Saturday, 8 December 2018

Essay on Right to Education Challenges and Prospects

Essay on Right to Education Challenges and Prospects

Right to Education
The basic right of education is a universal human right. It promotes individual freedom and empowerment. Education is the only instrument through which economically backward children are able to uplift themselves out of poverty and take complete part as citizens. United Nations and the UNESCO have laid down international legal obligations for the right to education. These enable in promoting and developing the right of every person to enjoy access to good quality education without discrimination or exclusion. As per these norms the government must fulfill their legal and political duties of providing good quality education for all and to effectively implement and monitor the educational plans.

The Eighty-six Amendment Act inserted Article 21-A into the Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education to all children from the age group of six to fourteen years as a fundamental right. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE), Act, 2009 envisages that every child has the right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school.

The Right to Education was passed on 4th August, 2009 and came into action since 1" April, 2010. India had passed the Right to Education Act after sixty-two years of her independence. This Act incorporates in it the words "free" and "compulsory". Free education defines itself as the type of education where no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges which may prevent him/ her from pursuing and completing elementary education. This does not however apply to a child who has been admitted by his/her parents to a school which is not supported by the appropriate government.

The basic right of child education as provided by the RTE specifies the duties and responsibilities of appropriate government, local authorities and even parents in allowing free and compulsory education. It lays down particular norms relating to student teacher ratios, buildings and infrastructure, school working days, working hours of the teacher, etc.

It provides for a rational deployment of teachers in schools by ensuring that the specified student teacher ratio is maintained in maintained in each school. This is to ensure that there is no urban-rural imbalance in postings. This Act strictly prohibits physical punishment and mental harassment, screening procedure for admission of children, capitation fee, private tuition by teachers and running of schools without recognition. It also provides for development of syllabus synchronous with the values enshrined in the constitution and which would ensure the all-round development of the child, building on the child's knowledge, potentiality and talent.

According to a UNESCO 2010 Education for All Global Monitoring Report still there are around eight million children in the age group of six fourteen years out of school in India, and the majority of them are girls.

Unfortunately it has been seen in recent reports that till date no state has met the basic RTE norms of trained teachers, infrastructure requirements or pupil-teacher ratio. The Right to Education Act’s implementation has also remained growly unfunded. The student enrollment has although improved, the quality of education still remains to reach the notch of the desired. The state governments have also been lax on their part in implementing the RTE. There are still 660,000 untrained teachers and 500,000 posts vacant across the nation. Much to the surprise and very much against the Act, it is observed that there is only a single teacher in one among nine schools. It is reported that only one in twelve schools comply with the RTE norms and often the basic requirements like classrooms, toilets, drinking water and boundary walls are not in place. There are still eight percent of habitations in India that do not have a school within three kilometers; seven percent children in slums do not have a school within one kilometer and twelve percent of schools do not have all weather roads leading to them. The right to education also remains a dream for millions of children from the tribal and minority communities and in conflict zones.

It has been of late come to notice that the Supreme Court has sought reports from all states and union territories on a petition against the violation of the RTE Act. The petition has also appealed proper implementation of the Act. Despite all flaws, the Right to Education Act is a ground breaking law enforced by the Government of India. It is a formidable law in granting the children their fundamental right. The day seems not far away when we will realize total educational development by implementing it in replete.



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