Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Is Right to Education a Success?

“What sculpture is to a block of marble,
Education is to the human soul”
                                  -Joseph Addison

Education law do you know my rightsThe RTE act holds, all children regardless of their family backgrounds or individual profiles should have access to a meaningful education that empowers them to be a part of today’s human race all over the world.

The Right of children to free and compulsory education Act, which was passed by the Indian parliament on 4 August 2009, describes different aspects of free and compulsory education for children aged 6 to 14 in India. India is one of the 135 countries to make education a fundamental Right of every child.

The Act has been criticized for many reasons like huge funds required for the implementation of the Act, public- private partnership which leads to a stereo type threat, barrier for orphans, quality of education due to lack of teachers and also the age limit of 6 to 14 which excludes the preschool range and a basic degree of the Xth Std.

But I am in a little disagreement with some of the criticisms. A committee setup to study the funds requirement estimated that Rs.231, 000 crores would be required in next five years to implement the Act, the central Govt. agreed to a 68:32 ratio of sharing the funds between centre and states which makes it a lot easier for the state to comply with the act, So we’ve got a solution to this problem. But wait a second: “It is not the scarcity of funds, it is the lack of professionalism in deployment of those funds that is dismal and the deficiency of the state commitment in improving the conditions thus evolving”.

Another problem is quality and quantity of teachers as equal to the students. Oh yes indeed there is a need of large number of efficient teachers. But why is our country facing this problem? Teachers abroad, unlike in India, are provided intensive training. The Solution to this problem will not come by amending the RTE Act, it will come by many other substantial changes in education system of our country.

Now as far as the age limit problem is concerned, a critical development in 2011 has been the decision taken in principle to extend the RTE till class X(age 16) and into the preschool age range. The CABE committee (Central Advisory Board of Education) is in the process of looking into implications of making these changes.

Among all, the most controversial has been the 25% reservation in private unaided schools. There has been a lot spoken on this. I summarize the whole thing in one question: Will a child who comes in a chauffeur driven car, study alongside the chauffer’s child? This question gives rise to number of psychological concerns. How will the chauffer’s son deal with urge of matching his lifestyle with his classmates?

One of the provisions of the act makes it mandatory for all the children to produce income, caste and birth certificates. Orphan children are often unable to produce such certificates and documents even though they are willing to do so. Thus, schools are refusing to admit them, since they are required to submit their documents as a condition to admission.

There are always two sides to a coin and so is to this RTE act, I would not call it an absolute failure; in fact this is one of our country’s major steps towards education development. RTE act is nothing new; in fact it is an implementation tool of Art.45 of the Indian Constitution which provides for free and compulsory education. So it’s a step further ahead, isn’t it?

Finally, answer to the question is right to education a success? Yes, it is a stepping stone to success; with some materialistic changes.

Diksha Idnani, Nari Gurshani Law CollegeDiksha Idnani- A Lawyer in making and a meritorious 
student of Nari Gursahani Law College,a voracious reader,intense researcher,successfully completed certificate courses of Public speaking,Gender Justice and ADR, Contributor to the coffee table book of Bom.HC on its completion of 150 yrs,interacted and interviewed foreign professors,GS since past 3yrs,magazine editor,presented research papers at SIU,shortlisted by MU for a student exchange program to Japan,recipient of trophies,medals and best student award for two consecutive years.

Keywords: right to education act 2009, education, authors,  fundamental rights, Constitution of India, RTE Act 2009, 


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