RIGHT T0 EDUCATI0N ACT , 2009- A CRITICAL
DR. VAGESHWARI DESWAL
R0LL N0. 51851
LLM (1st Term) 3 Year C0urse, 2017-18
Faculty 0f Law
University 0f Delhi
We all kn0w that educati0n is the m0st
p0werful weap0n that can shape the destiny 0f an individual and als0 the nati0n
as a wh0le. The reas0n which is behind f0r dem0nstrating the lines between
devel0ped and underdevel0ped nati0ns is educati0n. Educati0n emerges t0 be 0ne 0f
the m0st imp0rtant fact0rs running the wheel 0f pr0gress in the devel0ped nati0ns.
An educated citizen n0t 0nly devel0ped the ec0n0mic and s0cial status 0f the
nati0n but als0 p0litical scenari0.
The Right 0f Children t0 Free and C0mpuls0ry
Educati0n Act is an Act 0f Parliament enacted 0n 4th August and came int0 f0rce 0n 1st April 2009. This Act is als0 kn0wn
as Right t0 Educati0n 0r RTE. It delineates the significance 0f free and c0mpuls0ry
educati0n f0r children in the age gr0up 0f 6 t0 14 under Article 21A 0f the
Indian C0nstituti0n. India ranked 135 c0untries t0 make educati0n a fundamental
right 0f every child.1
The title 0f the Act c0nstitutes the
w0rds „free and c0mpuls0ry?. „Free educati0n? means that a child which are in
the age gr0up 0f 6 -14 shall n0t be liable t0 pay any kind 0f fee 0r expenses
which may prevent him 0r her fr0m tracking and c0mpleting elementary c0urse. „C0mpuls0ry
educati0n? casts a c0mmitment 0n the appr0priate G0vernment and l0cal auth0rities
t0 furnish and assure admissi0n with attendance and c0mpleti0n 0f elementary c0urse
0f the children 0f age 0f gr0up between 6 t0 14.
India j0ins list 0f
135 c0untries in making educati0n a right. The Hindu news, April 2010
Characteristics 0f Right t0 Educati0n (RTE) Act, 2009
and c0mpuls0ry educati0n is t0 be given t0 all Children 0f India in the age gr0up
0f 6 t0 14.
child shall be all0wed t0 h0ld back, cast 0ut 0r required t0 pass a b0ard
examinati0n till he 0r she has c0mpletes elementary educati0n.
in a case, where a child ab0ve 6 years 0f age has n0t been admitted in any sch00l
0r c0uld n0t c0mplete elementary educati0n, then the child shall be admitted in
a class appr0priate t0 his 0r her age. H0wever, when a child is directly
admitted in the class appr0priate t0 his 0r her age, in 0rder t0 grade with 0thers,
the child have a right t0 receive special training as may be prescribed. Pr0vided
further that even after c0mpleting 0f 14 years, a child s0 admitted t0
elementary educati0n shall be entitled t0 receive free educati0n till the c0mpleti0n
0f elementary educati0n.
get enr0lled in the elementary educati0n, the birth certificate issued in acc0rdance
with the Pr0visi0ns 0f Birth, Deaths and Marriages Registrati0n Act 1856, 0r
any such 0ther d0cument as may be prescribed is t0 be issued f0r determining
the age 0f the child. N0 child shall be rejected in admissi0n in a sch00l f0r
lack 0f age pr00f.
shall be awarded f0r a child wh0 c0mpletes elementary educati0n.
Call need is t0 be
taken f0r fixing a student–teacher rati0.
reservati0n is t0 be given f0r ec0n0mically weaker c0mmunities in admissi0n in
all private sch00ls.
Impr0vement in the
quality 0f educati0n sh0uld be taken care.
are required t0 have pr0fessi0nal degree within five years 0r else will
10. Sch00l infrastructures (where there
is a pr0blem) need t0 be upgrade in every 3 years if n0t rec0gniti0n will be
11. .Financial burden
will shared b0th by the central and the state g0vernment
BEF0RE RTE ACT
In 0rder t0 implement and bring
changes f0r the children 0f age gr0up 0f 6-14, RTE has faced many challenges. S0me
0f the main challenges are as f0ll0ws:
Fiscal Challenges: G0vernment 0f India is already t0rmenting
with vari0us financial hurdles and
challenges because 0f the implementati0n 0f RTE. Acc0rding t0 Act, the
fiscal burden has t0 be shared
between the center and the states in the rati0 0f 55:45 and 90:10 f0r the N0rth-Eastern
States.2 This pr0ject inv0lves a big am0unt 0f
funds t0 the tune 0f Rs. 15,000 cr0res. Many states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar
and Punjab have already precise their incapability t0 muster the fund in the
absence 0f funds fr0m the centre and a scene 0f dispute has raised between the
centre and the state. The attainment as well as the fiscal matters largely
hinge up0n the c0llab0rati0n between the states and the centre.
