Introduction to Right to Education
Education has always been an important part of anyone’s life. And especially the education of the youth is crucial for the development of the country. Before moving forward, let us know what exactly education is? Education is facilitating the learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. A child’s first school is always his/her home where he/she learns about the basic etiquettes. The education limited only to home is not enough for the evolution of both the child and the country. Therefore, Article 21A of the Indian Constitution is being stated so that free and compulsory primary education is being provided to all the children.
Constitution Right to Education
The 86th Constitutional Amendment was made in 2002 and through it, Article 21A was inserted. As per this Article, education was made a fundamental right for the children of age group 6-14 years. It is the responsibility of State Governments and local bodies to ensure that every child gets an education in a school in the neighbourhood. The right to education is a fundamental right. Both individuals and society benefit from the right to education. It is fundamental for human, social, and economic development. It is an empowerment right and lifts marginalized groups out of poverty.
Where is the right to education in India guaranteed?
International Human Rights law guarantees the right to education. And The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, proclaims in Article 26: ‘Everyone has the Right to Education’.
Since then, the right to education has been widely recognized and developed by a number of international normative instruments elaborated by the United Nations. The agencies of the United Nations are working for its development. Apart from this, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966 CESR), The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989, CRC) and the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960, CADE) are also working on the development of the child right.
Article 21A of the Indian Constitution says “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of 6 to 14 years in such a manner as the State, may by law determine.”
Similarly, the Government of India passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. The main aim and objective of the Right to Education Act, 2009 is to make education a fundamental right of every child between the age of 6 and 14 years.
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Right to Education Includes
Right to education is a very wide concept. It is inclusive. The right to education includes the:
- Free and compulsory primary education to all children.
- Equal access to higher education.
- Similarly, Fundamental education for those who have not received or completed primary education.
- Right to equal quality education.
- Health and hygiene.
- Safety from fires and buildings.
- Physical education including various activities and programs for the cultural and moral development of children.
Violations of Right to Education
Right to education is vast; therefore, violation of this right is also normal. So, here we will discuss some instances:-
- Children are still denied admission in schools on various grounds, despite the act being in place.
- Parents are forced to pay admission and school fees but no receipt against the payment.
- Similarly, parents don’t send their children to school and force them to do child labor or if a girl, force her to stay at home.
- Direct targeting of schools. For instance, the attacks on the schools, targeting teachers and students, etc. These attacks violate the rights of the children: apart from this, putting children at risk of injury or death.
- Harassment in schools.
Establishing an appropriate and effective remedy for the breach of a right remains a challenge, so there are some remedies:
- Raise awareness of the importance of education.
- Whenever a right is infringed legal remedies protect rights by providing an opportunity to enforce their rights by filing writs in High Court and Supreme Court. A lawyer can be hired for filing the writ before the Court for enforcing the legal right.
- Monitor the implementation of the right to education.
Everyone student, parent, teacher, lawyer, journalist, policymaker, etc can make a huge difference by changing their mindset, by helping others, by motivating children as per their interest, by standing up for the people whose rights are violating.
Think creative, think out of the box and use these ideas to advance and implement the policies regarding education. When it comes to rights, everyone can join hands together. And it’s not like that you or somebody else needs some specification or any specialization. Any person who wants to help can help.
Therefore, make sure that the seed you sow today will grow and its fruits will be available to everyone.
-By Nitanshu Arora
An Associate in the Law Office of Kr. Vivek Tanwar, Advocate and Associates