Dreamers Achieve Success: The Rights To education - Know your Child’s Rights for Better Life

The Rights To education - Know your Child’s Rights for Better Life

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My previous blog articles Ignited Minds Breath Success and Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards 2018 was a revelation for me and also led me to the exploration of tools for improving the quality of children’s life.
This led to serious debates with my friends and family and most of the people agreed that it all starts with the Education.
Education here means the not only the process of facilitating learning, it actually means the process of providing knowledge, skills, and values in an affordable way with high quality.

Photo by Nikhita S on Unsplash

But the real truth and the lingering question in everybody’s mind is, is Education affordable and available to all walks of the society? Is the affordable education provided with good quality?

I learned the truth in a hard way when I couldn’t get the Pre-kg admission for my child in one of Chennai’s desired school, which advertises to offer good quality of education, where parents throng in line to get their wards admitted and ready to give anything to secure the future of their child.

The emotional scare, the educational system leaves in the minds of the parents is tremendous and the social-economic pressure it puts on their shoulders is very high, as not all can pay hefty donations to secure admission.

This led me to the topic ‘The Right to education’, with the head start from my wife.

But why Education is needed in the first place?
Education is so important because as Nelson Mandela says, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.


Education gives the knowledge about the world and required wisdom to lead a better life, helps to develop a perspective of life around us, builds values and morals, to reduce gender inequality and to reduce poverty in the world.

By education I mean
an all-round drawing
of the best in child
and man in body,
mind and spirit,
   ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Education is so vital that it helps me write this blog post on the ‘The Right to education’.

What is the responsibility of government? What is the responsibility of public and private schools?

The Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 inserted Article 21-A in the Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right in such a manner as the State may, by law, determine. 

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which represents the consequential legislation envisaged under Article 21-A, means that every child has a right to full-time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school which satisfies certain essential norms and standards.

The RTE Act came into effect on 1 April 2010. The title of the RTE Act incorporates the words ‘free and compulsory’.

‘Free education’ means that no child, other than a child who has been admitted by his or her parents to a school which is not supported by the appropriate Government, shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education.

Compulsory education’ casts an obligation on the appropriate Government and local authorities to provide and ensure admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by all children in the 6-14 age groups. With this, India has moved forward to a rights-based framework that casts a legal obligation on the Central and State Governments to implement this fundamental child right as enshrined in the Article 21A of the Constitution, in accordance with the provisions of the RTE Act. Source

The Act has the following key provisions,

  • Every child between the ages of 6 to 14 years has the right to free and compulsory education in a nearby school, till completion of elementary education.
  • No child is liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may stop him or her from pursuing and finishing elementary education.
  • If a child above six years of age didn’t get admitted to any school or could not complete his or her elementary education, then, he or she should get admitted in a class appropriate to his or her age.
  • For carrying out the provisions of this Act, the government and local authority should establish a school, if it is not established, within the given area, within a period of three years, from the commencement of this Act.
  • The Central and the State Governments have the responsibility for providing funds for carrying out the provisions of this Act.
  • It prohibits (a) physical punishment and mental harassment; (b) screening procedures for admission of children; (c) capitation fee; (d) private tuition by teachers and (e) running of schools without recognition.
  • It lays down the rules and standards relating to Pupil-Teacher Ratios (PTRs), buildings and infrastructure, school-working days, teacher-working hours.
  • It requires all private schools (except the minority institutions) to reserve 25% of seats for the poor and other categories of children.
  • Children must be given admission in a school even if they don’t have documents like transfer certificate and age proof.

Children from ‘disadvantaged groups’ and ‘weaker sections’ can get free education in a private school. These terms are explained below.

  • Every private school has to keep 25% of its seats in class 1 for children from ‘disadvantaged groups’ and ‘weaker sections’.
  • The school has to give free education to these children till class 8.

But the sad truth is most of the private schools shun this moral responsibility by citing the false distance figures or taking advantage of the illiterate parents.

The recent experience I had today further amplified my thought that this article will be an eye-opener for many, as the car driver told me that the private school he tried to get his son admitted in nearby local school rejected his application by stating that ‘he didn’t provide the required documents in time

He said to me that ‘he will get his son admitted to the school next year’ as he doesn’t have the required Twenty Thousand rupees which saddened me to the core.

The renowned educationist Anil Sadagopal states that,

The act is a fraud on our children. It gives neither free education nor compulsory education. In fact, it only legitimizes the present multi-layered, inferior quality school education system where discrimination shall continue to prevail.

I request everyone reading this article to share this information with your neighbours, at least educate the illiterate parents about the act provisions in a simple and understandable manner to help them in a small way.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory education act can be viewed here.

Let’s spread this awareness and make the vision of Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam true.


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