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Development of Right to Education Policy

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“Every child of the age of six to 14 years shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighborhood school till completion of elementary education”

Education and social change are very closely related to each other. Education should prepare the background for social change. Education fulfils the needs of society and propagates such ideas which promote social change, political change etc. in all forms of life. Education has been formally recognized as a human right since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

This has since been affirmed in numerous global human rights treaties, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and cultural rights (1966). These treaties establish an entitlement to free, compulsory primary education for all children and more important a responsibility to provide basic education for individuals who have not completed primary education.

India achieved independence on August 15, 1947. Meanwhile, the social and legal structure of the society underwent changes with the change in the political set-up on January 26, 1950 a new constitution adopted and need of education arises because education is the only medium for achieving benefit, by the developments and changes in the society. In 2002, India joined, although after fifty-two years of Independence, the host of countries that provide a constitutional guarantee for free and compulsory education (FCE). Article 21–A of the Indian Constitution casts a duty upon the State to provide FCE to children in the age group of six to fourteen years, ‘as the State may, by law, determine’.

86th Amendment Act (2002) via Article 21A (Part III) seeks to make free and compulsory education a Fundamental Right for all children in the age group 6-14 years. It is also known as the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act. The law came into effect in the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir from 1 April 2010 through a speech by the Prime Minister. It was the first time in the history of India that a law was brought into force by a speech by the Prime Minister. In his speech, Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh, stated: “We are committed to ensuring that all children, irrespective of gender and social category, have access to education. (We are committed to) an education that enables them to acquire the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes necessary to become responsible and active citizens of India.

” The Act consists of 7 chapters and 38 sections. Students are the hope of the nation. They are the backbone of a country. So intending towards the words of Kothari commission on education “The destiny of a nation is shaped in its class-room”, we can say that it is essential for the children to know their rights and duties and if we talk about the development, prosperity then a country cannot progress only by its big factories, dams or buildings. It can live only by a sound, moral character of the people, so it is necessary for any nation to provide qualitative education. * The destiny of a nation is folded within its youths as is the flower within the close embrace of the petals that sheathe the buds. – Mrs. Annie Besant.

* Education is the creation of a sound mind in a sound body- Aristotle. * Education is the one of the prime concern of the government – Socrates This project contains study of the data of primary and middle schools of Madhya Pradesh and the comparative study of the number of students when the Right to Education was not in force and the year when the enactment of the law has been done. Violation of this act amounts to violation of Human Rights as well as Fundamental Right. This project is intended towards finding a true situation behind the implementation of RTE Act, 2009.

* Whether making RTE has been successful in bridging the chasm in education at ground level?

Historically, there has been a demand for Free and Compulsory Education in India and several legislative actions have been taken towards this end. Before 1839, there was the concept of authority and control which was patriarchal in nature. The Vedic education rested largely on ‘shruti’ or the gift of hearing. The most significant feature of Vedic education was its all comprehensiveness. A common feature of all schools of Indian philosophy is the concept of the world as a movement. They believed in the continuity of life and transmigration of soul. Till the nineteenth century A.D., education was largely considered privilege restricted to persons at the higher end of the caste. People from lower castes were denied admission into gurukuls.

When in 1870, England passed legislation to make free and compulsory education, a demand was raised in India, to provide similar facilities in its colonies. It was only during the 20th century that the concept of children’s rights emerged to bring into light the policies of social-justice, non-discrimination, equity and empowerment.

The legislative council of Bombay was the first amongst the provinces to adopt a law on compulsory education. Later on other provinces adopted this. Despite the continuous demand of FCE during the freedom struggle, at the time of drafting the constitution, there was no unanimous view in favour of a fundamental right to education but later on FCE made its way into the constitution as a Directive Principle of State Policy under Article 45.

Education is the matter of concurrent list of the constitution of India. Central and state government deals with the education. That’s how we see that there are several educational institutions being run by the state as well as center. Numbers of acts have been passed to enable education to be made free and compulsory. The list of such legislations passed in India, post constitutional, is given below.


* Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 Amendment Bills:
* The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2010 * The National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2010 Bills:
* Text of Right to Education Bill, 2005 [Draft]
* The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2008 * The Right to Education Bill, 2008
* Amendments to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 8 July 2009 Constitutional Amendment:
* 86th Amendment to the Constitution, 2002


Judiciary is the custodian of the constitution. It is the caretaker of the fundamental rights of the citizen. It always acted as an activist of citizen. When it comes to the interest of the nation judiciary plays its works as an activist. Article 32 embodies the aspirations of the Constitution- makers to provide direct access to the highest judicial forum in the country for the enforcement of fundamental rights. Judiciary is included within the term ‘State’ in the context of fundamental rights. * In Mohini Jain v. State of Karnataka, Supreme Court relied on the importance of Article 21 of Indian Constitution. In this case admission was denied to the student as she was unable to submit high capitation fees. First time Supreme Court held that right to education flows from right to life and personal liberty and held that it is thus the fundamental right to all.

* In Unnikrishnan v. The State of Andhra Pradesh, Supreme Court said about the age group of children under this fundamental right. Supreme Court in this case partly overruled the decision of Mohini Jain’s(capitation fee) case and held that keeping in mind the financial capacity of state, this right is limited between the age-group of 6-14 years only. * In TMA Pai Foundation v. State of Karnataka, it laid down different guideline for understanding the rules. It was held in this case that educational institutions may charge high capitation fees for their development but there should not be element of profiteering.

* The Supreme Court in 1993 held free education until a child completes the age of 14 to be a right (Unnikrishnan and others Vs State of Andhra Pradesh and others) by stating that: “The citizens of this country have a fundamental right to education. The said right flows from Article 21. This right is, however, not an absolute right. Its content and parameters have to be determined in the light of Articles 45 and 41. In other words, every child/citizen of this country has a right to free education until he completes the age of fourteen years. Thereafter his right to education is subject to the limits of economic capacity and development of the State.”

* In a recent judgement of Shikshan Mandal v. State of Maharashtra on 16th March, 2012, Bombay High Court said that “In view of the enactment of Right of Free and Compulsory Children’s Education Act, 2009, the Right to establish an Educational Institution has been regulated by ”Law”, as envisaged by the Constitution of India”. * The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights shall review the safeguards for rights provided under this Act, investigate complaints and have the powers of a civil court in trying cases.


* Imparting of education has always been recognized in this country from times immemorial as the religious duty. Both Hinduism and Islam treated it as such. It has also been recognized as a charitable object. But never has it been recognized as a trade or business. It is a mission, not a trade. * Imparting of education is the most important function of the State. This duty may be discharged by the State directly or through the instrumentality of private educational institutions. But when the State permits a private body or an individual to perform the said function it is its duty to ensure that no one gets an admission or an advantage on account of his economic power to the detriment of a more meritorious candidate.


For the first time in the history of India we have made this right enforceable by putting it in Chapter 3 of the Constitution as Article 21. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2009, described as a “legislation of national importance which would determine the course of India in the 21st century.” It is primarily education which brings forth the dignity of a man. It was held in a case of State of Kerala v. Sabarmathi Charitable Society that “the “right to education”, is concomitant to the fundamental rights enshrined under Part III of the Constitution. The State is under a constitutional mandate to provide educational institutions at all levels for the benefit of the citizens.

The educational institutions must function to the best advantage of the citizens.” Right to Education includes right to safe education.Article 21A restricted the age group from 6 to 14, thereby removing the 0-6 age group from the right; relegating it to the new article 45 of Directive Principles. Y.K. Sabharwal, C.J in R.D. Upadhyay Vs. State of A.P. and Ors. held that For the care, welfare and development of the children, special and specific provisions have been made both in Part III and IV of the Constitution of India, besides other provisions in these parts which are also significant. The best interest of the child has been regarded as a primary consideration in our Constitution.


