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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act was passed by the India parliament on 4 August 2009 which describes the modalities of the provision of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2009, seeks to provide education to children aged between 6 to 14 years.

The Bill, one of the flagship programmes in the 100-day agenda of the UPA Government, also earmarks 25 per cent seats to weaker sections in private schools.

While the Rajya Sabha okayed the bill earlier, the Lok Sabha put its seal of approval on Aug. 4. The Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal described the bill as “harbinger of a new era” for children to meet the challenges of the 21st century. He said the bill is a “historic opportunity” for providing better future to children of the country as there was never such a landmark legislation in the last 62 years since independence.

“We as a nation cannot afford our children not going to schools,” he asserted, noting that the measure details the obligations of the Centre and the States for providing free and compulsory education to children.

What is the Bill About?

  • Every child between the ages of 6 to 14 years has the right to free and compulsory education. This is stated as per the 86th Constitution Amendment Act which added Article 21A. The right to education bill seeks to give effect to this amendment.
  • The Government schools shall provide free education to all the children and the Schools will be managed by School Management Committees (SMC). Private schools shall admit at least 25 per cent of the children in their schools without any fee.
  • The National Commission for Elementary Education shall be constituted to monitor all aspects of elementary education including quality.

History of the bill

December 2002: 86th Amendment Act (2002) via Article 21A (Part III) seeks to make free and compulsory education a Fundamental Right for all children in the age group 6-14 years.

October 2003: A first draft of the legislation envisaged in the above Article, viz., Free and Compulsory Education for Children Bill, 2003, was prepared and posted on a website in Oct. 2003, inviting comments and suggestions from the public at large.

2004: Subsequently, taking into account the suggestions received on the draft bill, a revised draft of the Bill entitled Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2004, was prepared and posted on the http://education.nic.in website.

June 2005: The Central Advisory Board of Education (CBSE) committee drafted the ‘Right to Education’ Bill and submitted to the Ministry of HRD. It was then forwarded to NAC where Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is the Chairperson. NAC sent the Bill to the Prime Minister for his observation.

14th July 2006: The finance committee and planning commission rejected the Bill citing the lack of funds and a Model bill was sent to States for making the necessary arrangements. (Post-86th amendment, States had already cited lack of funds at State-level)

Importance of the Bill

The Bill is important because it is the first step in the direction of the Government’s active role in ensuring implementation of the Constitutional Amendment. And as important, the Bill:

  • Legislates provision of free and compulsory elementary and secondary education;
  • Provides for a school in every neighbourhood
  • Provides for a School Monitoring Committee—elected representatives of the community to ensure proper functioning; and
  • Mandates that no child in the age group 6-14 shall be employed.

The Bill prohibits donations, capitation fees, interviewing the child or parents as part of the screening procedure.

The financial burden to implement the Bill will be shared between the States and the Centre. The Bill has started a nation-wide debate on the present system of education and is the first big step in education reforms in the country.

The Bill has been criticized for failing to maintain a uniform equitable standard of quality for all schools and for excluding children under 6 years of age.

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