Right to Free Education Act

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The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE), which was passed by the  on 4 August 2009, describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in  under Article 21A of the . India became one of 135 countries to make  of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010. History

Present Act has its history in the drafting of the Indian constitution at the time of Independence[5] but are more specifically to the Constitutional Amendment that included the Article 21A in the Indian constitution making Education a fundamental Right. This amendment, however, specified the need for a legislation to describe the mode of implementation of the same which necessitated the drafting of a separate Education Bill. A rough draft of the bill was composed in year 2005. It received much opposition due to its mandatory provision to provide 25% reservation for disadvantaged children in private schools. The sub-committee of the Central Advisory Board of Education which prepared the draft Bill held this provision as a significant prerequisite for creating a democratic and egalitarian society. Indian Law commission had initially proposed 50% reservation for disadvantaged students in private schools. []Passage

The bill was approved by the  on 2 July 2009.  passed the bill on 20 July 2009 and the  on 4 August 2009. It received Presidential assent and was notified as law on 26 August 2009 as The Children's Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act. The law came into effect in the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir from 1 April 2010, the first time in the history of India a law was brought into force by a speech by the Prime Minister. In his speech, ,  stated that, "We are committed to ensuring that all children, irrespective of gender and social category, have access to education. An education that enables them to acquire the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes necessary to become responsible and active citizens of India."[13] []Highlights

The Act makes  of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 and specifies minimum norms in elementary schools. It requires all private schools to reserve 25% of seats to children from poor families (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan). It also prohibits all unrecognized schools from practice, and makes provisions for no donation or capitation fees and no interview of the child or parent for admission. The Act also provides that no child shall be held back, expelled, or required to pass a board examination until the completion of elementary education. There is also a provision for special training of school drop-outs to bring them up to par with students of the same age. The RTE act requires surveys that will monitor all neighbourhoods, identify children requiring education, and set up facilities for providing it. The  education specialist for India, Sam Carlson, has observed: The RTE Act is the first legislation in the world that puts the responsibility of ensuring enrollment, attendance and completion on the Government. It is the parents' responsibility to send the children to schools in the U.S. and other countries. The Right to Education of persons with disabilities until 18 years of age is laid down under a separate legislation- the Persons with Disabilities Act. A number of other provisions regarding improvement of school infrastructure, teacher-student ratio and faculty are made in the Act. The Act provides for a special organization, the , an autonomous body set up in 2007, to monitor the implementation of the act,together with Commissions to be set up by the states. []Implementation and funding

Education in the  is a concurrent issue and both centre and states can legislate on the issue. The Act lays down specific responsibilities for the centre, state and local bodies for its implementation. The states have been clamouring that they...
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