1. Number of teachers
* 30:1 (for class I-V)
* 35:1 (for class VI-VIII)
* At least three subject teachers (for class VI-VIII)
2. Building
* 1 classroom per teacher
* 1 office-cum-store for headmaster
* Separate toilets
* Drinking water
* Kitchen for mid-day meal preparation
* Playground
* Boundary wall
3. Minimum number of working days in an academic year
* 200 working days (for class I-V)
* 220 working days (for class VI-VIII)
4. Minimum number of working hours per week for a teacher
* 45 teaching including preparation hours
* Teaching/learning equipment
* provided to each class
5. Library
* provided to each school
6. Play material, games, sports equipment
* provided to each class


Apart from the statutory requirement that 75% members shall be parents of children studying in the school, 50% of the total members’ women, the model rule prescribe that the Chair and Vice Chairpersons should be from amongst the parents; it should meet at least once a month. To facilitate the implementation of school-based management, the Education Department conducts various courses, covering topics on education policies, school management as well as the roles and responsibilities of SMC members. It is mentioned in Model rule 14 of the Act itself that plan for working SMC will be a three year plan estimating student strength, teacher requirement under the prescribed PTR, additional infrastructural, financial requirements. The SMC’s have been given the following functions: 1. Monitor the working of the school

2. Prepare and recommend the school development plan
3. Monitor the utilization of grants
4. Perform other functions as may be prescribed

This data explains the graph of primary and middle schools which shows the strength of various schools in year 2009(when the act was not in force) and year 2011(when the act was enforced), so that it can easily recognized the effect of this act. This data shows the status of various schools of Tikamgarh District in Madhya Pradesh. GRAPHICAL REPRESENTATION OF PRIMARY SCHOOLS


YEAR 2011| YEAR 2009|
138| 115|
30| 40|
28| 34|
278| 210|
51| 63|
116| 118|

This data interpretation is of the 6 primary schools where JUGYAYI school come first in terms of sound strength (278) in the year of 2011 against (210) in the year of 2009. This the only village where we see this Exceptional growth. While other schools were poor in the strength of students.

This graph shows that the condition of primary education is in bad condition because students attract to the school which are with good facilities. We can conclude that primary education is not up to the mark because there is a big difference in the data. GRAPHICAL REPRESENTATION OF MIDDLE SCHOOL


YEAR 2011| YEAR 2009|
119| 127|
133| 135|
147| 165|
135| 132|
Here we see that middle education is in decreasing form there is little difference in the data when it comes middle education. It indicates that there might be some factors which affect the admission.


Mere enacting an act or legislating a law is not sufficed for the government. Government works as making the laws for the welfare of the society. It has to face several challenges for the implementation of this act which are following. * Financial Challenge.

Our state is the welfare state. Being a welfare state it has to perform several works from defense to making welfare policy. Government has to practice what it preaches. It means it has to provide fund or money for the proper implementation of RTE. Many states have already voiced their inability to mobilize funds and entered into a dispute with the center. Financial crunch is biggest hurdle for the government so for facing this challenge it has to borrow money which exasperates the economy as well. * Challenge to find qualified teachers.

In the absence of competent teachers who are considered the pillars of education, it would be next to impossible for the Act to realistically achieve its goals. This is the biggest obstacle for the quality education condition of present government teachers is pathetic. The induction of the teachers is not up to the benchmark. First problem is that handsome salary attracts the most qualified teachers but on the other the government is helpless on this ground. That’s how qualified teachers moves to private schools * Challenge to provide infrastructure.

When it comes to providing infrastructure to schools we know that they are in their dilapidated condition. When we compare the government schools infrastructure with other private schools then we came to know that government schools are the lagging behind in this matter. Good infrastructure is the basic need for the students. If it is not provided then it will affect the RTE. In a survey on ‘Elementary Education in India’, conducted by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), it has been found that almost half of the recognized elementary schools in the country do not have separate toilet for girls. Students are inclined to come to those schools where the basic amenities are provided. * Challenge to provide equality of education.

While meting out the equality in the RTE, it is to be considered that adequate representation is provided from the different societal strata. With the mixing of students in class, it would be very difficult for the teachers to ensure quality. * Challenge to bring child laborers to schools.

Future of the country resides in the hand of children. They are seeds of future of the country. If the seeds are rotten then it cannot result in good crop. Similarly it is to be considered that the child labor is the malady for this country and for eradicating it, government will have to run the extensive campaign for their induction of this deprived class. * Challenge to implement 25% reservation for weaker sections.

No doubt that most of the private schools are really against the 25%. It is very difficult for the government to check whether this reservation is properly followed or not. Because this provision is for the weaker and the deprived section of the society and they even do not know that. It would indeed be challenging for the teachers to maintain equilibrium and create an environment for children to blend together.


