The issue of RTE implementation under international human rights law is firmly
rooted in practically every corner of the globe, especially in emerging and
underdeveloped countries. Due to the nature of soft law, imprecise terminology,
and fragmentation within provisions of international and regional legal
instruments, the issue has several facets, ranging from discrimination to the
question of free and compulsory quality education for all.
In the case of India
Article 21(A) was enacted in 2002 as part of the 86th Amendment Act. It included
primary education in the right to freedom, stating that the state would provide
free and compulsory education to children aged six to fourteen. The Union
Cabinet approved the Right to Education Bill in 2008, six years after the Indian
Constitution was amended.
Under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution, the
Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, or Right to Education
Act (RTE), which was passed by the Indian parliament on August 4, 2009, defines
the mechanisms of providing free and compulsory education for children aged 6 to
14. India was one of 135 countries to join the group. The present study employs
the doctrinal method of research with a qualitative approach to examine the
education system and legal frame of India under the domain of International law.
Children's rights are a subset of human rights with particular attention to the
rights of special protection and care afforded to minors. The 1989 Convention
on the Rights of the Child (CRC) defines a child as "any human being below the
age of eighteen years unless, under the law applicable to the child, the
majority is attained earlier."
Children's rights include their right to
association with both parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for
physical protection, food, universal state-paid education, health care, and
criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child, equal
protection of the child's civil rights, and freedom from discrimination on the
basis of the child's race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national
origin, religion, disability, color, ethnicity, or other characteristics.
Interpretations of children's rights range from allowing children the capacity
for autonomous action to the enforcement of children being physically, mentally,
and emotionally free from abuse, though what constitutes "abuse" is a matter of
debate. Other definitions include the rights to care and nurturing.
is a mass of human rights law, both treaty and 'soft law', both general and
child-specific, which recognizes the distinct status and particular requirements
of children. Children, owing to their particular vulnerability and their
significance as the future generation, are entitled to special treatment
generally, and, in situations of danger, to priority in the receipt of
assistance and protection.
There are no definitions of other terms used to describe young people such as
"adolescents", "teenagers", or "youth" in international law, but the
children's rights movement is considered distinct from the youth rights
The field of children's rights spans the fields of law, politics, religion, and
morality. Governments must provide good quality education and make sure all
children can access it, without discrimination. This is an international legal
obligation and governments can be held accountable for failing to provide
education for all their citizens. Education has been recorded as a basic human
right in international instruments since 1948.
It is included in many documents
and treaties including:
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
- Convention Against Discrimination in Education (1960)
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
- African Charter on Human and People's Rights (1986)
- Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
- World Declaration on Education for All: Meeting Basic Learning Needs (1990)
- The Dakar Framework for Action: Education for All (2000)
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006)
The UN General Assembly Resolution on the Right to Education in Emergency
Situations (2010) Governments must guarantee that education in their country
Role of countries in meeting obligations concerning the Right to Education
The international community knows that achieving the full extent of the right to
education will take time and resources. Governments must put plans in place to
meet the minimum standard of free, compulsory primary education and then take
steps to extend the right to education to every child. The right to education
without discrimination is part of the minimum standard and must be created
As minors by law, children do not have autonomy or the right to make decisions
on their own for themselves in any known jurisdiction of the world. Instead
their adult caregivers, including parents, social workers, teachers, youth
workers, and others, are vested with that authority, depending on the
circumstances. Some believe that this state of affairs gives children
insufficient control over their own lives and causes them to be vulnerable.
Louis Althusser has gone so far as to describe this legal machinery, as it
applies to children, as "repressive state apparatuses". Structures such as
government policy have been held by some commentators to mask the ways adults
abuse and exploit children, resulting in child poverty, lack of educational
opportunities, and child labor. In this view, children are to be regarded as a
minority group towards whom society needs to reconsider the way it behaves.
Researchers have identified children as needing to be recognized as participants
in a society whose rights and responsibilities need to be recognized at all
ages. Sir William Blackstone (1765-9) recognized three parental duties to
the child: maintenance, protection, and education. In modern language, the
child has a right to receive these from the parent.
The League of Nations adopted the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child
(1924), which enunciated the child's right to receive the requirements for
normal development, the right of the hungry child to be fed, the right of the
sick child to receive health care, the right of the backward child to be
reclaimed, the right of orphans to shelter, and the right to protection from
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) in Article 25(2)
recognized the need for motherhood and childhood to "special protection and
assistance" and the right of all children to "social protection."
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration of
the Rights of the Child (1959), which enunciated ten principles for the
protection of children's rights, including the universality of rights, the right
to special protection, and the right to protection from discrimination, among
Consensus on defining children's rights has become clearer in the last fifty
years. A 1973 publication by Hillary Clinton (then an attorney) stated that
children's rights were a "slogan in need of a definition". According to some
researchers, the notion of children's rights is still not well defined, with at
least one proposing that there is no singularly accepted definition or theory of
the rights held by children.
Children's rights law is defined as the point where the law intersects with a
child's life. That includes juvenile delinquency, due process for children
involved in the criminal justice system, appropriate representation, and
effective rehabilitative services; care and protection for children in state
care; ensuring education for all children regardless of their race, gender,
sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability,
color, ethnicity, or other characteristics, and; health care and advocacy.
Classification of Rights
Children have two types of human rights under international human rights
law. They have the same fundamental general human rights as adults, although
some human rights, such as the right to marry, are dormant until they are of
age, Secondly, they have special human rights that are necessary to protect them
during their minority. General rights operative in childhood includes the
right to security of the person, freedom from inhuman, cruel, or degrading
treatment, and the right to special protection during childhood.
human rights of children include, among other rights, the right to life, the
right to a name, the right to express his views in matters concerning the child,
the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, the right to health
care, the right to protection from economic and sexual exploitation, and the
right to education.
Children's rights are defined in numerous ways, including a wide spectrum of
civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. Rights tend to be of
two general types: those advocating for children as autonomous persons under the
law and those placing a claim on society for protection from harms perpetrated
on children because of their dependency. These have been labeled as the right of
empowerment and as the right to protection.
United Nations educational guides for children classify the rights outlined in
the Convention on the Rights of the Child as the "3 Ps": Provision, Protection,
They may be elaborated as follows:
Similarly, the Child Rights International Network (CRIN) categorizes rights into
Children have the right to an adequate standard of living, health
care, education and services, and to play and recreation. These include a
balanced diet, a warm bed to sleep in, and access to schooling.
Children have the right to protection from abuse, neglect,
exploitation, and discrimination. This includes the right to safe places for
children to play; constructive child-rearing behavior, and acknowledgment of the
evolving capacities of children.
Children have the right to participate in communities and have
programs and services for themselves. This includes children's involvement in
libraries and community programs, youth voice activities, and involving children
- Economic, social, and cultural rights, are related to the
conditions necessary to meet basic human needs such as food,
shelter, education, health care, and gainful employment. Included
are rights to education, adequate housing, food, and water, the
highest attainable standard of health, the right to work and rights
at work, as well as the cultural rights of minorities and indigenous
- Environmental, cultural, and developmental rights, which are
sometimes called "third-generation rights," and including the right
to live in safe and healthy environments and that groups of people
have the right to cultural, political, and economic development.
