EDUCATION IS A RIGHT NOT A PRIVILEGE By – ARADHAYA SINGH

Introduction

As we can see that since the creation of our country India, our country has mainly been unable to solve its problem like the epidemic crisis, the main reason for it to remain backward is its lack of education which is a problem worse than terrorism.

It is well known that education is a basic human right. For the success of the democratic system of government, education is the key element. Education is a necessary and compulsory right and is considered a privilege in our country. But the statement is not true as basic education is not a privilege but the right of everyone or we can say it is a legal right as education gives a person a human decorum who develops himself and along with this also contributes to the development of his country as an educated citizen has to choose representatives who form the government.

The right to provide education to the citizens has been the topic of discussion for decades in our country India. It was the Constitution of India Bills 1895 that talked about free education.

  It was Article 45 under the Directive principles of state policy which states, “Provision for free and compulsory education for children The State shall endeavour to provide, within ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years”.

 After India got independence in 1947, many developments have taken place which modified the education system and rights related to it in our country.

 

The international organizations working for the promotion of education worldwide:

  • UNESCO
  • UNICEF
  • Amnesty International
  • The International Labour Organization
  • The World Bank

All these international organizations and treaties made out hard their efforts to eliminate the problem of poverty through education worldwide although there are many international problems to attain them first and foremost we have to achieve the education task and for this, it is very crucial that every child must have access to the standard quality of education (primary) and should get a chance of higher and advanced education as education is our legal right.

Right to education in India :

Education is the process of facilitating learning or the accession of understanding, adroitness, principles, morals, beliefs and habits.

India is a country where youngsters live in the majority. But it can also not be denied that one- third of the world’s illiterate population resides in India only. And that’s because here primary education is not given properly. The fact is that the rate of literacy has not been increased, it is, but the rate of growth is rapidly very slow in contrast to decline. As per reports from 1991 to 2001 the rate was 12.6% while it has declined to 9.21% later.[1]

To deal with this main issue, the government of India introduced the right to free and compulsory education act or the RTE act making education a fundamental right for the children’s age group of 6-14 years in India.

The Right to education act[2] is an act of parliament which was proposed on 4th August 2009 which shows and highlights the model of the importance of free and compulsory education to children age group 6-14 in India. India is the 135th country to implement the right to education as a fundamental right guaranteed in our constitution under Article 21A[3] to every child. The right to education act came into force on 1st April 2010 in India.

 

Challenges in India :

Although the right to education has become a fundamental right still not everyone in our country is educated. We witness that education is never inexpensive, neither free nor compulsory.

Studies show that those who are not given education reflects large inequality, social, political and economic issues like caste, class and gender biases. For example, children of the upper class or big families and households who are economically well established and depend on the non-agricultural profession are better educated.

One of the biggest reasons which obstructs India’s progress and development and why India could not able to achieve it is its high level of illiteracy. Despite the variety of commitments and Constitutional provisions regarding equality failed when it comes to women and girls.

The most recent census (2011) reports that overall youth literacy is at 74.04% to 82.14% [4] among the males of our country and only just 65.46% for females. This data clearly says about the dramatic disparity and a big difference between the literacy rate between the genders amounting to a big gap of 16.68%[5]. The situation is worse for women in rural areas.

Another most important factor is poverty and it is also responsible for the low female literacy rate. More than 2/3rd of India’s population is under the below poverty line although the government of our country is putting every effort to make primary education free still many families are not ready to send their children to school. As parents think instead of going to school their children should go to work and earn a livelihood.

There are more challenges but these mentioned are the main ones and are the serious ones.

Features of Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 :

  • The RTE Act aims to provide primary education to all children aged 6 to 14 years.
  • It enforces Education as a Fundamental Right (Article 21).
  • The act mandates 25% reservation for disadvantaged sectionsof the society where disadvantaged groups include:

  1. SCs and STs
  2. Socially Backward Class
  3. Differently-abled
  • It also makes provisions for a non-admitted child to be admitted to an age-appropriate class.
  • It also states that sharing of financial and other responsibilities between the Central and State Governments.
  • It lays down the norms and standards related to:

1) Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTRs)

2) Buildings and infrastructure

3) School-working days

4) Teacher-working hours.

