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Right to Education Act, India



The Parliament of India passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act on the4th of August 2009, making education a Fundamental Right for every child in the country. The historic legislation underlines the obligations of the central and state governments for providing free and compulsory education to every child between the age of six and fourteen. Let us look at the basic provisions of the Act :

What does the Act provide ?

The Act provides that every child between the age of six and fourteen shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till the completion of elementary education, that is up to class eight. If a child is not admitted to school at the age of six he or she can seek admission even later on in a class appropriate to his/ her age, and will be entitled to free training to ensure that he is at par with his class. No child can be denied admission, expelled or held back before completing elementary education, and will continue to get free education even beyond the age of fourteen if he does not complete elementary education within that age.  

What are the respective obligations of the Centre, States, local governments, schools and parents under the Act ? 

The Central Government shall develop a framework of national curriculum , enforce standards for training of teachers and provide necessary technical support and resources to the State Government for promoting innovations, researches, planning and capacity building.

The State and local Governments shall ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by every child of he age of six to fourteen years; ensure availability of a neighbourhood school , ensure that the children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged groups are not discriminated against , provide infrastructure including school building, teaching staff and learning equipment; ensure good quality elementary education, provide training for teachers, and monitor the working of schools.

While free education would be provided by government schools, even private schools and special category schools have to provide 25 percent reservation for economically disadvantaged communities in admission to Class One .No school can charge any capitation fee or adopt any screening procedure for parents/child. The former can attract a fine of upto ten times the capitation fee, and the later Rs 25,000/- for first contravention and Rs 50,000 for subsequent contraventions. No School is to be established without obtaining certificate of recognition from an authority as prescribed. Schools will have to satisfy norms and standards specified under the Act.

It would be the duty of every parent to admit their children within 6-14 years of age to school. 

How will the functioning of schools be monitored ?

This will be done through School Management Committees consisting of the elected representatives of the local authority, teachers and parents or guardians of children ( at least three fourth, with proportionate representation to parents of children from weak and disadvantaged groups. The School Management Committee shall monitor the working of the school, prepare and recommend school development plan, monitor the utilisation of the grants received and perform such other functions as may be prescribed.

What are the provisions for improving quality of teaching in schools ?

Minimum qualifications are to be decided for teachers by an academic authority decided by the Central Government. Teachers presently in service will be required to acquire these minimum qualifications within five years if they do not already possess the same. The salary and allowances payable to, and the terms and conditions of service of teacher shall also be prescribed. A teacher shall maintain regularity in attending school, conduct and complete the curriculum within the specified time, assess the learning ability of each child and accordingly supplement additional instructions as required, keep parents and guardians apprised of the progress made by their child and perform such other duties as may be prescribed. Disciplinary action will be taken against defaulting teachers. The Act calls for a fixed teacher : student ratio in schools. Appointing authorities will have to ensure that vacancy of teachers in a school does not exceed 10 percent of sanctioned strength. Further, teachers are not to be deployed for any non-educational work except census, disaster relief or election. No teacher will be allowed to engage in private tuition. The Act also stipulates a time frame for improvement of school infrastructure. 

Who will determine the curriculum and evaluation procedure for elementary education ?

This will be laid down by an academic authority to be specified by the appropriate Government, in conformity with the values enshrined in the Constitution and will focus on all round development of the child, building up his knowledge, potential and talent, full physical and mental development and making him free of fear, trauma and anxiety . No child shall be required to pass any Board examination till completion of elementary education and every child completing his elementary education shall be awarded a certificate.

How are grievances to be redressed under the Act ?

The National/ State Commission for Protection of Child Rights constituted under provisions of the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 shall, in addition to their other functions, also examine and review the safeguards for rights provided under this Act and recommend measures for their effective implementation and inquire into complaints relating to child's right to free and compulsory education. Any person having any grievance relating to the right of a child under this Act may make a written complaint to the local authority having jurisdiction. The local authority shall decide the matter as early as possible after affording a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the parties concerned. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the local authority may prefer an appeal to the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

What would be the function of the proposed National Advisory Council ?

The proposed National Advisory Council will be constituted by the Central Government from amongst persons having knowledge and practical experience in the field of elementary education and child development. The functions of the National Advisory Council shall be to advise the Central Government on implementation of the provisions of the Act in an effective manner.

1 Comentário:

Babji Shaik said...

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