Amnesty International openly advocates four particular children's rights,
including the end to juvenile incarceration without parole, an end to the
recruitment of military use of children, ending the death penalty for people
under 21, and raising awareness of human rights in the classroom.
Rights Watch, an international advocacy organization, includes child labor,
juvenile justice, orphans and abandoned children, refugees, street children, and
The scholarly study generally focuses on children's rights by identifying
individual rights. The following rights "allow children to grow up healthy and
- Freedom of speech
- Freedom of thought
- Freedom from fear
- Freedom of choice and the right to make decisions
- Ownership over one's body
A report by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health, and Sustainable Development
of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe identified several areas
the Committee was concerned about, including procedures such as "female genital
mutilation, the circumcision of young boys for religious reasons, early
childhood medical interventions in the case of intersex children and the
submission to or coercion of children into piercings, tattoos or plastic
surgery". The Assembly adopted a non-binding resolution in 2013 that calls
on its 47 member-states to take numerous actions to promote the physical
integrity of children.
Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child enjoins parties to "take
all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to
protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or
abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation".
Committee on the Rights of the Child interprets article 19 as prohibiting
corporal punishment, commenting on the "obligation of all States Party to move
quickly to prohibit and eliminate all corporal punishment." The United
Nations Human Rights Committee has also interpreted Article 7 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibiting "cruel, inhuman
or degrading treatment or punishment" to extend to children, including corporal
punishment of children.
Newell (1993) argued that "...pressure for protection of children's physical
integrity should be an integral part of pressure for all children's rights."
The Committee on Bioethics of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) (1997),
citing the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), asserts that "every
child should have the opportunity to grow and develop free from preventable
illness or injury." Other issues affecting children's rights include the
military use of children, the sale of children, child prostitution, and child
Difference between Children's Rights and Youth rights
"In the majority of jurisdictions, for instance, children are not allowed to
vote, to marry, to buy alcohol, to have sex, or to engage in paid
employment." Within the youth rights movement, it is believed that the key
difference between children's rights and youth rights is that children's rights
supporters generally advocate the establishment and enforcement of protection
for children and youths, while youth rights (a far smaller movement) generally
advocates the expansion of freedom for children and/or youths and rights such as
International Human Rights Law
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is seen as a basis for all
international legal standards for children's rights today. Several conventions
and laws address children's rights around the world. Several current and
historical documents affect those rights, including the Declaration of the
Rights of the Child, drafted by Eglantyne Jebb in 1923, endorsed by the
League of Nations in 1924, and reaffirmed in 1934. A slightly expanded version
was adopted by the United Nations in 1946, followed by a much-expanded version
adopted by the General Assembly in 1959. It later served as the basis for the
Convention on the Rights of the Child.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The United Nations adopted the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights (ICCPR) in 1966. The ICCPR is a multilateral international covenant that
has been ratified or acceded to by nearly all nations on Earth. Nations that
have become state parties to the Covenant are required to honor and enforce the
rights enunciated by the Covenant.
The treaty came into effect on 23 March 1976.
The rights codified by the ICCPR are universal, so they apply to everyone
without exception and this includes children. Although children have all rights,
some rights such as the right to marry and the right to vote come into effect
only after the child reaches maturity.
Some general rights applicable to children include:
- the right to life
- the right to security of person
- the right to freedom from torture
- the right to freedom from cruel, inhuman, or degrading
treatment or punishment
- the right to be separated from adults when charged with
a crime, the right to speedy adjudication, and the right to
be accorded treatment appropriate to their age
Article 24 codifies the right of the child to special protection due to his
minority, the right to a name, and the right to a nationality.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
The United Nations' 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC, is the
first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of
human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights. Its
implementation is monitored by the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
National governments that ratify it commit themselves to protect and ensuring
children's rights, and agree to hold themselves accountable for this commitment
before the international community. The CRC is the most widely ratified
human rights treaty with 196 ratifications; the United States is the only
country not to have ratified it.
The CRC is based on four core principles: the principle of non-discrimination;
the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival, and development;
and considering the views of the child in decisions that affect them, according
to their age and maturity. The CRC, along with international criminal
accountability mechanisms such as the International Criminal Court, the
Yugoslavia and Rwanda Tribunals, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, is said
to have significantly increased the profile of children's rights worldwide.
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action urge, in Section II para 47, all
nations to undertake measures to the maximum extent of their available
resources, with the support of international cooperation, to achieve the goals
in the World Summit Plan of Action and calls on States to integrate the
Convention on the Rights of the Child into their national action plans.
Employing these national action plans and through international efforts,
particular priority should be placed on reducing infant and maternal mortality
rates, reducing malnutrition and illiteracy rates, and providing access to safe
drinking water and basic education.
Whenever so-called for, national plans of
action should be devised to combat devastating emergencies resulting from
natural disasters and armed conflicts and the equally grave problem of children
in extreme poverty. Further, para 48 urges all states, with the support of
international cooperation, to address the acute problem of children under
especially difficult circumstances. Exploitation and abuse of children should be
actively combated, including by addressing their root causes.
are required against female infanticide, harmful child labor, the sale of
children and organs, child prostitution, child pornography, and other forms of
sexual abuse. This influenced the adoption of the Optional Protocol on the
Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and Optional Protocol on the Sale of
Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography.
A variety of enforcement organizations and mechanisms exist to ensure children's
rights. They include the Child Rights Caucus for the United Nations General
Assembly Special Session on Children. It was set up to promote full
implementation and compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
and to ensure that child rights were given priority during the UN General
Assembly Special Session on Children and its Preparatory process.
Nations Human Rights Council was created "with the hope that it could be more
objective, credible and efficient in denouncing human rights violations
worldwide than the highly politicized Commission on Human Rights." The NGO Group
for the Convention on the Rights of the Child is a coalition of international
non-governmental organizations originally formed in 1983 to facilitate the
implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Indian Perspectives on Children's Rights
A child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless, under
the law applicable to the child, the age of majority is attained earlier. A
nation's children are a supremely important national asset, and the future
well-being of a nation depends upon how its children grow and develop. The
state must look after a child (or intending to) ensuring the full development
of its personality.
To achieve this goal, a state must grant certain rights
to the children. In India, the rights of citizens including that of children
have been directly or indirectly provided for by the Constitution of India. The
United Nations Conventions on Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989 is important
concerning the rights of the child to which India is a signatory.
Adopted by the United Nations in 1989, the CRC is an international agreement
legally binding on the parties signatory to it. It has incorporated in its
various articles the rights of children without any discrimination whatsoever.
It was ratified by India on 11 December 1992. It has a preamble setting out
different principles the CRC is built upon.
It is based on four basic principles:
- Non-discrimination (Article 2)
- Best Interest of the Child (Article 3)
- Right to Life Survival and Development (Article
- Right to be Heard (Article 12)
PART I (Article 1-41): It sets out the rights of children and obligations of
The rights can further be categorized as:
- Survival Rights: the right to life of a child
and access to necessities to existence such as
adequate food, shelter, the standard of living, and
- Development Rights: the right to education, to
practice the religion of own choice and cultural
activities, freedom of thought and conscience, to
play and leisure, and access to information.
