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Faulty Education Guidelines in Rajasthan

  • 11 Jul 2020
  • 6 min read

Why in News

Recently, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has criticised the Rajasthan government for its new guidelines on elementary education.

Key Points

  • Background:
    • Rajasthan’s Department of School Education issued guidelines stating that admissions to private schools under the RTE Act, 2009 for the 2020-21 academic year would take place only from class 1 or above, excluding pre-schoolers (children in the nursery).
    • The guidelines recommend the age of admission to be “5 years or above but less than 7 years as of 31st March 2020”.
  • Violations:
    • These guidelines are violative of the RTE Act 2009 which states that at least 25% strength of a class in private schools should consist of children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups.
    • The guidelines only allow children less than 7 years but the RTE Act allows “male or female child of the age of six to fourteen years” for admission.
  • NCPCR’s Reaction:
    • It recommended the state to re-examine the guidelines in light of the Act and make necessary changes so that there is no loss of education to children.

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights

  • It is a statutory body set up in March 2007 under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005.
  • It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Mandate:
  • Powers:

Right to Education

  • Constitutional Background:
    • Part IV of Indian Constitution, Article 45 and Article 39 (f) of Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP), has a provision for state-funded as well as equitable and accessible education.
    • The first official document on the Right to Education was the Ramamurti Committee Report in 1990.
    • In Unnikrishnan JP vs State of Andhra Pradesh & Others, 1993 the Supreme Court held that education is a fundamental right flowing from Article 21.
    • Tapas Majumdar Committee (1999) was set up, which encompassed the insertion of Article 21-A.
    • The 86th amendment to the constitution of India in 2002, provided Right to Education as a fundamental right in Part III of the Constitution.
      • It inserted Article 21-A which made Right to Education a fundamental right for children between 6-14 years.
      • It provided for follow-up legislation for the Right to Education Bill 2008 which became an Act in 2009.
  • Feature of RTE Act, 2009:
    • It aims to provide primary education to all children aged 6 to 14 years and enforces education as a Fundamental Right (Article 21).
    • The act mandates 25% reservation for disadvantaged sections of the society where disadvantaged groups include:
      • Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
      • Socially Backward Class.
      • Differently-abled.
    • Children Related Provisions:
      • It makes provisions for a non-admitted child to be admitted to an age-appropriate class.
      • It had a clause for ‘No Detention Policy’ which has been removed under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019.
      • It focuses on making the child free of fear, trauma and anxiety through a system of child-friendly and child-centred learning.
    • Teachers Related Provisions:
      • It provides for prohibition of deployment of teachers for non-educational work, other than decennial census, elections to a local authority, state legislatures and parliament and disaster relief.
      • It provides for the appointment of teachers with the requisite entry and academic qualifications.
    • It also talks about the sharing of financial and other responsibilities between the Central and State Governments.
    • It lays down the norms and standards related to:
      • Pupil-Teacher Ratios (PTRs).
      • Buildings and infrastructure.
      • School-working days.
      • Teacher-working hours.
    • It prohibits:
      • Physical punishment and mental harassment.
      • Screening procedures for admission of children.
      • Capitation fee.
      • Private tuition by teachers.
      • Running of schools without recognition.

Way Forward

  • It has been more than ten years since the implementation of the RTE Act, but it can be seen that it still has a long way to go to be called successful in its purpose. Creation of a conducive atmosphere and supply of resources would pave the way for a better future for individuals as well as the nation as a whole.

Source: TH

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