The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act: An Overview

On August 4, 2009, the Indian Parliament passed the Right to Education Act 2009, popularly known as the RTE Act 2009. According to Article 21(A) of the Indian Constitution, it explains the necessity of free and mandatory education for children aged 6 to 14 in India. With the implementation of this act on April 1, 2010, India joined the list of 135 nations that have made education a fundamental right for all children. It establishes basic standards for primary schools, outlaws the operation of unrecognized institutions, and opposes admissions fees and kid interviews.

Objective of the Act

The act has the following main objectives −

  • Every kid between the ages of six and fourteen has the legal right to a free, public education. This is expressed in accordance with Article 21A of the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act. The Right to Education Act aims to put this amendment into practice.

  • All students would get a free education at government schools, which will be run by School Management Committees (SMC). At least 25% of the students in private schools must be admitted for free.

  • To oversee all facets of primary education, including quality, the National Commission for Elementary Education must be established.

Provisions under the Act

The provisions are −

Provisions Chapters Content
Section 1− Section 2 I Preliminary
Section 3 − Section 5 II Right to free and compulsory education
Section 6 − Section 11 III Duties of appropriate government, local authority and parents
Section 12 − Section 28 IV Responsibilities of schools and teachers
Section 29 − Section 30 V Curriculum and completion of elementary education
Section 31 − Section 34 VI Protection of right of children
Section 35 − Section 39 VII Miscellaneous

Essentials under the Act

In India, there have long been significant educational issues at the national level as well as in the states. The Right to Education Act of 2009 outlines the tasks and obligations of the federal government, each state, and all local governments in order to close any gaps in the nation's educational system. The following are the main essentials of the act− .

  • Free and Mandatory education for all− No child is required to pay any fees or other costs that would keep them from pursuing and finishing their elementary education. In order to lessen the financial burden of school expenses, free education also involves the distribution of textbooks, uniforms, stationery items, and special educational materials for students with disabilities.

  • The benchmark requirement− The Right to Education Act establishes guidelines and requirements for classrooms, boys' and girls' restrooms, drinking water facilities, the number of school days, and working hours for teachers, among other things. These rules must be followed by every elementary school in India (Primary + Middle School) in order to uphold the minimal standards required under the Right to Education Act.

  • Unusual rules for special circumstances− According to the Right to Education Act, a child who is not enrolled in school must be accepted into a class for their age and get additional instruction to help them catch up to age−appropriate learning levels.

  • There is no room for prejudice or harassment− The Right to Education Act of 2009 outlaws all forms of corporal punishment and psychological abuse, as well as discrimination based on gender, caste, class, and religion, as well as capitation fees, private tutoring facilities, and the operation of unrecognized schools.

  • Promoting children's holistic development− The Right to Education Act of 2009 calls for the creation of curricula that will guarantee the complete development of every child. Development includes a child's knowledge, abilities, and potential as a person.

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In today's technologically advanced and frantic society, education's relevance is very clear. After more than 60 years of Indian independence, the Right to Education was formally recognized as a Fundamental Right, making the Constitution's authors' vision a reality. This landmark education law is the crown jewel to which other states may only aspire. But unless the gaps and ambiguities in this admirable Act are filled with due diligence and its appropriate application is enforced, it may ultimately suffer the terrible destiny of an aged, toothless, and clawless tiger.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. "Free and Compulsory Elementary Education" − what does that mean?

Every kid between the ages of 6 and 14 has the right to a free, public, neighborhood elementary school education.

Q. How will RTE be funded and put into practice in India?

Financial support for RTE shall be divided between the federal and state governments. Estimates of the costs must be prepared by the central government. A portion of these expenses will be given to state governments.

Q. What RTE rule means?

All children between the ages of 6 and 14 are entitled to free and compulsory education as a fundamental right under Article 21−A of the Indian Constitution. The Right Education Act and Article 21−A both went into force on April 1, 2010.

Updated on: 19-Dec-2022


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