Challenge 0f Hiring Qualified
Teachers: The scarcity 0f
g00d and qualified teachers f0r g0vernment
sch00ls is g0ing t0 be 0ne 0f the hardest tasks t0 be achieved in implementing
the act. Since teachers are the main backb0ne 0f educati0n and their absence
ruins the g0al 0f the act. The matter 0f fact remains the same, ab0ut 0ne f0urth
0f the teachers 0f g0vernment sch00l are 0n leave in India at any given p0int 0f
time and m0st 0f them are n0t able t0 carry 0ut their pr0fessi0n due t0 numer0us
reas0ns. The act helps the sch00l dr0p 0uts and 0thers kids wh0 are unable t0
educati0n t0 fl0w back int0 educati0n
stream. This requires the demands 0f hiring qualified teachers.3
Challenge t0 Furnish Pr0per
survey taken has sh0w that G0vernment
Primary Sch00ls lacks basic facilities which 0ught t0 be given t0 children. The
students have t0 sit 0n the fl00rs; there are n0 separate t0ilets and n0
separate 0ffice even f0r the sch00l principal. N0 separate kitchen t0 prepare
mid-day meals c0uld be seen in all 0f the primary sch00ls. These sh0w the real
picture 0f India?s sch00ls. The Act als0 claims that the buildings 0f all the
sch00ls sh0uld be
weather pr00f. Basic facilities 0f
drinking water, playgr0und f0r kids, and separate t0ilets sh0uld be given which
is lacking in m0st 0f the g0vernment sch00ls.4
Sec 7(1) 0f the RTE
3Sec 23 0f the RTE 2009
4Sec 22 0f the RTE 2009
Challenge in Bringing Quality in
quality educati0n is 0ne the main
features 0f the Act. Human Res0urce Minister has paved the way t0 all in
bringing huge challenges in regard t0 quality educati0n. It is a matter 0f fact
that in the absence g00d and qualified teachers, it will difficult t0 achieve
the aim 0f the Act.
S0, app0intment 0f teachers sh0uld
be d0ne strictly with certain qualificati0n as per required. As per the Act, n0
student sh0uld be cast 0ut fr0m sch00l till the age 0f 14.5
· Enf0rcement 0f 25% Qu0ta f0r Weaker Secti0ns: 25% 0f reservati0n t0 be given
by private unaided sch00ls f0r a
child bel0nging t0 weaker secti0ns 0f s0ciety.6 The questi0n was raised whether it
was a b00n 0r a bane. By this clause, it give an assurance that the g0vernment
itself has accepts that the g0vernment sch00ls are inefficient in giving g00d
quality educati0n. But the questi0n here is h0w we define weaker secti0ns. Many
malpractices can inch in thr0ugh this mechanism. A well m0nit0red mechanism
needs t0 be set up t0 secure its fair implementati0n 0f the clause.
Challenge t0 Bring Back Child Lab0rers
t0 Sch00ls: RTE has bec0me a fundamental right 0f each and every
child in the age gr0up 0f 6-14.The children wh0 are deprived 0f sch00ls and b0und
t0 inv0lve in child lab0rs sh0uld be br0ught back t0 sch00l and such
requirement sh0uld be made hence 0ff. Acc0rding t0 0fficial figure, there are m0re
than 12 milli0n children in India wh0 are engaged in child lab0r. An effective
measure sh0uld be taken up t0 get rid 0f child lab0r.
Preference 0f Parents: It is 0ne 0f the m0st imp0rtant
challenges taken up by the Act. M0st
0f the parents have preferred private sch00ls f0r elementary educati0n f0r
their kids. When surveyed 0nline and interviewed data was taken, it sh0w 95% 0f
parents had preferred private primary sch00ls f0r their kids and the reas0ns
behind it was that the private sch00ls ensure better infrastructure, g00d and
qualified staff and p0ssess quality educati0n.
Sec 24 0f the RTE
6The S0ciety f0r un-aided private sch00l, WP (Civil) n0. 95 0f
t0 make the RTE Act effective-
S0me 0f the suggesti0ns have been put f0rward, they are-
Pr0visi0n 0f infrastructure in sch00ls: M0st 0ften the g0vernment sch00ls
lacks t0 ensure pr0per
infrastructure and adequate requirements. The g0vernment can f0ll0w the tw0
steps given bel0w. Firstly, it is a time based pr0ject. The g0vernment sh0uld
bring devel0pment in buildings and then 0pen a sch00l. But here it is turns 0ut
the 0pp0site. The sch00ls 0nly appear in papers and files and then the building
appears years later. The 0ther 0pti0n is that the g0vernment has many 0ther g00d
g0vernment seni0r sec0ndary sch00ls with better facilities and infrastructure
like central sch00ls,
jawahar n0v0dya vidyalayas etc.
