Education is the fundamental right of every human being irrespective of the nation he/she belongs to. The Constitution of India bestows several rights to its citizens and one of them is the Right to free quality education. This was the main aim behind enforcing the Right to Education Act on 1st April 2010. Article 21 of the Indian Constitution was amended by adding Article 21A that provides the right of free and compulsory education to the children aged between 6 and 14 years. The Act states that:
- Every single child in the country is entitled for free and compulsory education. It also specifies that this law has to be implemented providing children in the age group of 6 to 14 a right to free and compulsory education.
- No child can be expelled from the school till the completion of elementary education.
- Every child has to be awarded with the certificate after he/ she completes the elementary education.
- This Act is not applicable for the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Act specifies that the educational institutions have to adhere to moral values and principles. It forbids the collection of capitation fees, donations at the time of admitting the child in the school. It also lays down the procedures barring the interviews of parents for admitting their child in the school.
- It curtails harassment of any kind; be it physical or mental to the students. The foundation of this Act depicts that children have to learn in a playful environment without any apprehension of capital punishment from their teachers.
- Every teacher in the school has to have adequate qualification.
- One single teacher for every 30 students is the teacher student ratio enshrined in the Act.
- It specifies that the private schools d also admit 25% students from poor and low economic backgrounds.
The Right to Education Act needs to be implemented stringently in the rural areas. This initiative of the Indian Parliament is commendable but has to be enforced with equal efforts and stringent measures. I hope a day arrives when India becomes a completely literate nation.