  • 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.[6]
  • This also provides for prohibition of deployment of teachers for non-educational work, other than decennial census, elections to the 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

1) Physical punishment and mental harassment

2) Screening procedures for admission of children

3) Capitation fee

4) Private tuition by teachers

5) 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.[7]

Case laws :

1) Mohini Jain vs. State of Karnataka[8]: Supreme court division bench decide this case comprising of Kuldip Singh and R.M Sahai held that:

Right to education is the essence of the right to life and directly flow and interlinked with it, and life living with dignity can only be assured when there is a significant role of education”

2) J.P. Unnikrishnan v. State of Andhra Pradesh[9]: The five-judge bench held that:

Right to education means citizen has the right to call up the state to provide the facilities of education to them in according to the financial capacity”.

3) State Board of Secondary and Higher Education vs. K.S. Gandhi[10]: the supreme court referred above judgment about the case Bandhua Mukti Morcha, etc v. Union of India[11] that :

Therefore it is the necessary duty of the State to take care of the facilities and opportunity to children enjoined under article 39(e), 39 (f) of the Constitution and due to extreme poverty and notion to prevent the exploitation of their childhood.

Constitutional provisions for promoting education :

  •       Article 28: In our Constitution Article 28 provides freedom to attend any religious instruction or religious worship in educational institutions.
  •       Article 29: This article gives equality of opportunity in educational institutions.
  •       Article 30: Acknowledge the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.
  •       Article 45:As per this article which mandates that the state shall dispense to provide within ten years from the inception of this Constitution for free and compulsory education for all the children of this country until they are of age 14 years. Also, the responsibility for providing elementary education lies with the scope of the state Government, the central Government, the Local Bodies and authorities, and voluntary organizations or any other government organization.
  •       Article 46:It talks about the special care for the furtherance of education and economic interests of the ST, SC, OBC and the weaker sections of society.
  •       Article 337: This article regulates the special provision concerning educational grants for the benefit of the Anglo-Indian community.
  •       Article 350B:It provides for grants and offers for linguistic minorities.
  •       Article 351:This article deals with the development and promotion of the Hindi language.

86th Constitutional Amendment Act 2002[12] :

The 86th constitutional amendment act which was there in 2002 brings three new changes in our constitution, for better functioning, and to facilitate a better understanding of the right to free and compulsory education to the children age group between six to fourteen (6-14) years.

These are:

  1. It inserted a new Articlei.e,21A[13] in part III of the Indian constitution (fundamental rights), which provides that every child has the right to free and compulsory education of equitable quality and subject to some norms and standards.
  2. It also brought alteration and modification in Article45[14]and substituted as the State shall endeavour to assure early childhood care and free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
  3. Also added the new clause, (KunderArticle51A[15], the result of this new fundamental duty is added which states that whosoever is a parent or guardian must furnish opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age group of six to fourteen years.

Conclusion

Education is the most important weapon to grow, improve your identity and the biggest one step ahead who is not uneducated. For a human being to develop to the fullest education is the most powerful tool and a big opportunity. UN human declaration, many more conventions mention about right to education for the advancement and promotion of education

The rate of literacy is still under construction so to make this rate on increasing then there should be more act and the ordinance of the right to education will be accompanied. This only will make India transforming into a developing nation, and will never set back as the citizens are educated.

[1] Akash R Goswami, Right to education, IP Leaders (July 31, 2019, 3 PM), https://blog.ipleaders.in/right-to-education-3/amp/

[2] Right to education, Act No. 35 of 2009, Acts of parliament, 2009 (India)

[3] INDIA CONST. art 21(a)

[4] Akash R Goswami, Right to education, IP Leaders (July 31, 2019, 3 PM), https://blog.ipleaders.in/right-to-education-3/amp/

[5] Akash R Goswami, Right to education, IP Leaders (July 31, 2019, 3 PM), https://blog.ipleaders.in/right-to-education-3/amp/

[6] Children to free and compulsory education (amendment) act, 2019, No 1 of 2019, Acts of parliament, 2019 (India)

[7] Akash R Goswami, Right to education, IP Leaders (July 31, 2019, 3 PM), https://blog.ipleaders.in/right-to-education-3/amp/

[8] Mohini Jain vs the State of Karnataka, 1992 AIR 1858, 1992 SCR (3) 658 (India)

[9] J.P. Unnikrishnan vs State of Andhra Pradesh, 1993 AIR 2178, 1993 SCR (1) 594 (India)

[10] State board of secondary and higher education Vs K.S. Gandhi, 1999 SCALE (1) 187 (India)

[11] Bandha Mukti morcha vs union of India, 1997 10 SCC 549 (India)

[12] The Constitution of India, 1950, Art. 21A inserted vide The Constitution (Eighty-Sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 (w.e.f. April 1, 2010).

[13] INDIA CONST. art 21A

[14] INDIA CONST. art 45

[15] INDIA CONST. art 51A

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