- Protection Rights: rights that protect children
from abuses that may be consequential to several
kinds of circumstances, such as children subject to
procedures of the criminal justice system, children
in employment, children who are refugees, and
children who have undergone abuse or exploitation.
- Participation Rights: the rights of children to
participate in activities of the society, especially
matters that may affect their lives, to assemble
peacefully, and to join associations.
PART II (Article 42-45): It contains provisions regarding the implementation of
the provisions of the CRC.
PART III (Articles 46-54): It includes provisions for signing the convention by
parties and rules and procedures thereafter for ratification, enforceability,
amendment, denouncement, etc. of the convention.
Three Optional Protocols to the CRC have been introduced which are:
- Optional Protocol to CRC on Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child
- Optional Protocol to CRC on the involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.
- Optional Protocol to the Convention on the
Rights of the Child on a Communications
As of now, India has not signed the third optional protocol.
Indian Constitution and Child Right of Education.
The Constitution in its Part III (Fundamental Rights) and Part IV (Directive
Principles of State Policy) guarantees under the articles mentioned below,
rights to the children of India:
Right to Constitutional Remedies when Rights of Children are Infringed
- Article 14: Citizens of India, including
children, must be treated equally before the
law and must be given equal protection by
the law without any discrimination or
- Article 15(3): Discrimination is
prohibited by the constitution. However, it
shall not hold a ground to prevent the state
from making special provisions for women and
children for their benefit.
- Article 21: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty without
due process of law. A person has the right to adequate food, shelter, clothing,
etc. Such life shall not mean mere animal existence.
- Article 21A: The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all the
children falling in the age group of six to fourteen years in such manner as the
State may, by law, determine.
- Article 23: Prohibits trafficking in human beings and beggars or any other form
of forced labor.
- Article 24: Prohibits employment of children under the age of fourteen years in
a factory, mine, or in any other hazardous employment.
- Article 39(e): The state shall thrive to
ensure that the tender age of children is
not abused and that citizens are not forced
by economic necessity to enter avocations
unsuited to their age or strength.
- Article 39(f): The state shall ensure
children are given opportunities and
facilities to develop in a healthy manner
and conditions of freedom and dignity. It
must also be ensured that childhood and
youth are protected against exploitation and
moral and material abandonment.
- Article 41: The state is obliged to,
within its economic capacity and
development, secure provisions for
educational opportunities and facilities.
- Article 44: The state shall make all
possible efforts to secure a Uniform Civil
Code for all the citizens, thereby implying
a uniform code for the adoption of children.
- Article 45: The state shall endeavor to
provide free and compulsory education to
children until they attain the age of
- Article 46: The state must promote the educational and economic interests of
weaker sections of the society with special care and therefore, the children
- Article 47: The state is duty-bound to raise the level of nutrition and the
standard of living and to improve public health, including that of children.
- Article 51 (c): International laws and treaties shall be respected by the state
to every possible extent, including the CRC and its optional protocols, Optional
Protocol to CRC on Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
and Optional Protocol to CRC on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.
- Article 51 A (k): It shall be the duty of every citizen of India who is a parent
or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case
may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.
- Article 243G provides for the institutionalization of child care by seeking to
entrust programs of Women and Child Development to Panchayat (Item 25 of
If the above-mentioned fundamental rights are infringed, the appropriate courts
may be approached. The constitution has provisions for constitutional remedies
in articles 32 and article 226.
Article 32: A person has the right to move to the Supreme Court to protect his
fundamental rights. It is also a fundamental right.
Article 226: A person may approach High Court by this article to get his rights
protected, not necessarily fundamental rights.
The courts, to protect the rights they are authorized to, may issue writs:
Habeas Corpus: translating to you may have the body, a person, whether or not
a child, who is detained, whether in prison or privately, is directed to be
produced before the court. If found that such detention was illegal, he is
Mandamus: meaning 'we command', mandamus issued by Supreme Court or High Court
orders the lower courts/tribunals/public authorities to perform a public or
statutory duty which they are obliged to perform but have failed to do so.
Prohibition: it is issued by the Supreme Court or the High Courts, to prohibit
inferior courts under them from transgressing the limits or powers vested in
Certiorari: it enables a superior court to quash an order already passed by the
inferior court/tribunal/quasi-judicial authority.
Quo warranto: it means by what right. It is issued to restrain a person from
holding a public office he is not entitled to hold.
viii. Public Interest Litigation may be filed in the Supreme Court or the High
Courts by a public-spirited individual or a non-governmental organization
against the Central Government or State Government or any of their respective
agencies by the virtue of A.32 and A.226 for protection of the rights of the
Children's Right to Education
Children's rights education is the teaching and practice of children's rights in
schools, educational programs, or institutions, as informed by and consistent
with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. When fully
implemented, a children's rights education program consists of both a curriculum
to teach children their human rights, and a framework to operate the school in a
manner that respects children's rights. Articles 29 and 42 of the Convention on
the Rights of the Child require children to be educated about their rights.
In addition to meeting the legal obligations of the Convention to spread
awareness of children's rights to children and adults, teaching children about
their rights has the benefits of improving their awareness of rights in general,
making them more respectful of other people's rights, and empowering them to
take action in support of other people's rights.
Early programs to teach
children about their rights, in Belgium, Canada, England, and New Zealand have
provided evidence of this.,,,,,, Children's rights
in schools were taught and practiced as an ethos of 'liberating the child' well
before the UN Convention was written, and this practice helped to inform the
values and philosophy of the Convention, the IBE, and UNESCO, though sadly these
practices, and this history are not acknowledged or built-upon by the UN. This
is one reason that children's rights have not become a foundation of schools
despite 100 years of struggle.
children's rights education under Human Rights instruments
Children's human rights education refers to education and educational practices
in schools and educational institutions that are consistent with the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.,, It is a form of
education that takes seriously the view that children are bearers of human
rights, that children are citizens in their own right, and that schools and
educational institutions are learning communities where children learn (or fail
to learn) the values and practices of human rights and citizenship, and that
educating children about their basic human rights is a legal obligation of the
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Children's rights education is education where the rights of the child, as
described in the Convention, are taught and practiced in individual classrooms.
But in its most developed form, children's rights are taught and practiced
systematically and comprehensively across grade levels, the school, and school
districts. With full-blown children's rights to education, children's rights are
not simply an addition to a particular subject or classroom. Rather, the rights
of the child are incorporated into the school curricula, teaching practices, and
teaching materials across subjects and grade levels and are the centerpieces of
school mission statements, behavior codes, and school policies and
Fully developed children's rights education means that all members of the school
community receive education on the rights of the child. The Convention serves as
a values framework for the life and functioning of the school or educational
institution and for efforts to promote a more positive school climate and school
culture for learning.
A core belief in children's rights education is that when children learn about
their basic human rights, this learning serves as an important foundation for
their understanding and support of human rights more broadly.
Education and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
The Convention on the Rights of the child has important implications for the
education of children. Approved by the United Nations in 1989, the Convention is
the most widely ratified and most quickly ratified country in world history.
Only two countries - the United States and South Sudan - have yet to ratify the
treaty.,, By ratifying the Convention, countries commit themselves
to the principle that children have fundamental rights as persons and that state
authorities have obligations to provide for those rights.,, Under
the terms of the Convention, a legally binding treaty, states parties should
make their laws, policies, and practices consistent with the provisions of the
Convention, if not immediately, then over time.
