any child be requested to take an admission test.

The Act defines education as a fundamental right for all children aged 6 to 14 and provides basic requirements in elementary schools. As part of the public-private partnership plan, it mandates all private educational institutions to reserve 25% of seats for students who will be funded by the state. Children are enrolled in private schools depending on their socioeconomic background or caste-based reservations.[3] It also prevents the practice of all unlicensed schools and provides for no donations or capitation fees, as well as no admissions or interviews with the child or parent. The act also establishes norms and regulations for all schools, and any school that fails to meet these criteria within three years will be shut down. All private schools will be required to apply for recognition; if they do not, they will be fined up to 1 lakh, and if they continue to operate, they would be fined $10,000 per day. In addition, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)[4] has been entrusted with monitoring the right's execution.

No child shall be considered behind, expelled, or forced to pass a board examination until they have completed elementary education, according to the Act. According to the Act, no public or private school can suspend, fail, or expel any child in primary school. The Delhi High Court ruled against St. Xavier's School in Delhi on April 7, 2010, ordering the school to return all the students who had been declared failed and dismissed. There is also a provision for particular training for school dropouts to help them lead a normal life. Special provisions have been provided for children who had not been accepted to a school or those who have not finished elementary education; a child who has now been admitted to elementary education will also be eligible to continue it even after 14 years.

Children who are mentally/physically disabled will be educated in regular classrooms as well. The Persons with Disabilities Act[5] provides the right to education for children with disabilities until they reach the age of eighteen. The Act also contains several other rules relating to school infrastructure, teacher-student relationships, and faculty. Section 10 of the RTE Act states it the responsibility of parents to guarantee that their children attend school, without imposing any restrictions.

This right will boost India's development and production to greater heights. However, in the case of child labor and children on the streets or children who were abandoned, the government should ensure that they're not being forced to work and ensure that they also have access to schools as well as care homes that will allow them to complete their education.[6] This means that parents and localities who prohibit their young girls from attending school or engaging in child marriage must be persuaded, or the Child Marriages Act[7] must be used against them.

Even though few Hindi-speaking states have the highest number of school children, but states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar were the most unwilling to enact the RTE (Right to Education) Act. The Indian Constitution expressly specifies that this cannot be left to the states to ensure that people's rights are protected.

Education is a continuous topic in the Indian constitution, and both the centre and the states can regulate it. The Act assigns particular responsibility for its administration to the central, states, and local governments. States have complained that they lack the financial resources to provide high-quality education in many schools necessary for public education. As a result, it was obvious that the central government (which receives the majority of the revenue) would have to support the states. In April 2010, the government agreed to share the revenue for enforcing the laws in the ratio of 65 to 35 between the centre and the states, and a ratio of 90 to 10 for the north-eastern states, as predicted by a committee established to analyze the financial requirement and funding. In 2010, however, the number was raised to INR 2310 billion, and the government agreed to increase its part to 68 percent. There is some uncertainty here, with other media reports claiming that the centre's portion of the implementation costs will now be 70%. Most states might not have to raise their education funding significantly at that rate.

Article 45 of the Indian Constitution reads, "Within ten years of the start of this Constitution, the State should aim to provide for free and compulsory education for all students between the age of 6 to 14. The World Bank sponsored a variety of initiatives in the 1990s to put schools within proximity of rural areas. In the 1990s, this effort was unified in the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan program. RTE act takes the process a step further by making school admission a state authority.

[1] The Constitution of India, 1950, Art. 21(a).86th amendment Act, 2002

[3] RTE Act, 2009. S.12.(Act 30 of 2012)

[4] The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), 2007. (Act 4 of 2006)

[5] The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. (Act 49 of 2016)

[6] RTE Act, 2009. S.10.(Act 30 of 2012)

[7] THE PROHIBITION OF CHILD MARRIAGE ACT, 2006. (Act no. 6 of 2007)

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