Right To Education

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THE RIGHT OF CHILDREN TO FREE AND COMPULSORY EDUCATION ACT – 2009:

THE RIGHT OF CHILDREN TO FREE AND COMPULSORY EDUCATION ACT – 2009

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It is one of the 3 flagship programs of UPA govt. MGNREGA RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT (These 2 were enacted during it its first term (2004 – 09)) RIGHT OF CHILDREN TO FREE & COMPULSORY EDUCATION ACT (2009-10)

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PART 1 – Right to Education as a Human Right PART 11 – Right to Education as a Fundamental Right PART 111 – Right of Children for Free & Compulsory Education Act PART 1V – RTE Model rules PART V – Comments / Consequences /Implications of the Act for Minorities

Preamble:

Preamble The Right of Children to Free & compulsory Education Act (RTE) is a welfare legislation. It is meant to benefit about 1 crore non school going children. Cost envisaged is enormous: Centre & States will share the financial burden in the ratio 55:45 It will bring the pupil – teacher ratio to 30:1 5.1 lakh teachers are required. So good scope for trained teachers/ B. Ed students. Every one seems to have jumped at the idea of RTE Act without realizing its implications. India has joined a group of few countries in the world with making education a fundamental right of every child. In that sense it is historic. The act is meant to help children from economically weaker section as well as children with disabilities. The hope was that the act would help improve government schools and would not do any harm to the private schools. But it has turned out to be the other way.

PART - I:

Right to Education as a Human Right PART - I Right to Education As a Human Right

PART - II:

PART - II Education is a Fundamental Right

What are Fundamental Rights ?:

What are Fundamental Rights ? Fundamental Rights are rights which are inherent in a human being. They are natural rights. These rights are regarded fundamental because they are most essential for the attainment of the full growth, development and potential of a human being. The framers of the Indian Constitution, drawing inspiration from the “Bill of Rights” of America, incorporated a full chapter of these rights in Part III of the Constitution. These Fundamental Rights listed in our constitution represent the basic values cherished by the people of this country.

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Education As A Fundamental Right 8 Article 46 – The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people and, in particular, of the SCs and STs and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation. Article 29 – No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them. Equality of opportunity is a basic feature of the Constitution and has been interpreted to include equality of education which means equality of access to education and equality of educational facilities.

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All these factors contributed and finally gave birth to this new act – Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

PART – III :

PART – III Right to Education Act – 2009

Right to Education Act – 2009:

Right to Education Act – 2009 Objectives: To provide for free and compulsory education to all children of the age 6 to 14 years. Emphasis is on children belonging to disadvantaged group.

Definitions: Section 2:

Definitions: Section 2 Govt. Schools Aided schools School belonging to specified categories: (Kendriya Vidyalaya, Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sainik School etc.) Unaided schools Sec. 2 (d) “Child belonging to disadvantaged group” 2 (e) “ Child belonging to weaker section” 2 (f) “ Elementary Education” 2 (h) “Local Authority” 2 (n) “ School - 4 categories of schools”

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Sec. 3 – Right of child to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till Completion of elementary education. “Compulsory education means obligation of the state to provide free elementary education to every child of the age 6-14 years”

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Sec. 4 – Special provisions for children not admitted to, or who have not completed, elementary education. Such children are to be directly admitted in a class appropriate to his or her age and in order to be at par with others, have a right to receive special training and shall be entitled to free education till completion of elementary education even after 14 years.

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Sec. 9 – Describes the duties of the local authority. Sec.10 – Describes the duty of parents & guardian to admit his or her child/ward in the neighbourhood school for elementary education. Sec. 11 – States the duty of the appropriate government to provide for pre-school education

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Sec. 12 – Extent of school’s responsibility: (1) to admit children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged group in the ‘neighbourhood’ in Class I at least upto 25% of the strength of the class. (2) an unaided school will be reimbursed expenditure incurred by it to the extent of per child expenditure incurred by the State or the actual amount charged from the child, whichever is less. Reimbursement shall not exceed per child expenditure incurred by a govt. school. (3) every school shall provide such information as may be required by the govt. or local authority.

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Sec. 13 – No capitation fee to be charged. (The All India Catholic Education Policy, 2007 also deplores any attempt to commercialize education and acceptance of capitation fee). No screening either of the child or of the parents for admission. Sec. 14 – Age of the child is to be determined on the basis of the birth certificate issued in accordance with the provisions of the Births, Deaths and Marriage Registration Act, 1886 or Hospital register record or Anganwadi record or even an Affidavit. No child shall be denied admission in a school for lack of age proof.

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Sec. 15 – No denial of admission even if the child does not turn up at the commencement of the academic year. Sec. 16 – No child once admitted, can be held back or expelled till the completion of elementary education. Sec. 17 – No child shall be subjected to physical punishment or mental harassment.

