What is the act about? * Every child between the ages of 6 to 14 years has the right to free and compulsory education. This is stated as per the 86th Constitution Amendment Act added Article 21A. The right to education act seeks to give effect to this amendment * The government schools shall provide free education to all the children and the schools will be managed by school management committees (SMC). Private schools shall admit at least 25% of the children in their schools without any fee. * The National Commission for Elementary Education shall be constituted tomonitor all aspects of elementary education including quality.|
The present Act has its history in the drafting of the Indian constitution at the time of Independence but are more specifically to the Constitutional Amendment that included the Article 21A in the Indian constitution making Education a fundamental Right. This amendment, however, specified the need for a legislation to describe the mode of implementation of the same which necessitated the drafting of a separate Education Bill. The rough draft of the bill was composed in year 2005. It received much opposition due to its mandatory provision to provide 25% reservation for disadvantaged children in private schools. The sub-committee of the Central Advisory Board of Education which prepared the draft Bill held this provision as a significant prerequisite for creating a democratic and egalitarian society. Indian Law commission had initially proposed 50% reservation for disadvantaged students in private schools.
Provisions Of The Act
* Children to be admitted to ‘age- appropriate’ class and they have the right to receive ‘special training’ to come at par with other children. * Ensure ‘good quality’ elementary education.
* Aided and private schools: 25% reservation for weaker & disadvantaged children. * Ensure that children from weaker and disadvantaged group are not discriminated against * Schools to get reimbursement for this expenditure.
* Govt. may provide free pre-school education. * 25% reservation for weaker/ disadvantaged children applies here as well. * No capitation fee/ screening procedure for child or parents. * No child can be held back or expelled from school
* No physical punishment/ mental harassment of children * Teachers: Minimum qualifications needed. Assess learning ability of each child and regularly meet parents * School Management Committee- * with 3/4th parents/ guardians
Half the members should be women
Why is the act significant and what does it mean for India? The passing of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 marks a historic moment for the children of India. This Act serves as a building block to ensure that every child has his or herright (as an entitlement) to get a quality elementary education, and that the State, with the help of families and communities, fulfils this obligation. Few countries in the world have such a national provision to ensure both free and child-centred, child-friendly education.
What is ‘Free and Compulsory Elementary Education’?
All children between the ages of 6 and 14 shall have the right to free and compulsory elementary education at a neighborhood school. There is no direct (school fees) or indirect cost (uniforms, textbooks, mid-day meals, transportation) to be borne by the child or the parents to obtainelementary education. The government will provide schooling free-of-cost until a child’s elementary education is completed. What is the role envisaged for the community and parents to ensure RTE? The landmark passing of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 marks a historic moment for the children of India. For the first time in India’s history, children will be guaranteed their right toquality elementary education by the state with the help of families and communities. Few countries in the world have such a national provision to ensure child-centered, child-friendly education to help all children develop to their fullest potential.
There were an estimated eight million six to 14 year-olds in India out-of-school in 2009. The world cannot reach its goal to have every child complete primary school by 2015 without India. Schools shall constitute School Management Committees (SMCs) comprising local authority officials, parents, guardians and teachers. The SMCs shall form School Development Plans and monitor the utilization of government grants and the whole school environment. RTE also mandates the inclusion of 50 per cent women and parents of children from disadvantaged groups in SMCs. Such community participation will be crucial to ensuring a child friendly “whole school” environment through separate toilet facilities for girls and boys and adequate attention to health, water, sanitation and hygiene issues.
How does RTE promote Child-Friendly Schools?
All schools must comply with infrastructure and teacher norms for an effective learning environment. Two trained teachers will be provided for every sixty students at the primary level. Teachers are required to attend school regularly and punctually, complete curriculum instruction, assess learning abilities and hold regular parent-teacher meetings. The number of teachers shall be based on the number of students rather than by grade. The state shall ensure adequate support to teachers leading to improved learning outcomes of children. The community and civil society will have an important role to play in collaboration with the SMCs to ensure school quality with equity. The state will provide the policy framework and create an enabling environment to ensure RTE becomes a reality for every child.
How will RTE be financed and implemented in India?
