Right to Education
Education is the lifeline of any nation, and without it, those nations cannot live. As a result, education is the foundation of the nation. It is essential for a democracy’s general development and efficient operation. Education makes people more competent and likeable, and as they advance, so does the nation.
It is viewed as the pillar of society that underpins political stability, social advancement, and economic prosperity. Education is a person’s fourth basic need, behind clothing, shelter, and food. It serves as the cornerstone on which society is erected. Only through education are social justice and equality attainable.
Article 21A of Indian Constitution
The Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act of 2002 added Article 21A to the Constitution of India, requiring each state to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of six and fourteen. This declares education to be a Fundamental Rights protected by Part III of the Constitution. The Right to Education Act, 2009, sometimes referred to as the RTE Act, was approved by the Indian Parliament on August 4, 2009, and came into force in 2010.
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Right to Education Background
The majority of the population was illiterate and extremely poor when India earned independence from the British in 1947, and this situation had to be taken into consideration when drafting the Constitution.
- The Sergeant Commission 1944, which was the last British education commission, predicted that universal education would be available in 40 years, or by 1985. It realised for the system with pre-primary education for children between 3 to 6 years of age; universal, compulsory and free primary basic education for all children of ages 6—11 (junior basic) and 11—14 (senior basic) as stated under Wardha Scheme; the Senior Basic or the Middle School to be the final stage in the school career of majority of the students.
- Originally enacted, Article 45 of the Constitution, a Directive Principle of State Policy, required the State to use every reasonable means to ensure that every child received free and mandatory education until the age of fourteen, within ten years of the Constitution’s inception. The Directive Principles of State Policy are not “enforceable in a court of law,” but the State is nonetheless compelled to use them when passing laws since “the principles therein set out are nonetheless important in the governing of the country,” according to the Constitution.
- In order to expand basic education facilities, particularly in undeveloped areas, and make education available to every person by giving it freely and mandatorily with a focus on elementary education, the 42nd Amendment of Indian Constitution of 1976 declared education a concurrent concern.
- With the objective of providing universal primary education, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan [National Campaign for Education for All] national umbrella programme was started in 2000.
- Ultimately, the Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act of 2002 introduced Article 21A, a fundamental right that is subject to judicial scrutiny. Early childhood care and education (for children under the age of six) being excluded from the scope of the justified right is one of the amendment’s features that has drawn a lot of criticism.
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Right to Education as Fundamental Rights
The Directive Principles of State Policy included universal education under Article 45, and although the members of the Constituent Assembly recognised its importance, they were unable to guarantee it as a fundamental right due to a lack of funds.
In the 1993 case of Unni Krishnan v. State of Andhra Pradesh, the Indian court system attempted to add the right to education as a component of the Right to Life. The Indian Parliament also granted the right to an education to the country’s future citizens by a constitutional amendment that was approved in 2002 by inserting a new Article 21A in the constitution.
The Right to Education Act, 2009, sometimes referred to as the RTE Act, was approved by the Indian Parliament on August 4, 2009. Indian children ages 6 to 14 must get free, compulsory education, as stated in Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. By putting this Act into effect on April 1, 2010, India became one of the 135 countries that have declared that every kid has a basic right to an education.
List of Articles of the Indian Constitution related to Right to Education
|Article 21A||86th Constitutional Amendment Act 2002, inserted this new Article in Part III of the constitution, “the state shall provide free & compulsory education to all children of age between 6 to 14 a determined by law”.|
|Article 15||The Indian Constitution forbids discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, caste, gender, or place of birth. However, according to Article 15(3), nothing in this provision stops the state from enacting any particular measures for women and children.|
|Article 38||According to Article 38 of the Indian Constitution, any social structure that advances the welfare of the populace is protected.|
|Article 45||The state shall provide for early childhood care & education to children below the age of 6 years.|
|Article 29(2)||It guarantees that no citizen will be refused access to any state-run educational facility or financial assistance from state money due to their religion, race, caste, language, or any combination of these factors.|
|Article 30||Article 30 of the Indian Constitution guarantees protection to minoritized linguistic and religious groups for establishing and managing any kind of institution.|
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86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002
To make it clearer that children between the ages of 6 and 14 have a basic right to free and compulsory education, the 86th Amendment Act of 2002 added three explicit sections to the Constitution. The goal of this amendment was to safeguard citizens’ rights to education and take into account India’s educational difficulties.
