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Constitutional Right to Education

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. The development of any nation could be simply recognised and measured by how much upgraded its education system is. Upgraded education system means it includes quality of education provided, knowledge delivered along with vocational skills.

As, we don't educate ourselves to make life, instead life is meant to be educated. Education is powerful tool by which economically and socially marginalised adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and fulfil themselves as a responsible citizen.

Education In India

India is considered as Home of youngsters with 90% of world's children this means, India is leading flag with most of the youth population residing in it. This statically figures could be used as a strong tool in making the nation economically, socially and financially stronger. But, at the same time, there is one statistical figure which highlights that India has one third of illiterate persons in the world.

These are parallel statistics and are cross-countering each other. If we need to use the statistics of young population as a weapon, we need to reduce the figure of illiterate person. It is not the literacy rate is not increasing but from past few decades is not increasing with expected rates.

Constitutional Right To Education

It is not that the government hasn't added their required potential and hard work. The Right to Free and Compulsory Education proposed by Indian government has made education as Fundamental Right. The 86th amendment led to addition of Article 21-A which states a fundamental right to access free and compulsory education to all the children from age 6 to 14 years. Not only in India, but globally education has been given a tag of Human Rights.

The human right is placed above all the rights and hence it proves that right to education comes above all the rights. In fact educational right is a right which forms base for all other kinds of rights including human rights.

There is growing number of human rights problems, which can't be unlocked unless right to education isn't been proposed. The right to education is clearly stated in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948), social and cultural rights (1966), convention against discrimination education (1960), etc. Therefore, right to education has also been identified and recognised by these eminent international treaties. This treaty not only emphasises the educational rights but also tries to eliminate discrimination pertaining at all the levels of education.

Statistics And Analysis
Out of 313 million illiterate people in India; 59% of them are woman. Above 3 decades ago, the adult male literacy rate in India was almost double from that of adult females. There are currently 186 million females in India who can nit even read simple and clear sentence in any of the language. According to the statistical data provided in the country, there is 3.7% of gender gap in literacy level of youth population, which is almost one fifth of the overall gender gap for India.

But this statistics have now far more improved. India is emerging as a successful nation in the field of educational sector. India in 2019 is far more literate than India in 1989. The implication of midday meal scheme (1995), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (2001) has contributed positively towards achieving literacy. The main goal and objective of these schemes is to help and improve the effectiveness of primary education by improving the nutritional status of primary school children.

The Human Resource Ministry survey reveals that the mid-day meal scheme has achieved a big success. The draft report suggested that 92 percent children started going to government schools and are benefiting from mid-day meal while 80 percent of the parents surveyed agreed that the scheme has improved attendance. According to latest available data, child and youth literacy in India stands at 93 and 94% respectively. If India could catch such momentum, then the country won't be far in achieving complete literacy for children and youth by 2030.

Talking about gender gap in educational field, programs such as National Program of Education for Girls at elementary level,2003 (NPGEL), Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao has played a vital role in lifting female literacy up. These governmental skills have looked and worked onto the hurdles that were associated in educating the girls.

In the case of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Education vs. K. S. Gandhi[1], Right to Education was given a fundamental right at the secondary level.

In J. P. Unnikrishnan vs. State of Andhra Pradesh[2], a constitution bench stated that education up to the age of 14 years to be directed as a fundamental right. It would be therefore rested upon the state to provide facilities and opportunities as under article 39(E & F) of the constitution and to prevent exploitation of their childhood due to poverty and child labour.

In the case of Avinash Mehrotra v Union of India[3], the Supreme Court of India directed right to education to also include the right to the provision of a safe and healthy environment in schools, and imposed a responsibility on schools to comply with certain fire safety precautions which were detailed stated in the judgment.

India is on the path to achieve universal literacy for youth population by 2030. The factors which the government and nation should consider while achieving literacy by providing quality of education, digital literacy and skilling. The country must ensure that the younger generation is able to gained plethora of opportunities from digitalisation with minimum or no post suffering. Every generation looks up to the nest generation that they will tomorrow frame a better nation than today. Therefore education being a weapon for future generation should be given at most priority.

  1. 1991 SCALE (1)187
  2. 1993 AIR 2178, 1993 SCR (1) 594
  3. Writ Petition (Civil) No.483 OF 2004

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