Essay-18 : Right to Education (RTE)

What is RTE? Candidates must know the facts and fictions of RTE (Right to Education).

The well –renowned economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen rightly mentioned, “Education is the backbone of India”. Education is the most powerful tool which can mould the fate of an individual as well as the whole nation. The scale of measurement between developed nations and underdeveloped nations is ‘Education.’

Essay-18 : Right to Education (RTE)

Right to Education (RTE)

In its sovereign and secular constitution of India, it is categorically encrypted that imparting free education is the prime duty of state and central governments without any prejudice. Adhering to this; the 86th constitutional amendment by the parliament and article 21A in the year of 2002 which made Right to Education a fundamental right.  Subsequently, “Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act” was approved by the president of India on 26th August 2009. India now is the 135th country in the world to make education a fundamental right for its citizens. The act came into existence on 1st April, 2010. This act dictates all the people concerned like parents, schools, society, states and central governments to understand their roles of responsibility in order to provide free and compulsory education to the children between the 6-14 yrs of age. The legalese in Indian Constitution is supported by many acts followed by the RTE (Right to Education). World Conference on Education for all unequivocally admitted, ‘Every person – child, youth and adult – shall be able to profit from educational opportunity designed to meet their basic learning needs’.

Right to Education in India (RTE) can be understood in terms of ‘4-A’s as follows.

(1) Availability – Education is free and funded by the government that includes infrastructure and trained teachers.
(2) Accessibility – The system of education is non-discriminatory and available to all.
(3) Acceptability – The curriculum of education is culturally and socially apt imparted with good quality.

(4) Adaptability – Education should be evolved with changing needs of society and contribute to challenging inequalities, such as co-education (Without any gender-biased)

Salient features of the RTE Act 3:

(1) Every child of India in the 6 to 14 years age group; has a right to free and compulsory education in a “neighbourhood” school, not necessarily a government-funded school.
2) School-drop outs and children who have not been admitted in any school must be enrolled; and no school can reject them for taking admission.
3) Educational institutes – “Private or Unaided”- must reserve 25 percent of the seats for the students belonging to economically weaker section and underprivileged section of the society in admission to class first (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan).
4) All schools except government schools are required to be recognized by meeting the specified norms and standards within 3 years, failing of which they will be penalized for up to Rs. one lakh. This RTE act also prohibits all unrecognized schools from practice and makes provisions for no donation or capitation fees and no interview of the child or parent at the time of admission.
5)  The age of a child shall be determined on the basis of certificate issued in accordance with the provisions of the Births, Deaths and marriages Registration Act, 1856 or on the basis of such other document, as may be prescribed.
6) The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and state commissions will monitor the implementation of the Act.
7) Expenses incurred in this process will be shared by the centre and the state governments in the ratio of 55:45 and this ratio is 90:10 for the northeastern states.
(8) The set initiatives such as, Sarva Siksha Abhyan (SSA), Mid Day Meal Scheme, Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhyan(RMSA) were commenced by the central government before the induction of the RTE Act.

Nevertheless, before being this act got instigated in order to eradicate illiteracy, the Indian Government should have plugged the loopholes evident in this act and taken up the pragmatic approach. Culturally, education in India has never been a commodity for sale. The ‘Gurukula’ system in India became an obstruction to implement this act successfully. Government of India agrees that children of the nation are an extremely essential asset.

Children’s programmes should get a conspicuous part in our national agenda so as to make our progeny physically fit, mentally alert and morally healthy. There have been a number of cases of corruption registered; leaving alone the political bulldozing in admission process and mid-day meals etc. Another problem in this act – observed by academicians is that RTE act supports at primary levels effectively not at secondary and upper levels. Needless to say private management schools consider education only as a sheer business and never care about the lives of innocent children. India’s National Education Policy dictates to spend six percent of the GDP for the RTE regulations suggested by the Kothari Commission but hardly four percent or below is being spent


The findings of this RTE act, though brilliant, proved futile so far. Merely passing an act is
not sufficient but the functioning of the act and political will are the essential elements missing in this act.


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