- The inclusion of Article 21A in Part III of the Indian Constitution states every child has the right to a full-time elementary education of appropriate and equitable quality in a formal school that complies with certain fundamental norms and criteria.
- “The State shall endeavour to ensure early childhood care and free and mandatory education for all children up to the age of six,” according to the new provision in Article 45.
- The addition of a new clause Article 51 A (k) under Part IVA (Fundamental Duties) makes it explicitly mandatory for parents to provide opportunities for their children of ages between 6 and 14 to get the opportunity of an education.
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Right To Education Act 2009
The reasons due to the enactment of the Right to Education Act, of 2009 have been provided here.
Events before the enactment of the Right to Education Act, 2009
|1950||Article 45 was placed in Part IV (Directive Principle of State Policy) of the Constitution|
|1968||Report of First National Commission for Education headed by Dr Kothari which raised its concern regarding education as a right|
|1976||42nd Constitutional Amendment Act 1976, placed education under the Concurrent List|
|1986||Common School System (CSS) which was supported by National Policy on Education (NEP) was developed but was not put into practice.|
|1993||Supreme Court in the case of Mohini Jain v. State of Karnataka (1992) and Unni Krishnan v. State of Andhra Pradesh (1993) recognised the Right to Education as a Fundamental Right under Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution.|
|2002||86th Constitutional Amendment Act 2002, added a new Article 21A of the Right to Education, altered Article 45 and also added new Article 51A(k) in Part IV A|
|2005||A board named Central Advisory Board on Education was formed for framing the Right to Education Bill|
|2009||Right to Education Act 2009 came into existence|
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Right To Education Act 2009 Provisions
- The right of children to receive a local school’s free, compulsory education up until they finish their primary education.
- The Act makes it crystal clear that “compulsory education” indicates that the government has a duty to ensure that children between the ages of six and fourteen be admitted, attend, and completed primary education. The word “free” denotes that there are no fees the youngster must pay that would keep him or her from completing such education.
- According to the Act, a child who has not been admitted may be admitted to a class for his or her suitable age.
- In order to ensure a child’s education, it outlines the responsibilities of the respective governments, local authorities, and parents. Additionally, it outlines the financial burden distribution between the federal and state governments.
- It outlines rules and regulations for infrastructure and structures, working days for the school and instructors, and pupil-teacher ratios (PTR).
- In addition, it states that teacher postings shouldn’t be imbalanced between urban and rural areas. The Act forbids hiring instructors for non-educational jobs, with the exception of census, election, and disaster relief activities.
- The Act stipulates that the teachers chosen must possess the necessary credentials and training.
- This Law forbids Physical punishment and Mental harassment, Screening measures for youngsters being admitted, Capitation costs, instructors giving private lessons, and Running schools without being acknowledged.
- According to the Act, the curriculum should be created in a way that is consistent with the ideals entrenched in the Indian Constitution and that ensures the child’s whole development. The curriculum should develop the child’s knowledge, potential, and talents while utilising a method that is both child-centric and child-friendly to assist the child to overcome trauma, fear, and anxiety.
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Right to Education UPSC
The amendment to the fundamental right to education is one of the most significant pieces of legislation in Indian history to guarantee that kids get a basic education. Children are the future of the country. Therefore, education serves as a tool for exposing a child to cultural values, preparing him for future career training, and helping him to adjust to his environment normally. Without education, a youngster today cannot succeed in life. Everyone has an equal claim to the fundamental right to an education. Therefore, basic education is the most important component of higher education.
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