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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What is right to education act 2009?

This act envisages for providing right to free and compulsory education to every child between the ages of 6 to 14 years. The government schools will be managed by School management committee and shall provide free education to all children. Where as private schools have to admit 25% of students in their school without charging any fees. To monitor all aspects of elementary education the National Commission for Elementary Education shall be constituted.

The main advantages of the education act 2009

The act may boost the country’s education sector. It has become now the fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 to 14 years to get free and compulsory education in the country. There shall not be any donation, capitation fee, any interviewing of the child or parent as part of the screening process for admission in the schools. It also prohibits physical punishment, expulsion or detention of children. Teachers should not be deployed for   non-educational purposes other than census or election duty and disaster relief. Also it ensures running a school with proper government recognition and in default will attract penal action.

Criticisms on right to educations act 2009

It has taken more than 6 decades after independence to pass an act like this. Even then it is well appreciated and may advance the country to a modern era and may help the government to eradicate illiteracy in the country.  However, there are criticisms from various circles as about the age provision to say age below 6 years and above 14 years should be included, not addressed the issue of shortage of teachers and their skill level, lack of infrastructure facilities etc.

Role of the Governments in financing it

Another issue with the implementation aspect of the bill is provision for providing adequate funds. Many state governments have earlier expressed their inability to finance it .Then the central government has to see various options to source adequate funds to support its proper implementation.
Now both the central and state governments shall share financial responsibility for RTE. The central government shall prepare estimates of expenditures and 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 organizations and citizens of the country.
Role of citizen, families and the community

Even though the government has taken such bold initiative to provide free education to our children people should not part away from this.  It should be taken as a collective social responsibility of every citizen and provide best efforts and support for such welfare measures our country is targeting. Families and communities should also have a large role to play to ensure child-friendly education for each and every one in the country as a whole and to help creating conducive environment to ensure its proper implementation.

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