In the Convention are numerous articles that deal with education and with
children's rights education. Eugene Verhellen has divided the Convention's
provisions on education along three tracks. First is the child's right to
education on the basis of equal opportunity (article 28). This includes the
right to free primary education and to accessible secondary and higher
education. Second are the child's rights in education (articles 2, 12, 13, 14,
15, and 19). This includes the right to non-discrimination, participation,
protection from abuse and violence, and freedom of thought, expression, and
religion. Third are the child's rights through education (article 29 and 42).
This refers to education where children are able to know and understand their
rights and to develop respect for human rights, including their own human
This third track of education spells an obligation by countries and education
authorities to provide for children's human rights education. Article 29 of the
Convention requires that 'the education of the child shall be directed to the
development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.' This presumes
knowledge and understanding of rights. Article 42 requires that countries
'undertake to make the principles of the Convention widely known, by appropriate
and active means, to adults and children alike.'
Mindful of this duty of disseminating knowledge and recognizing its importance,
the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UN body responsible for
monitoring the implementation of the Convention, has repeatedly urged countries
to incorporate children's rights into the school curricula and ensure that
children know and understand their rights on a systematic and comprehensive
Value of Children's human rights education
Children's rights education in schools has value because it fulfills the
obligations of countries to respect the rights of the child and implement the
provisions of the Convention. But beyond the fulfillment of a legal obligation,
children's rights education has value for children. Felisa Tibbitts has
suggested that child rights education can be expected to affect learners in
three ways. First is in the providing of basic information and knowledge on
the nature of rights and the specific rights that children are to enjoy.
Children can be expected to have a more accurate and deeper understanding of
rights. Second is in attitudes, values, and behaviors consistent with the
understanding of rights. Children can be expected to have greater respect for
the rights of others as shown in their attitudes and behaviors. Third is in
empowering children to take action in support of the rights of others. Tibbitts
refers to this as the 'transformational model' of rights education. Children
here are more likely to take a stand in preventing or redressing human rights
abuses. An example would be to support a victim of bullying and stand up against
a bully in the school playground.
Research by Katherine Covell and R. Brian Howe shows evidence of the above
effects.,, Compared to children who have not received children's
rights education, children who have received children's rights education are
more likely to have an accurate and adult-like understanding of rights, to
understand that rights and responsibilities are related, and to display socially
responsible behaviors in support of the rights of others.
Education System in India
The Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 inserted Article 21-A in the
Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education of all
children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right in
such a manner as the State may, by law, determine. The Right of Children to Free
and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which represents the consequential
legislation envisaged under Article 21-A, means that every child has a right to
full-time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal
school that satisfies certain essential norms and standards.
Article 21-A and the RTE Act came into effect on 1 April 2010. The title of the
RTE Act incorporates the words 'free and compulsory. 'Free education means that
no child, other than a child who has been admitted by his or her parents to a
school which is not supported by the appropriate Government, shall be liable to
pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from
pursuing and completing elementary education. 'Compulsory education' casts an
obligation on the appropriate Government and local authorities to provide and
ensure admission, attendance, and completion of elementary education by all
children in the 6-14 age group.
With this, India has moved forward to a
rights-based framework that casts a legal obligation on the Central and State
Governments to implement this fundamental child right as enshrined in Article
21A of the Constitution, following the provisions of the RTE Act.
The Right to education in India has a very long history. It is not the
development of a few years. The present scenario of the education and the right
to education is the outcome of the struggle of our freedom fighters,
philanthropist, and the great educationists who have always made sincere efforts
to ensure that the compulsory education is made available to all the children
and the future of the country are safe.
The demand for the right to education
started way back at the end of the eighteenth century. It was the period when
there was no formal mechanism for providing free and compulsory education to the
children but the need was always felt that the children being the most
vulnerable section of the society should get the protection in the society. In
the earlier period, education was treated as a mission and there was a guru- shishyaparampara prevalent in the society.
The pupil used to respect the
teachers like God. In Ancient India, there was no formal mechanism for providing
education, but the informal mechanism was prevalent. In the Ancient period, the
teachers were worshiped like God. With time and with the commercialization of
education the relationship between the teacher and student has also
The education system in Pre- Independence
The period during the pre-independence era reflects that there was a more
developed system of informal education. The significant phenomenon was that
there was no formal school education system that was in existence during this
period. Higher education mechanism was absent during this period. The education
was provided in the Sanskrit language and Paathshaallas were the institutions of
There was discrimination in studies as the lower caste people
were not allowed to read Vedas. The medium of instruction for Muslims was Arabic
and Persian and the Madrassahs were the institutions of studies. During the
pre-independence era, educational institutions were imparting religious
education. The institution was not able to get a significant enrolment of the
students. Therefore, a vast number of people were able to get the education in
these non-formal channels of education and they also insisted to take the
vocational education so that they can learn the skills for future
Development of Modern Education
The development of modern education started with the Charter of 1813. This
Charter has a very significant role in the growth of modern education in India.
The East India Company was established in the year 1600, but the company has not
initiated any educational activities for nearly 100 years of its existence. It
was in the year 1698, when for the first time the company through the Charter of
1698, mandated the priests and the schools to be maintained in its garrison.
Initially, the benefit was extended only to the children of the Company's
European servants and not to the Indians. The later development in the area of
modern education was the Charter of 1813. The attempt was made to provide
elementary education and the promotion of the knowledge of science amongst the
inhabitants of the British.
Efforts for Universal Compulsory Education
The efforts for universal compulsory primary education started in the year 1838.
The earliest attempt was made in the year 1838 by William Adam. History reveals
that till the beginning of the 20th century, there were no concrete efforts made
for compulsory primary education in India. Sir William Adam was a Christmas
missionary who has also inquired about the state of vernacular education in
Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. He has pointed out that there is a necessity for
improvement in vernacular education. He stated in his report as follows-
The next form in which Government influence may be conceived to be employed for
the promotion of education is by making it compulsory and enacting that every
village should have a school. I hope the time will come when every village shall
have a school, but the period has not yet arrived when this obligation can be
The next important development was the proposal by Captain Wingate in the year
1852 when Captain Wingate, The Revenue Survey Commissioner in Bombay gave his
views on compulsory education. The noble thought of Captain Wingate was
that there must be the imposition of additional local tax on the land revenue.
The additional tax must be devoted to the enhancement of education and for the
construction of roads and bridges. The fund should also be utilized for the
payment to the schoolmaster and for providing the proper infrastructure facility
in the school.
This was a highly commendable suggestion made by him, but unfortunately, it was
not favored by the other officials. The common criticism was that compulsory
education cannot be funded from the local fund cess only.
In the year 1858, Mr. T.C Hope the Education Inspector of Gujarat proposed that
there is a need for a law to empower the inhabitants of any local area to tax
themselves for the establishment of the schools. He has opposed the
voluntary system of school expansion and emphasized the passing of a law to
authorize the levy of a compulsory educational rate. Unfortunately, the proposal
of Mr. Hope was also not able to get the support of the officers. His
recommendation was also found to be impractical. Later on in the year 1884, the
Deputy Educational Inspector of Broach, and Shri Shastri also suggested for
inclusion of compulsory primary education.