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Sec. 18 – No school to be established without obtaining certificate of recognition. Sec. 19 – Schools to fulfill all the norms and standards specified in the schedule. Sec. 20 – Power of the Govt. to amend the schedule

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The elected representatives of the local authority, parents/guardians and teachers, At least ¾ of members shall be parents/guardians, Proportionate representation should be given to the parents/guardians of children belonging to disadvantaged group and weaker section, 50% members shall be women. Sec. 21 – Every school should constitute a School Management Committee (SMC) consisting of: Monitor the working of the school, Prepare and recommend school development plan, Monitor the utilization of the grants received from the govt., Perform other functions as may be prescribed. Functions of the SMC. The SMC shall

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Sec. 22 – Preparation of School Development Plan by the SMC. Sec. 23 – States that the qualification for appointment and terms and conditions of service of teachers shall be as laid down by the academic authority authorized by the Govt. Sec. 24 – Duties of teachers. Teachers shall maintain regularity & punctuality, complete the curriculum, hold regular meetings with parents/guardians, etc.

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Sec. 25 – Pupil-Teacher Ratio as specified in the schedule is to be maintained, i.e., Classes I-V 30:1. Above 200 children P-T ratio shall not exceed 40. Classes V-VIII 1:35, but at least one teacher per class. Sec. 26 – Filling up of vacancies of teachers. Sec. 27 – Prohibition of deployment of teachers for non-educational purposes other than decennial population census, disaster relief duties and for election duties. Sec. 28 – No private tuition by teachers.

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Sec. 29 – (1) Curriculum and evaluation procedure for elementary education shall be laid down by academic authority to be specified by the appropriate government, (2) (f) medium of instruction shall, as far as practicable, be in child’s mother tongue, (2) (h) comprehensive and continuous evaluation of child’s understanding etc. Sec. 30 – No child shall be required to pass any board exam till completion of elementary education, Every child completing elementary education shall be awarded a certificate.

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Sec. 31 – The National Commission or the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights constituted under the Commission of Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, shall in addition to the functions assigned to it, monitor, enquire into complaints relating to child’s right to free and compulsory education and/or function as Appellate Authority above the local authority (Sec. 32) . Sec. 33 – Speaks of a National Advisory Council. Sec. 34 – Speaks of the State Advisory council and their functions.

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Sec. 35 – The appropriate government may issue guidelines and give directions to the local authority or to the School Managing Committee. Sec. 36 – No prosecution for offences without previous sanction of the appropriate authority. Sec. 37 – No suit or legal proceeding shall lie against action taken in good faith. Sec. 38 – Appropriate government may make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

Schedule:

Schedule 1. Teacher-Pupil Ratio: I-V – upto 120 students – 1:30 upto 120-200 students – 1:40 (+ H.M.) more than 200 students – 1:40 (+ H.M.) VI-VIII – 1:35 Full Time – Science and Mathematics, Social Studies, Language Part Time – Art Education, Health & Physical Education, Work Education

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2. Building : : all weather building, : separate toilets for boys & girls : safe and adequate drinking water : kitchen for MDM : playground : secured by boundary wall

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3. Minimum working Days – I-V = 200 VI-VIII = 220 Instructional Hours – I-V = 800 I-VIII = 1000

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4. Minimum Working Hours per week for teachers – 45 (including preparation hours). 5. Provide – - Teaching-Learning Equipment - Library - Games & Sports and other play materials.

PART IV:

PART IV Model Rules under the Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education Act 2009

Key Points::

Key Points: 1) The area or limits of neighbourhood : Classes I – V – within walking distance of 1 km. Classes VI – VIII – within walking distance of 3 kms. 2) Where no school exists within the area or limits specified, government has to make provision for free transportation, residential facilities and other facilities. 3) In areas with high population density, the State may establish more than one neighbourhood school.

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4) The State has to make appropriate and safe transportation arrangements for children with disabilities. 5) The State to ensure that access of children to the school is not hindered on account of social and cultural factors. 6) The responsibility of providing free entitlement (text books, writing materials and uniforms, special support materials for children with disabilities, etc) shall be of the school in case of school belonging to specified category and unaided schools.

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7) The local authority shall maintain a record of all children in its jurisdiction through household survey from their birth till they attain 14 years. The record has to be updated each year. 8) Per child expenditure is defined and calculated as the total annual recurring expenditure incurred by the State divided by the total number of children enrolled in all such schools. (Govt. aided schools are not considered as govt. schools in this regard.) 9) Every school receiving reimbursement from the government should maintain separate bank account.

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10) Every non-government school existing before the commencement of the Act has to make a self declaration within 3 months in Form No. I to the concerned DEO regarding its compliance or otherwise for its recognition. Schools which do not conform to the norms, standards and conditions after 3 years from the commencement of the Act shall cease to function. Compliance include: (1) The school is open to inspection by any officer appointed by the appropriate authority, (2) The school undertakes to furnish reports and information as may be required by the DEO from time to time, etc.