The Constitution originally provided for FCE as a Directive Principle of State Policy, and now provides for a fundamental right to FCE, ‘as the State may by law determine.’ Government of India has analyzed the societal need for justice and fairness in the field of education through Right to Education Act, 2009. This act further supplanted and strengthened the newly evolved jurisprudential notion that there must not be any considerable delay on the part of the guardians, panchayat representatives and teachers regarding the education of children aged between 6-14 years so that they participate in the country’s development.

The directive principles which are fundamental in the governance of the country cannot be isolated from the fundamental rights guaranteed under Part III. It is the government that must ensure that all children are attending, and complete elementary education. This has immediate impact on child labour. The law has come as a boon to India and is expected to be a big boost to children’s education. The HRD Ministry expects that the law would increase India’s average to 15 out of 100 children by 2012 and to 30-35 by 2020. The law would ensure that the child got free, compulsory and quality education by qualified teachers. The government made all possible efforts to achieve the objective of bringing social and economic equality.

An individual cannot be assured of human dignity unless his personality is developed and the only way to do that is to educate him. This is why the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 emphasizes “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality.” The right to education has long been recognized as encompassing not only access to educational provision, but also the obligation to eliminate discrimination at all levels of the educational system, to set minimum standards and to improve quality.

The focus must be on the poorest and most vulnerable since these groups are the most disempowered and at the greatest risk of violation or denial of their right to education. A hope that if all these hurdles and shortcomings are overcome and the loopholes removed, then this will become the road leading towards an Educated India, a Proud India.

“That some achieve great success, is the proof to all that others can achieve as well.”- Abraham Lincoln.


1. www.education.nic.in
1. ”Cabinet clears long – pending Education Bill”- The Hindu (New Delhi) Nov 1, 2008 2. www.educationportal.mp.gov.in/
3. www.mightylaws.in/507/education_act_2009
4. Aadhar, March 2010, Pg 21-23
5. http://www.indiastudychannel.com/resources/111415-Right-Education-Act-India-The Challenges.aspx

[ 2 ]. Section :- A , semester : 3nd ,
[ 3 ]. Section 3 (1), Chapter 2, RTE Act, 2009.
[ 4 ]. Right to education act 2009
[ 5 ]. Plato- republic
[ 6 ]. Free and Compulsory Education
[ 7 ]. http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/IS/debates/vol 1 P3.htm [ 8 ]. http://righttoeducation.in/legislation-central
[ 9 ]. http://www.manupatrafast.in/Articles/PopOpenArticle.aspx?ID=46edceea-e4a5-4c14-bfe7 af4369a0e924&txtsearch=Constitution [ 10 ]. (1991)3 SCC 666
[ 11 ]. (1993)1 SCC 645
[ 12 ]. (1992) 3 SCC 666
[ 13 ]. AIR 2003 SC 355
[ 14 ]. (1993)1 SCC 645
[ 15 ]. http://righttoeducation.in/what-did-supreme-court-have-say [ 16 ]. Writ Petition No. 6727 0f 2010
[ 17 ]. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2009-07-21/news/28477175_1_upa-g
overnment-kapil-sibal-compulsory-education-bill [ 18 ]. AIR2007Ker158, ILR2007(1)Kerala334
[ 19 ]. Avinash Mehrotra v. Union of India, (2009) 6 SCC 398 [ 20 ]. http://righttoeducation.in/faq/category/frequently-asked-questions/history-act#t304n324 [ 21 ]. (2001) 1SCC 437
[ 22 ]. RTE Act 2009, pp 12-13
[ 23 ]. http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr99-00/english/panels/ed/papers/655e02.pdf [ 24 ]. http://rtemonitoringcell.info/rte-primer-responsibilities-of-schools [ 25 ]. http://www.tn.gov.in/gosdb/gorders/sed/sedu_e_213_2011.pdf [ 26 ]. http://www.indiastudychannel.com/resources/111415-Right-Education-Act-India-The-Challenges.aspx [ 27 ]. ssa.nic.in/…education…/Annexure%202%20-%20RTE_salient_feature [ 28 ]. http://www.ncpcr.gov.in/Acts/Fundamental_Right_to_Education_Dr_Niranjan_Aradhya_ArunaKashyap.pdf [ 29 ]. http://www.indiastudychannel.com/resources/111415-Right-Education-Act-India-The-Challenges.aspx

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