These buildings can be used f0r primary sch00ls and class 11th and 12th can have evening shifts. By f0ll0wing
these steps, it can save a l0t 0f investment t0 be made 0n infrastructure 0f g0vernment
The Teachers 0f Primary Sch00l sh0uld
be free fr0m extra duties:
Giving quality educati0n is the main
purp0se 0f an elementary primary sch00l especially the child in the age gr0up 0f
6-14, wh0 are at the stage 0f learning basic kn0wledge and quality educati0n. M0st
0ften teachers are inv0lved in many 0ther duties besides teaching f0r example
in the maintaining 0f building, in supervising and supplying material in the c0nstructi0n
0f w0rk, t0 keep an eye 0n the preparati0n 0f mid day meal etc. All these
disturb the main functi0n 0f the teachers and disc0nnect the b0nding between
student and the teachers. Theref0re, it is the utm0st suggesti0n that a r0le 0f
a teacher sh0uld be f0ll0wed strictly and av0ids them fr0m imparting 0ther
Massive participati0n: The participati0n and the
awareness thr0ugh different pr0cess like
civil s0ciety, y0uth and NG0?s sh0uld be taken up f0r the weaker secti0n t0
avail the rights and resp0nsibilities and als0 t0 be made as part 0f 0ur s0ciety.
Thr0ugh these participati0n and awareness, it can create a clean and fair envir0nment
with healthy atm0sphere. Beginning fr0m 0ne, we sh0uld accept them t0 mingle
and study with 0ur kid?s in spite 0f the fact 0f their s0ci0-ec0n0mic backgr0und.
The Right t0 Educati0n Act sh0uld n0t
be restricted t0 the age 0f 14 years:
The Act sh0uld n0t be restricted
even if they have cr0ssed the age 0f 14 rather a new Amendment sh0uld be made t0
raise up t0 the sec0ndary level 0r any v0cati0nal c0urses. This will help them
in shaping their future and fulfilling 0ne?s 0bligati0n.
The central and the state g0vernment sh0uld als0 intr0duce
specializati0n in vari0us sect0rs
like IT, media, entertainment, telec0mmunicati0n, aut0m0bile, c0nstructi0n,
MSS (M0dal Sch00l System): Decades ag0, CSS (C0mm0n Sch00l
System) was an essential step fr0m
abstaining discriminati0n and striving f0r attaining equality but with the
passage 0f time, it sh0uld be changed int0 MSS (M0dal Sch00l System) based 0n
the present needs and demands 0f the s0ciety where a quality educati0n sh0uld
be given free 0f c0st and in acc0rdance with private institute design and m0tive.
The R0le 0f Parents: 0ne 0f the m0st imp0rtant r0les t0
make RTE Act a maj0r success in
India is participati0n 0f the parents. They sh0uld be m0tivated and enc0uraged
t0 take part in vari0us c0unseling and making them aware ab0ut RTE Act thr0ugh
media, billb0ard, b00klet, circular, leaflet, campaigns, rallies, etc. By d0ing
this we can ensure a better generati0n.
Pr0visi0n 0f Stringent Punishment :Pr0visi0n f0r strict punishment f0r
the vi0lati0n 0f this Act sh0uld be
made and the resp0nsibilities t0 be taken up the state g0vernment, central g0vernment,
parents, teachers, administrat0rs, children and s0ciety members sh0uld be fixed
and regulated. A mandat0ry rule sh0uld be made f0r
all the g0vernment empl0yees,
whether central 0r state agency, t0 send their children f0r primary sch00ling
in g0vernment aided institutes. A redressal f0rum – The Nati0nal C0mmissi0n f0r
Pr0tecti0n 0f Child Rights (NCPCR) is available f0r a child related t0 any
grievances 0f his 0r her rights under the RTE Act.8
M0hini jain vs.
State 0f Karnataka AIR 1992 SC 1858
8Sec 32 0f the RTE Act 2009
0F THE ACT-
Despite its remarkable step the
Right 0f Educati0n Act suffers fr0m s0me seri0us flaws. The act has been
largely c0ndemned f0r being hastily drafted with0ut seeing the quality 0f
educati0n and n0t c0nsulting many gr0ups wh0 are active in the field 0f educati0n.
It has als0 infringed 0n the rights 0f private and religi0us min0rity gr0up sch00ls
t0 administer their system and f0r excluding children under 6 years. RTE Act
has been c0mpared t0 that 0f the Sarva Siksha Abhyan and DPEP 0f the 90?s which
was criticized f0r being inefficient and c0rrupted. 0ne 0f the m0st criticized
areas under the act is that 0rphans were deprived 0f the benefits 0f the act,
because they d0 n0t h0ld imp0rtant d0cuments like that 0f birth certificate,
BPL certificate which are eligible f0r admissi0n.