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11) Every non-government school established after the Act came into force has to conform to the norms, standards and conditions stated in order to qualify for recognition. 12) Every school, other than an unaided school, should constitute a School Management Committee (SMC).

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75% from parents/guardians Of the remaining 25%: 1/3 members from amongst elected members of the local authority 1/3members from the teachers of the school to be decided by the teachers Remaining 1/3 from amongst local educationists/children in the school to be decided by the parents in the committee The SMC shall elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson from among the parent members. The Head Teacher/Senior most teacher of the school shall be the ex-officio member – convener. The SMC is to meet at least once a month and maintain minutes and decisions of the meetings. Prepare a 3 year school development plan. Composition of School Management Committee (SMC) :

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13) An Academic Authority (the SCERT) to lay down minimum academic qualifications for persons eligible for appointment as a teacher. 14) The SMC shall be the first level of grievance redressal of teachers. 15) The State government should constitute Schools Tribunals at the State, District and Block levels for grievance redressal. 16) Where the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights does not exist, the State government shall appoint an interim authority - Right to Education Protection Authority (REPA).

PART V:

PART V Comments/Consequences/Implications of the Act for Minorities

Comments / Consequences /Implications of the Act for Minorities:

Comments / Consequences /Implications of the Act for Minorities Enforcement of the Fundamental Rights is the duty of the state. Now the state is enforcing it on others including the minorities. RTE Act threatens to take away the rights granted and guaranteed to the minorities under the constitution RTE Act does not mention the word ‘minority’ at all anywhere in the act. Will RTEA negate/black out the Art.30? Writs are already filed and pending in the S.C. 25% seats to be reserved for disadvantaged groups. How do you identify “children belonging to disadvantaged group”? What happens if more than 25% come for admission?

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Comments / Consequence / Implications of the Act for Minorities Under the act, compulsory education starts at the age of 6. Normally our schools admit children in UKG or LKG depending on the age. So in our schools admission will have to be from Pre-school. Where a child is directly admitted in a class appropriate to his/her age, he/she has a right to receive special training to be at par with others. How do you do that? Regarding age proof even an affidavit will suffice. Now, can you insist on hospital certificate or baptism certificate? No test or interview for admission. So what are the consequences? How will you reconcile this?

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Comments / Consequence / Implications of the Act for Minorities Government will prescribe a common syllabus. What happens to your school syllabus? The school has to provide entitlements (books, uniforms even transportation) to the 25% disadvantaged students. The government is supposed to provide books for them but will not match with the text books you are using? Moreover, the books from govt. quota hardly come in time. So what’s the solution? National curriculum? There is provision for MDM for the disadvantaged children. How are you going to handle that? Government will reimburse all the expenses as per its norms. The school has to maintain a separate bank account for the amount received.

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Comments / Consequence / Implications of the Act for Minorities No child is to be detained up to class 8. On completion of class 8 a child is to be given a certificate stating that s/he has completed the course. No physical punishment or mental harassment of the child while in school . (“Spare the rod and spoil the child” ??) No disciplinary action ; no expulsion of students is possible. School buildings cannot be used for non-educational purpose. What does it mean?

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Comments / Consequence / Implications of the Act for Minorities Every school, other than an unaided school (exempted under Model Rule 13), must have a School Managing Committee (SMC). 75% of the members must be parents/guardians of the children. Remaining from local representatives of the people, teachers representatives etc. 50 % are to be women. Prima facie it appears that only one person, namely the School Head can represent the management. Doesn’t it violate the minority right under Art. 30? What happens to the existing Governing Board? With this the virtual control of the school will be with the SMC. Are they qualified, competent to carry out these responsibilities including financial affairs such as school development plan, annual accounts of receipts and payments etc.? Isn’t it a simple conversion of the existing VEC (Village Education Committee) concept in villages under SSA to all schools?

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Comments / Consequence / Implications of the Act for Minorities No school can be established without obtaining certificate of registration. Existing schools, too, have to obtain registration. Recognition once granted can also be withdrawn on condition of non fulfillment of norms, standards, conditions etc. Hence there will always loom large the fear and threat of de-recognition under some pretext or other. No tuitions are allowed. Can our schools tighten the noose on our teachers in this regard?

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Comments / Consequence / Implications of the Act for Minorities Doesn’t the idea of admitting children to the ‘neighbourhood school’ take away the freedom of parents/guardians to choose the school of their choice?. Will the govt. servants, politicians etc. do the same? No prosecution of any offence under the act without previous sanction of an authorized officer. That seems to give a ray of hope. The school has to furnish such reports and information as may be required by the DEO including copy of the audited report. The school is also open to inspection by any officer appointed by the govt. or local authority. This can be used as a sword of Damocles. It’s a clear and blatant violation of Fundamental Right of Minorities.

The End:

The End Thank You !