Central and state governments shall share financial responsibility for RTE. The central government shall prepare estimates of expenditures. State governments will be provided a percentage of these costs. The central government may request the Finance Commission to consider providing additional resources to a state in order to carry out the provisions of RTE. The state government shall be responsible for providing the remaining funds needed to implement. There will be a funding gap which needs to be supported by partners from civil society, development agencies, corporate organisations and citizens of the country.
What are the key issues for achieving RTE?
The RTE Act will be in force from 1 April. Draft Model Rules have been shared with states, which are required to formulate their state rules and have them notified as early as possible. RTE provides a ripe platform to reach the unreached, with specific provisions for disadvantaged groups, such as child labourers, migrant children, children with special needs, or those who have a “disadvantage owing to social, cultural economical, geographical, linguistic, gender or such other factor.” RTE focuses on the quality of teaching and learning, which requires accelerated efforts and substantial reforms: * Creative and sustained initiatives are crucial to train more than one million new and untrained teachers within the next five years and to reinforce the skills ofin-service teachers to ensure child-friendly education.
* Families and communities also have a large role to play to ensure child-friendly education for each and every one of the estimated 190 million girls and boys inIndia who should be in elementary school today. * Disparities must be eliminated to assure quality with equity. Investing inpreschool is a key strategy in meeting goals. * Bringing eight million out-of-school children into classes at the age appropriate level with the support to stay in school and succeed poses a major challenge necessitating flexible, innovative approaches.
What is the mechanism available if RTE is violated?
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. States should constitute a State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) or the Right to Education Protection Authority (REPA) within six months of 1 April. Any person wishing to file a grievance must submit a written complaint to the local authority. Appeals will be decided by the SCPCR/REPA.
Prosecution f offences requires the sanction of an officer authorised by the appropriate government. Substantial efforts are essential to eliminate disparities and ensure quality with equity. UNICEF will play an instrumental role in bringing together relevant stakeholders from government, civil society, teachers’ organizations, media and the celebrity world. UNICEF will mobilize partners to raise public awareness and provide a call toaction. Policy and programme design/implementation will focus on improving the access and quality education based on what works to improve results for children. UNICEF will also work with partners to strengthen national and state level monitoring bodies on RTE.
* Financial Stats
* Total budget alloted in next five years : 171,000 crores
* Central to state sharing ratio : 65:35
* For nothern Eastern States:90:10
* However, in mid 2010, this figure was upgraded to Rs. 231,000 and the center agreed to raise its share to 68%.
Market the Act
* Objectively, This is a valuable product by the govt which is important to those who are not aware of it and in spite available at free of cost, they are not informed about the actual use of it. So, a strong and relevant Marketing channel is required to spread the awareness about the Act. * For this , Companies, majorly FMCG and corporate can be approached to spread awareness about the RTE through their products and other social acts. * A small portion of amount around .5% can be used to do In-house and outsource the marketing process through marketing companies.
* Both Push and Pull strategy can be adapted to market about the Act. * For pull strategy, we can arrange camps in remote villages, arrange gatherings through local bodies, coordinate with NGO’s to spread the Idea, use digital media and advertisement, celebrities to aware about the program. * For push strategy, adopt stringent policies like taken by China that 3rd children will not be given social rights to prevent population growth. On the same lines, Policies are needed to be enforced. * We can implement like No parent will get a job in say NREGA IF they are not sending children to school. Moreover, we can take help from Aadhar project that nobody will get privileges like subsidised food given by govt if they are not following as per act. * Organizational Hierarchy
* Like Lokpal bill, There should be a separate authority like Supreme court which is there to supervise the implementation of the act. * Bring PPP into the picture and hire well-experienced executives as mr Nandan Nilekani is chosen for adhar project. * There should be top down management from central to state level to district level to effectively look at the complete view of Implementation. *
* Outsourcing can be done for various process like surveying the actual no. of children illiterate, region wise density, no. of teachers, their performance and other statistics important for Analysing. * There should be a proper channel of reporting, which can be done with the help of IT from root level to top management to have a clear view of Execution.
Role Of ICT
* Power deficit
* PC availability per student
* Updating the library
* Maintenance of ICT hardware
* Upgrading of software
* Poor network connectivity in rural areas
* This is indeed a very Ambitious plan .So ,It needs a cooperation from all the stakeholders parents, teachers, children, Government and all the citizens to come up and take this Initiative as very crucial for Inclusive growth of India.
Courtney from Study Moose
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