Universalization of Elementary Education- (The First Education Commission in
Shri Dadabhai Naroji had taken up an effective step in initiating the efforts
for free and compulsory education in India. He had a very prominent role in the
movement for free and compulsory education in India. Dadabhai Naroji
demanded that free and compulsory education should be provided to all the
children for up to four years. He has forwarded this demand before the first
Indian Education Commission (Hunter Commission) constituted in the year 1882
under the Chairmanship of Sir William Hunter, a member of the Executive Council
This Commission was appointed by Lord Ripon, the Governor-General of
India. Strong demand was raised that the local bodies elected by the people
should bear the responsibility of providing elementary education to all.
The Hunter Commission was assigned the task of reporting on the present state of
primary education in India and the need for extension and improvement in the
area of primary education.
Impact of Gokhale's Resolution of 1910
At the beginning of the twentieth-century Indian people started realizing that
the country needs a nationalistic system of education based on the cultural
heritage and the age-long cherished rich tradition of the Indian culture. The
development started in the year 1906 when at the Calcutta Conference, Annie
Besant declared that throughout the country national education should be
organized. Gopal Krishna Gokhale was a nationalist leader and an active member
of the Indian National Congress. He was elected as the President of the Indian
National Congress in the year 1905. As a strong nationalist leader, Gokhale
realized the importance of primary education for children.
It has got the
momentum and strength of the quite evident fact that the Maharaja Sayaji Rao
Gaikwad of Baroda has made primary education free and compulsory within the
territories of his state. The attempt made by Maharaja Gaikwad inspired Gokhale
to start a movement for primary education. In the capacity of being a
member of the Legislative Council Gokhale put forward the proposal for primary
education. A beginning should be made in the direction of making elementary
education free and compulsory throughout the country, and that a mixed
commission of officials and non-officials be appointed at an early date to frame
Gokhale's Bill of 1911
After having an overview on the resolution of 1910, put forward by Gokhale for
making primary education compulsory in our country and having the acquaintance
with the reaction of the Government shown towards these resolutions the
researcher will now deal with the major clauses of Gokhale's Bill of 1911.
Gokhale by this time was quite aware of the intention of the Government. He has
further made and attempts to draw the attention of the people of India as well
as that of England towards the poor state of education in India. The next
remarkable development was that, on 16th March of 1911, Gokhale presented a Bill
in the Legislative Council to initiate a stronger and powerful fight against the
Government. The Bill, however, was more liberal and humble than the resolutions
placed before and the main objective of the bill was to make primary education
free and compulsory in a phased manner. The Bill included all the important
provisions for free and compulsory education for children. Other than that it
also ensured that the attendance and quality of the education are also
Gokhale's Bill of the year 1911, was the first-ever attempt to introduce free
and compulsory primary education in our country. It is a landmark in the history
of education in India. Although the researcher has pointed out that the
Bill was rejected, it has drawn the attention of the whole nation to the
importance and need for primary education. The Government could not entirely
ignore the growing popular demand for the spread of mass education.
Fortunately, King George V came to India in 1912 and declared a donation of 50
lakh rupees for the development of education in India. He expressed his
dissatisfaction with the fact that the Bill has been rejected. Eventually, the
Government had to modify the previous policy and declared a new policy with
several reforms. Gokhale's Bill created a flutter in the British Parliament
also. In the course of the discussion on the Indian budget, the Under Secretary
of State for India admitted the need for paying more attention to Indian
The Government of India passed the resolution on educational
policy on February 21, 1913. The Provincial governments formed in different
states had felt the necessity of primary education. In 1918, yet another
development took place and Bethal Bhai Patel had for the first time raised a
Bill for making primary education compulsory in the province of Bombay, and the
bill passed into an Act. Similar Acts were passed in Bengal, Punjab, Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar, and Orissa. Madras and Central Province passed their Acts in
1920. In the state of Assam, the Compulsory Education Act was passed in the year
Therefore, the researcher highlights that all these developments were the
outcome of the sincere efforts made by Gokhale to ensure that primary education
is compulsory in India. His struggle for compulsion formed an important part of
the country's struggle for independence during the British Rule.
Resolution of 1913 on Education
The Resolution of 1913 of the Government of India was an important development
in the history of education in India. It was an earnest attempt made by the
British Government to compensate for the demand raised for compulsory primary
education by Gokhale.
Although Gokhale's bill of 1911 was rejected the Government promised to extend
recurring and non-recurring grants to primary education as it could not ignore
the growing popular demand for the spread of primary education. The
education department had declared the new policy in the form of the Government
of India Resolution on February 21, 1913, covering primary, secondary, and
higher women's education.
Following are the main points of the resolution-
For Primary Education-
There should be sufficient expansion of lower primary schools, where along with
instruction in the three R's children should be taught drawing, knowledge of the
village map, nature study and physical exercises.
Simultaneously, upper primary schools should be opened at the proper places and
if necessary, lower primary schools should be raised to the status of upper
- Local Boards schools should be established in place of private aided
- Moktabs and Pathsalas should be adequately subsidised.
- The inspection and management of private schools should be made more
- In most parts of India, it may not be practicable to prescribe a
separate curricula for rural and urban, but in the urban schools there is
sufficient scope for teaching geography and organising school excursions etc.
- The teacher should have passed vernacular middle examination and
received one years' training.
- Provision be made for refresher courses for the teachers of primary
education during vacations.
- A trained teacher should get a salary not less than Rs. 12 per month.
- The number of students under one teacher should generally range between
30 and 40.
- Improvement should be made in the condition of middle and secondary
vernacular schools and their number should be increased.
- Schools should be housed in sanitary, spacious but inexpensive
For Secondary education the resolution provided that:
Development in the Compulsory Education during the period of 1917-27
- The state should not completely withdraw from the sphere of
- Further establishment of state institutions was proposed to be
- Existing institutions should continue to serve as models and proper
grants-in aid should be sanctioned to private institutions.
- Improvement in the mode of examination and curriculum was also
The development after the Government of India Act, 1919 was passed, was that the
control of elementary education was transferred to Indian Ministries. Due to
this there was rapid expansion in the elementary education India. The period
between 1917 -27 is considered as the boon for the growth of compulsory
education in India. In 1917 there was no such legislation on compulsory
education. Later, in the year 1918, all the State legislature began enacting the
laws relating to compulsory education in their States. The Montegue -
Chelmsford Reforms had a great contribution in placing the portfolio of
education in the hands of the Indian Ministers responsible to the legislature
with large elected majority. Other than that the Non-Cooperation movement also
gave momentum to the mission for compulsory education.
The masses started
getting awareness about their rights. The movement for compulsory education
therefore got the sympathy of the people also. These socio- economic
developments in the society gave force to the compulsory education. In the year
1921 the education was transferred to the Indian control and therefore,
elementary education got its root in India. This was a remarkable development in
the history of elementary education in India. During the period of 1931 - 1937
there was not very encouraging development in the compulsory education. The Hartog Committee observed that throughout the whole educational system,
there is wastage and ineffectiveness.
