Education is the most powerful tool which can shape the destiny of an individual as well as the whole nation. It is also the key to gender equality. Also it is not only the individual who gets empowered, but the community as a whole and society at large. It is in recognition of these aspects that Parliament enacted the ‘Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009’ or Right to Education Act.
Right to Education Act has the following provisions:-
- 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.
- When a child of above six years has not been admitted to any school or, if admitted, is unable to continue studies, that child shall be admitted to a class appropriate to his age. He will be also given special training (minimum of 3 months; maximum 2 years) to bring him at par with his class. He can continue beyond 14 years in order to complete receiving 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.
Duties of appropriate Government under Right to Education Act: The appropriate Government shall–
(a) provide free and compulsory elementary education to every child: Provided that where a child is admitted by his or her parents or guardian, as the case may be, in a school other than a school established, owned, controlled or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government or a local authority, such child or his or her parents or guardian, as the case may be, shall not be entitled to make a claim for reimbursement of expenditure incurred on elementary education of the child in such other school.
(b) The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and state commissions will monitor the implementation of the Act.
(c) Child’s mother tongue as medium of instruction, and comprehensive and continuous evaluation system of child’s performance will be employed.
(d) Financial burdens 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.
(e) ensure availability of a neighbourhood school .
(f) ensure that the child belonging to weaker section and the child belonging to disadvantaged group are not discriminated against and prevented from pursuing and completing elementary education on any grounds;
(g) provide infrastructure including school building, teaching staff and learning equipment;