What is Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act ??

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or commonly called as Right to Education (RTE), is an Indian legislation enacted by the Parliament of India on 4 August 2009, which describes the modalities of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India. India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right when the act came on force on 1 April 2010.

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The Act makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 and specifies minimum norms in elementary schools. IT requires all private schools to reserve 25% of seats to children (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan). Kids are admitted in to private schools based on caste based reservation. It also prohibits all unrecognised schools from practice, and makes provisions for no donation or capitation fees and no interview of the child or parent for admission. The Act also provides that no child shall be held back, expelled, or required to pass a board examination until the completion of elementary education. There is also a provision for special training of school drop-outs to bring them up to par with students of the same age.

The RTE act requires surveys that will monitor all neighbourhoods, identify children requiring education, and set up facilities for providing it. The World Bank education specialist for India, Sam Carlson, has observed :

The RTE Act is the first legislation in the world that puts the responsibility of ensuring enrolment, attendance and completion on the Government. It is the parent’s responsibility to send the children to schools in the US and other countries”.

The Right to Education of persons with disabilities until 18 years of age is laid down under a separate legislation-the Person with Disabilities Act. A number of other provisions regarding the improvement of school infrastructure, teacher-student ratio and faculty are made in the Act. A report on status of implementation of the Act was released by the MHRD on the one year anniversary of the Act. The report admits that 8.1 million children in the age group 6-14 remain out of school and there’s a shortage of 508,000 teachers country wide. A shadow report by the RTE Forum representing the leading education networks in the country, however, challenging the findings pointing out that several key legal commitments are falling behind the schedule. The Supreme Court of India has also intervened to demand implementation of the Act in the Northeast. It has also provided the legal basis for ensuring pay parity between teachers in government and government-aided schools.

To know how to avail the facility and the legalities involved visit http://righttoeducation.in/faq

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