Right To Education
- 04 Mar 2021
- 4 min read
Why in News
Delhi High Court asked the Central government to respond to a petition against the authorities for not deciding upon extension of free education under the Right To Education (RTE) Act to children of Economically Weaker Section (EWS) beyond Class 8 and up to Class 12 in school.
- Constitutional Provisions for Right To Education:
- Originally Part IV of Indian Constitution, Article 45 and Article 39 (f) of DPSP, had 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 1993, the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in the Unnikrishnan JP vs State of Andhra Pradesh & Others held that Education is a Fundamental right flowing from Article 21.
- Tapas Majumdar Committee (1999) was set up, which encompassed insertion of Article 21A.
- The 86th Constitutional Amendment in 2002, provided Right to Education as a fundamental right in Part-III of the Constitution.
- It inserted Article 21A which made Right to Education a fundamental right for children between 6-14 years.
- It provided for a follow-up legislation Right to Education Act 2009.
- Feature of Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009:
- The RTE Act aims to provide primary education to all children aged 6 to 14 years.
- Section 12(1)(c) mandates that non-minority private unaided schools should reserve at least 25% of seats in entry-level grades for children from economically weaker and disadvantaged backgrounds.
- It also makes provisions for a non-admitted child to be admitted to an age appropriate class.
- It also states about sharing of financial and other responsibilities between the Central and State Governments.
- Education in the Indian constitution is a concurrent issue and both centre and states can legislate on the issue.
- It lays down the norms and standards related to: Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTRs), Buildings and infrastructure, School-working days, Teacher-working hours.
- It also provides for prohibition of deployment of teachers for non-educational work, other than decennial census, elections to local authority, state legislatures and parliament, and disaster relief.
- It provides for the appointment of teachers with the requisite entry and academic qualifications.
- It prohibits
- Physical punishment and mental harassment.
- Screening procedures for admission of children.
- Capitation fee.
- Private tuition by teachers.
- Running of schools without recognition.
- It focuses on making the child free of fear, trauma and anxiety through a system of child friendly and child centred learning.
- Argument for Extension of Free Education under RTE beyond Class 8 for EWS:
- The parents of children are required to pay hefty fees to unaided private schools in classes 9 and onwards which they can not afford.
- Changing school from unaided private to government after class 8 may affect the children’s state of mind and education and thus, an extension of the RTE benefits will ensure continuity in the education.
Reservation for Economically Weaker Section in Higher Education
- 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act introduced an economic reservation (10% quota) in jobs and admissions in education institutes for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) by amending Articles 15 and 16.
- It inserted Article 15 (6) and Article 16 (6).
- It was enacted to promote the welfare of the poor not covered by the 50% reservation policy for SCs, STs and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC).
- It enables both Centre and the states to provide reservation to the EWS of society.