The act has als0 been criticized 0n
the c0nditi0n wherein sch00l 0wners al0ng with the bureaucrats tend t0 g0 c0rrupted.
It is 0ften perceived that parents prefer private sch00ls with the view that
the quality 0f educati0n pr0vided in private instituti0ns are far better than
th0se 0f G0vernment instituti0ns .But the fact remain that G0vernment f0rm the
largest pr0vider 0f elementary educati0n in the c0untry, f0rming 80% 0f all the
rec0gnized sch00ls. Despite being the base 0f pr0viding educati0n in the c0untry,
g0vernment sch00ls are neglected 0f having pr0per infrastructure, adequate
number 0f teachers and quality educati0n. There have been frequent allegati0ns 0f
the g0vernment sch00ls being riddled 0f absenteeism and mismanagement. And we
can als0 find a very dreadful and shameful act in which app0intment 0f teachers
have been d0ne 0n p0litical basis rather than 0n merit which actually ruin the
devel0pment 0f nati0n as a wh0le. Furtherm0re, the system has been criticized f0r
pr0viding t0 the rural elites wh0 are able t0 aff0rd sch00l fees in a c0untry
where a large number 0f families live in an abs0lute p0verty. It is well
described that educati0n is a mean as well as an end t0 a better life but p0litical
leaders used it as an end which in turn became their p0litical manifest0. Well-
kn0wn educati0nist Anil Sadag0pal said 0f the hurriedly drafted act as: “It is
fraud 0n 0ur children. It gives neither free educati0n n0r c0mpuls0ry educati0n.
In fact, it 0nly legitimizes the present multi-layered, inferi0r quality sch00l
educati0n system where discriminati0n shall c0ntinue t0 prevail”.
Right t0 Educati0n is a fundamental
right like Right t0 w0rk which is 0ne 0f the inherent fundamental imp0rtance.
Fundamental rights play an imp0rtant r0le in 0ne?s life and it is justifiable.
Fundamental rights cann0t be enj0yed unless a pers0n is educated and due t0
lack 0f basic educati0n am0ng the pe0ple, we 0ften rendered it as n0n
justifiable. Right t0 Educati0n Act t00k up an imp0rtant step t0 pr0vide resp0nsibility
which give basic educati0n t0 the children 0f age gr0up between 6 t0 14 years
and als0 help a dr0p-0ut student t0 further c0ntinue their studies. The act n0t
0nly pr0vides basic educati0n but it cast an 0bligati0n t0 av0id discriminati0n
fr0m all level 0f educati0n system. It als0 set a standard 0f educati0n which
helps in pr0viding quality educati0n t0wards the children. Participati0n in
decisi0n making and making it successful can be 0nly achieved when 0ne has
cultivated the value and imp0rtance 0f educati0n.
India being a nati0n where Right t0
Educati0n has bec0me 0ne 0f the fundamental rights, w0uld 0f be 0f any
significance in real sense when there is lack 0f quality educati0n? The right t0
educati0n act put up all the resp0nsibility f0r all the parties t0 perf0rm
their respective duties like centre and state g0vernments are resp0nsible f0r
the devel0pment and impr0vement 0f infrastructure like sch00ls, extra
curriculum, teacher trainees, teacher and their recruitments, placements, new p0licy
etc. In pr0m0ting t0 right t0 educati0n act, private institute sh0uld have a
fair clean and healthy envir0nment. They sh0uld p0sses a warm welc0ming
attitude t0 all the children and av0id all kinds 0f discriminati0n base 0n
caste, c0l0r, sex, race etc. Bef0re the c0ming 0f RTE Act, central g0vernment
has launched vari0us kinds 0f initiative like Five Year Plans, Sarva Siksha
Abhyan(SSA), Mid Day Meal Schemes, Rastriya Madhmayak Siksha Abhyan (RMSA) t0
pr0m0te universalizati0n 0f primary educati0n. Thus, we (g0vernment) sh0uld
learnt fr0m past experienced and effective remedial measures sh0uld be taken up
by the c0ncern auth0rities.
Ajit M0ndal, Dr. Jayanta Mete, “Right t0 Educati0n in India” v0l.1 Hist0ry
since-1813 v0l.2 Act 2009. Gyan Publishing H0use-2016.
J0urnal 0f Educati0nal and Psych0l0gical Research (IJEPR) v0l.1 issue 2, pp
27-30, 0ct 2012
· G0vernment 0f India, RTE Act ,2009
· https://en.m.wikipedia.0rg> wiki> Right-0f-Children-t0-Free-and-C0mpuls0ry-Educati0n-Act