The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, also known as the Right to Education Act (RTE Act), a Fundamental Right under Article 21A of Indian Constitution. The major highlights of the RTE Act are:
- It ensures free & compulsory education to all children within the age group of 6 to 14.
- No school fees, capitation fees, charges or expenses are to be paid by a child to get elementary education.
- The child or his parents are not to be subjected to any screening procedure for admission to school
- Special training provision for a child of above six years not been admitted to any school or, unable to continue studies, to bring him par with his class and to be admitted in an age appropriate class. In such cases, the child can continue beyond 14 years to complete his/her elementary education.
- If a school does not provide facility to complete elementary education then a child of that school can take a transfer to any other government (govt.) or government-aided school.
- Each child is also entitled to free text books, writing material and uniform.
- The appropriate govt. which means central or state government and its affiliates have to provide a school within 1 km walking distance for children in classes I to V and within 3 kms for those in classes VI to VIII. These schools are termed as ‘neighbourhood schools’.
- The government has the responsibility to undertake school mapping to determine the location of the school.
- 25 percent of the seats in private schools are reserved for RTE students which are funded by the government. The Centre and the State share the joint responsibility to provide funds for RTE execution.
- Central Government has the responsibility to prepare National Academic Curriculum, teacher training manuals, capacity building and technical support to the states for the promotion of the RTE.
- The State Government has to ensure the development of course of study, admission of children, teaching staff, infrastructure development of schools, completion of education of children up to the age of 14 and inclusion of children from marginalised section of the society.
- It is the duty of every parent to admit their children or ward to school and ensure that they receive elementary education.
- Teachers in the schools have to ensure their regular attendance, completion of curriculum with the specific time, assessing the ability of the child and prescribe special attention if need be, conduct the parent-teacher meeting to appraise overall development of the child.
- There should be one teacher for every 30 students for the class I to V and one teacher for every thirty-five students for class VI to VIII.
- There should be one specialised teacher each for teaching (i) Science & Mathematics (ii) Social Sciences and (iii) Languages.
- A full-time Head Teacher is recommended for a school with more than 100 students.
- Classes I to V should have 200 working days & Classes VI to VIII 220 working days per academic year, with a 45 hour work week.
- All weather classroom for every teacher in the school, an office, a store room and a principal’s room. The school has to ensure hygienic kitchen for midday meals, safe drinking water facility, and separate toilets for boys and girls along with proper fencing, playground and a library with relevant books and teaching aid.
- The school has to ensure all round development of the child and practice inclusion without denying admission to any child on any grounds
The Right to Education act has laid down a comprehensive standard to be maintained by schools and authorities for creating a conducive environment for learning. However, we constantly hear reports regarding malpractices and poor implementation of the RTE act, which we will shed some light on, in the next blog.
- Constitution of India
- Right to Education Act, 2009