The introduction of the Provincial
Autonomy in the year 1937 through the Government of India Act, 1935 gave more
powers to Indian Ministers to act independently. The father of the nation
Mahatma Gandhi also supported the movement of compulsory education in India. Gandhiji formulated the scheme of 'Basic Education' which was discussed and
endorsed by the first conference of National Education held at Wardha in October
1937. It was resolved in that conference that the free and compulsory education
should be provided for seven years on a nation-wide scale.
The Development in the Compulsory Right to Education Post - war period
Due to the continuous efforts by our political leaders the free and compulsory
education was nationally accepted during the early 1940's as the responsibility
of the state. The Post- war period popularly known as the Sargent Plan
recommended the provision of free and compulsory education to all the children
in the age group of 6- 14 years in a phased manner. The time period which was
fixed to achieve the target was of 40 years. This plan was examined by the
special committee under the leadership of Sir B.G Kher the then Chief Minister
of Bombay, 1950, he accepted the program of universal and compulsory education
but has reduced the time of 40 years to achieve the target.
It was also
recommended that it should also be made the part of the Directive Principles of
State Policy under the Constitution of India. After this the efforts have
been made by the Central Government as well as the State Government to ensure
that provision of free and compulsory education for all the children through the
five year plans can be achieved.
University Education Commission, 1948
The University Education Commission was appointed under the chairmanship of Dr.
Radhakrishnan in November 1948. The Commission made a number of significant
recommendations on various aspects of higher education and submitted its report
in August 1949. In the rapidly changing contemporary world, universities are
undergoing profound changes in their scope, function and organization and are in
a process of rapid evolution.
Their tasks are no longer confirmed to the two traditional functions of teaching
and advancement of knowledge. After the transfer of power to Indian control
on 15 August 1947, great changes had taken place in the political and economic
conditions of Indian society. The academic problem has also assumed new shapes.
Similarly the conception of the duties and responsibilities of the universities
have become wider and they have to provide leadership in politics,
administration, profession, industry and commerce. They have to meet the
increasing demand for every type of higher education, literary, scientific,
technical and professional. By the application and development of technical and
scientific knowledge, the country will enable to attain freedom from want,
disease and ignorance.
Council for the Elementary Education
In order to fulfill the directive of Article 45 of the Indian Constitution, the
Government of India decided to constitute the All- India Council of Elementary
Education. The Council was assigned the task of providing the advice to the
Union and the State Government and the local bodies in the matters relating to
the elementary education. The Council had to examine the proposals referred to
it by the Union and the State Governments and also it had to initiate the
proposals for the development of the elementary education.
Kothari Commission, 1964
The Kothari Commission was constituted in the year 1964 to examine the progress
of elementary education. This was the first commission appointed after
Independence for the purpose of examining the progress of elementary education.
The commission reported that Common School System of the public education based
on the neighbourhood school to fulfil the demand for free and universal
education of the people must be there.
The commission also recommended that the
target fixed for the attainment of the free and compulsory education was to be
achieved by the year 1960, but due to the difficulties relating to the lack of
resources, increase in population, the poverty and the illiteracy of the parents
of the children belonging to the backward classes the target could not be
achieved. It was not possible of the government to make effective progress in
achieving the target. The Commission recommended that there is a need to fix a
new deadline for the fulfillment of the objective.
The commission was of the
view that there is a need of preparing the concrete program of action for the
purpose of achieving this target of elementary education for the children and it
should be highest priority. The democratic set up of the country demands
that the social justice is to be guaranteed to every citizen. The Commission
gave the following suggestions-
Strenuous efforts should be made for the early fulfillment of the Directive
Principle under Article 45 of the Constitution seeking to provide free and
compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14. Suitable programs
should be developed to reduce the prevailing wastage and stagnation in schools
and to ensure that every child who is enrolled in school successfully completes
the prescribed course.
- Of all factors which determine the quality of education and its
contribution to national development, the teacher is undoubtedly the most
important. It is on his personal qualities and character, his educational
qualifications and professional competence that the success of all
educational endeavor must ultimately depend. Teachers must, therefore, be
accorded an honored place in society. Their emoluments and other service
conditions should be adequate and satisfactory, having regard to their
qualifications and responsibilities.
- The academic freedom of teachers to pursue and publish independent
studies and researches and to speak and write about significant national and
international issues should be protected.
- Teacher education, particularly in-service education, should receive due
Therefore, the Kothari Commission had played an important role in effective
implementation of the Directive Principle of State Policy on elementary
education. The main recommendation of the Commission was that the free and
compulsory quality education must be guaranteed to the children upto the age of
Formation of First National Policy on Education
The National Policy on Education is a policy formulated by the Government of
India to promote education amongst the people of India. The policy has the
coverage of elementary education to colleges in both rural and urban India. The
first National Policy on Education was formed in the year 1968 by the former
Prime Minister late Smt. Indira Gandhi, and the second by former Prime Minister
late Shri Rajiv Gandhi in 1986. This was the beginning of the realization
of the dream of free and compulsory education in India.
Based on the report and recommendations of the Education Commission (1964-1966),
the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi announced the first National
Policy on Education in 1968, which called for a "radical restructuring" and
equalize educational opportunities in order to achieve national integration and
greater cultural and economic development.
The policy called for fulfilling
compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14, as stipulated by the
Constitution of India, and the better training and qualification of
teachers. The policy called for focus on learning of regional languages,
outlining the "three language formula" to be implemented in secondary education
- the instruction of the English language, the official language of the state
where the school was based, and Hindi.
Language education was seen as essential
to reduce the gulf between the intelligentsia and the masses. Although the
decision to adopt Hindi as the national language had proven controversial, the
policy called for use and learning of Hindi to be encouraged uniformly to
promote a common language for all Indians. The policy also encouraged the
teaching of the ancient Sanskrit language, which was considered an essential
part of India's culture and heritage.
The National Policy on Education of 1968 called for education spending to
increase to six percent of the national income.
Second National Education Policy (1986 renewed in 1992)
The National Policy on Education is an extensive document that covers all
aspects of education from elementary to university level and even adult
education. The 1986 Education Policy was renewed in the year 1992. The
policy directly deals with children between the age group of 0-18.
revised National Policy on Education states that the aim of education is to
keep intact India's long accepted values of secularism, socialism, democracy and
professional ethics. Education is efforts to develop a common school system
through 10+2+3 structure. The policy accepts the +2 as part of school
education. With the Constitutional Amendment of 1976, education has been placed
on the concurrent list, which gives the central government a bigger role in the
implementation of education.
In an attempt to remove inequalities in the education system, the policy
emphasizes the importance of special programmes for marginalized groups as such
women, Schedule Tribes (STs), Schedule Castes (SCs), handicapped, etc. Some of
the provisions for SCs listed are incentive to families, pre-matric
scholarships, constant micro planning to ensure enrolment, retention and
successful completion of SC students, recruitment of SC teachers, hostel
provisions for SC students and appropriate location of school building to
facilitate participation of SCs. Similar provisions are made for STs including
use of youth teachers and use of tribal languages at initial stages.
The Policy identifies the need to pay attention to minority groups and other
backward sections of society. Hill, desert and remote areas will be
provided with adequate institutional infrastructure. The policy encourages the
integration on handicapped student in the main stream system but also makes
provisions for special schools with hostels if need be. Teachers will also be
trained to deal with special difficulties of handicapped children.
Recognizing the impact of early years to the development of a child the policy
makes room for early childhood care and education through the Integrated Child
Development Services programme.
With regard to elementary education the policy makes three very important
- Universal access and enrolment.
- Universal retention of children up to age 14.
- A much needed improvement in the quality of education that allows for
children to achieve a certain level of learning.
The Policy also highlights that the education will adopt a child-centred
approach, hence the education should cater on an individual level to the needs
of the child. This education policy has strictly excluded the corporal
punishment from the teaching system. As per Operation Blackboard there should be
one teacher per class, and all necessary equipment and teaching materials should
be provided for by the programme.
Non-formal Education (NFE) system of centres and facilities will be broadened.
It will be brought up to the level of formal education facilities with specially
trained teachers from the community so that children passing out of NFE can
enter the formal system. Curriculum in schools with be guides by both national
core as well as needs in the local environment.
According to the Policy the highest priority will be placed on solving the
problem of dropouts, and ensuring retention at the school level. This effort
will be supplemented by NFE. The policy states "it shall be ensured that free
and compulsory education of satisfactory quality is provided to all children up
to 14 years of age before we enter the twenty-first century".
In order to enhance the quality higher education, boards of secondary education
will be granted autonomy. The policy introduced generic vocational courses in
higher education to enhance individual employability and meet the manpower need
of India's growing economy. Children who have "special talent" have been given
the opportunities to enhance their aptitude through Narvodaya Vidyalayas.
In order to make the education system work the policy outlines four necessary
- Giving the teachers a better deal and more accountability.
- Improved student services and adherence to certain norms of behaviour.
- Better facilities for instruction.
- Setting standards for performance evaluation at the national and state
According to the policy education must be culturally applicable and inculcate
values in the children and hence society. There is need to develop the use of
local languages in education. There is a need for low prices books and
improvement in library management as well as additional libraries. There are
provisions in the policy for work experience as a part of education, population
education, using math as a tool to teach analytical thinking, strengthen science
education, and support sports, physical education and yoga.
The policy called
for greater participation of educated youth and revision of the evaluation
system so that it does not simple reflects rote learning. It emphasises the
importance of teacher training, and continual teacher education. The policy
devotes an entire section to overhauling the planning and management system
surrounding education at national, state, district and local levels. It outlines
that it is both the government and the communities responsibility for providing
funds and that inadequate or non-investment is a major problem facing education.
Like the policies before it emphasizes a need to raise expenditure to six
percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Eight Five Year Plan.
Significant Constitutional Amendments
In order to give boost to the elementary education in India there were some
significant constitutional amendments. Before the Constitutional 42nd Amendment
the education was in the state list, it was largely the responsibility of the
state. After this amendment the education was brought in the Concurrent List and
elementary education was made the responsibility of both the Centre and the
There was 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts which
were enacted in the year 1992 created a paradigm shift in the governance models
by invoking decentralization paved way to give the opportunity to the local
communities and the institutions in the monitoring of the government programs on
Amongst the other subjects identified by the 73rd amendment which
were required to be transferred to the Panchayats were the education including
both primary and secondary education, adult and non- formal education vocational
and the technical education. This amendment has established the three -tier Panchayat Raj system in the country with elected bodies at the gram, taluka and
at zila level to allow the community to actively participate in the
The 83rd Constitutional (Amendment) Bill 1997
The Constitution of India (Eighty- Third Amendment) Bill 1997 proposed many
important amendments for the free and compulsory educationThe Bill proposed of
inserting Article 21- A ensuring the free and compulsory education to all the
citizens of the age of six to fourteen years.
The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all citizens of
the age six to fourteen years. The right to free and compulsory education
referred to in clause (1) shall be enforced in such manner as the State may, by
The State shall not make any law, for free and compulsory education under clause
(2), in relation to the educational institutions not maintained by the State or
not receiving aid out of State funds.
The Amendment Act also proposed the amendment in the Article 35 of the
Constitution. It proposed:
Article 35 of the Constitution shall be renumbered as clause (1) of that article
and after clause (1) as so renumbered and before the Explanation, the following
clause shall be inserted, namely:-
(2) The competent legislature shall make the law for the enforcement of right
to free and compulsory education referred to in clause (1) of article 21A within
one year from the commencement of the Constitution (Eighty-third Amendment) Act,
Provided that a provision of any law to free, and compulsory education in force
in a State immediately before the commencement of the Constitution (Eighty-third
Amendment) Act, 1997 which is inconsistent of article 21A, shall continue to be
in force until amended or repealed by a competent legislature or other competent
authority or until the expiration of one year from such commencement, whichever
The another amendment proposed was that Article 45 of the Constitution shall be
In Article 51A of the Constitution, after clause (j) the following clause
will be added, namely:
(k) to provide opportunities for education to a child between the age of six and
fourteen years of whom such citizen is a parent or guardian.
The Constitution (86th Amendment) Act, 2002)
Consequent to the Unnikrishnan judgment and a public demand to enforce the right
to education, successive governments from 1993 worked towards bringing a
Constitutional Amendment to make education a fundamental right.
This led to the 86th amendment in December 2002 which inserted the
following articles in the Constitution
A Journey of Free and Compulsory Education
- Insertion of new article 21A- After article 21 of the
21A. The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all
children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the
State may, by law, determine.
- Substitution of new article for article 45- For article 45 of
the Constitution, the following article shall be substituted,
Provision for early childhood care and education to children below
the age of six years.
45. The State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and
education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
- Amendment of article 51A- In article 51A of the Constitution,
after clause (J), the following clause shall be added, namely:
(k) who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for
education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age
of six and fourteen years.
In October 2003, the first draft of the Free and Compulsory Education for
Children Bill, 2003 was sent by the NDA Government inviting comments and
suggestions from the public.
The Bill began with the words - A Bill to provide for free and compulsory
education for all children from the age of six years to fourteen years and for
matter connected therewith and incidental thereto. BE it enacted by Parliament
in the Fifty fourth Year of the Republic of India.
In 2004 a revised version of this Bill, re-titled the Free and Compulsory
Education for Children Bill 2004, was re-posted. The Free and Compulsory
Education Bill, 2004 began with the words:
To provide free and compulsory
education to all children from the age of six to fourteen years and for matters
connected therewith and incidental thereto; BE it enacted by Parliament in the
Fifty fifth Year of the Republic of India.
Later on, the Government of India had re-constituted the Central Advisory Board
of Education (CABE) Vide Resolution dated 6th July, 2004.
The board was
assigned the following task:
Based on the following principles, CABE formulated the draft of the essential
provisions of Right to Education Bill, 2005:
- To suggest a draft of legislation envisaged in Article 21-A of the
- To examine other issues related to elementary education for achieving
the objective of free and compulsory basic education.
- Right to Education should imply that every child has a right to be
(a) provided full-time education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a
formal school which satisfies at least certain essential norms, and (b)
enabled to complete elementary education.
- Right to Education also implies that it is the State's obligation to
remove whatever obstacles - social, economic, academic, linguistic,
cultural, physical, etc. - prevent children from effectively participating
in and completing elementary education of satisfactory quality.
- Right to Education must be seen not merely as a right for its own or the
individual child's sake, but also as an instrument of promoting other
constitutional objectives, e.g. equality, justice, democracy, secularism,
social cohesion, etc.
- Provision of Free and Compulsory Education of satisfactory quality to
children from weaker sections is the responsibility not merely of Schools
run or supported by the State, but also of Schools which are not dependent
on State funds. Schools of the latter kind also need to provide education to
such children at least to the extent of 25% of their intake.
- One major reason why it has not been possible to universalize elementary
education all these years is the dysfunctionality of the delivery system. The
Committee has therefore attempted to formulate a number of provisions for the
proposed legislation, essentially aimed at greater decentralization and
accountability, so that the delivery system is able to rise to the
- Although its terms of reference were confined to free and compulsory
education for children between the ages of 6-14 years, the Committee has
considered the main programme for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE),
viz., Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), and proposed convergence to
the extent possible.
In 2005 (June), the Right to Education Bill, 2005 as drafted by Central Advisory
Board of Education (CABE) was introduced to give effect to the Constitution
(86th) Amendment Act, 2002.
Even the draft Right to Education Bill, 2005 was circulated to States in August
2005 and comments were received on it from 16 States. But, opposition was raised
due to this mandatory provision to provide 25% reservation of disadvantaged
group in private schools. Indian Law Commission initially proposed 50%
reservation of seats. However, the CABE Sub-Committee held this provision as a
significant prerequisite for creating a democratic egalitarian society.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2008
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2008 was proposed
to provide every child of the age of six to fourteen years with the right to
free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school until completion of
elementary education. Where a child above six years of age has not been admitted
in any school or though admitted, could not complete his or her elementary
education, then, he or she shall be admitted in a class appropriate to his or
her age. The Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on December 15, 2008 and was
referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (Chairperson:
Shri Janardan Dwivedi). The Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 20th July 2009
and in the Lok Sabha on 4th August 2009. It had come into force on 1st April
Major Amendments in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education
Later on there was an amendment in the year 2012 as a consequence of the Supreme
Court verdict in Society for Un-aided Private School Rajasthan vs. U.O.I
the Supreme Court upholds the validity of the RTE Act and makes it clear that
the Act would be implemented across the country. The court, however, exempted
private unaided minority schools (such as schools run by religious institutions)
from the Act stating that it would infringe upon the fundamental freedom of
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 was
amended in 2012 and the RTE Amendment Act came into force with effect from 1
August 2012. The Amendment Act inter alia provides for: (i) inclusion of
children with disability as contained in the Persons with Disabilities Act 2005
and the National Trust Act under the purview of RTE Act and providing them free
and compulsory education, and providing option for home-based education for
children with severe disability; (ii) protection of the rights of minorities
provided under Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution while implementing the RTE
Act; (iii) exemption of Madrasas, Vedic Pathsalas and educational institutions
imparting religious instruction from the provisions of the RTE Act.
The latest amendment in the The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory
Education Act was through the passing of The Right of Children to Free and
Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which was passed by the Rajya Sabha
by voice vote. The Lok Sabha had passed it on July 22 2017. According to the
existing Act which came into effect from 1 April, 2010, these teachers were to
acquire minimum qualifications within five years by 31 March, 2015.
According to the amendment bill, every teacher appointed or in position as on
March 2015 is now required to acquire the minimum qualifications by 2019. The
amendment will help teachers save their jobs. When the RTE Act was implemented
in 2010, new schools were set up but qualified teachers were not available and
unqualified teachers, including those with graduation degrees, were recruited,
according to the government.
The Draft of the National Education Policy 2019
The Committee for Draft National Education Policy (Chair: Dr. K. Kasturirangan)
submitted its report on May 31, 2019. The Committee was constituted by the
Ministry of Human Resource Development in June 2017. The report proposes an
education policy, which seeks to address the challenges of: (i) access, (ii)
equity, (iii) quality, (iv) affordability, and (v) accountability faced by the
current education system.
The draft Policy provides for reforms at all levels of education from school to
higher education. It seeks to increase the focus on early childhood care, reform
the current exam system, strengthen teacher training, and restructure the
education regulatory framework. It also seeks to set up a National Education
Commission, increase public investment in education, strengthen the use of
technology and increase focus on vocational and adult education, among others.
Key observations and recommendations of the draft Policy include:
Early Childhood Care and Education
In addition to problems of access, the Committee observed several quality
related deficiencies in the existing early childhood learning programmes. These
include: (i) curriculum that doesn't meet the developmental needs of children,
(ii) lack of qualified and trained teachers, and (iii) substandard pedagogy.
Currently, most early childhood education is delivered through anganwadis and
private-preschools. However, there has been less focus on the educational
aspects of early childhood. Hence, the draft Policy recommends developing a
two-part curriculum for early childhood care and education.
This will consist
of: (i) guidelines for up to three-year-old children (for parents and teachers),
and (ii) educational framework for three to eight-year-old children. This would
be implemented by improving and expanding the anganwadi system and co-locating
anganwadis with primary schools
The Right to Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act)
Currently, the RTE Act provides for free and compulsory education to all
children from the age of six to 14 years. The draft Policy recommends extending
the ambit of the RTE Act to include early childhood education and secondary
school education. This would extend the coverage of the Act to all children
between the ages of three to 18 years.
In addition, the draft Policy recommends that the recent amendments to the RTE
Act on continuous and comprehensive evaluation and the no detention policy must
be reviewed. It states that there should be no detention of children till class
eight. Instead, schools must ensure that children are achieving age-appropriate
The current structure of school education must be restructured on the basis of
the development needs of students. This would consist of a 5-3-3-4 design
comprising: (i) five years of foundational stage (three years of pre-primary
school and classes one and two), (ii) three years of preparatory stage (classes
three to five), (iii) three years of middle stage (classes six to eight), and
(iv) four years of secondary stage (classes nine to 12).
The Committee noted that the current education system solely focuses on rote
learning of facts and procedures. Hence, it recommends that the curriculum load
in each subject should be reduced to its essential core content. This would make
space for holistic, discussion and analysis-based learning.
School exam reforms
The Committee noted that the current board examinations: (i) force students to
concentrate only on a few subjects, (ii) do not test learning in a formative
manner, and (iii) cause stress among students. To track students' progress
throughout their school experience, the draft Policy proposes State Census
Examinations in classes three, five and eight.
Further, it recommends
restructuring the board examinations to test only core concepts, skills and
higher order capacities. These board examinations will be on a range of
subjects. The students can choose their subjects, and the semester when they
want to take these board exams. The in-school final examinations may be replaced
by these board examinations.
The Committee noted that establishing primary schools in every habitation across
the country has helped increase access to education. However, it has led to the
development of very small schools (having low number of students). The small
size of schools makes it operationally complex to deploy teachers and critical
Therefore, the draft Policy recommends that multiple public
schools should be brought together to form a school complex. A complex will
consist of one secondary school (classes nine to twelve) and all the public
schools in its neighbourhood that offer education from pre-primary till class
The school complexes will also include anganwadis, vocational education
facilities, and an adult education centre. Each school complex will be a
semi-autonomous unit providing integrated education across all stages from early
childhood to secondary education. This will ensure that resources such as
infrastructure and trained teachers can be efficiently shared across a school
The Committee noted that there has been a steep rise in teacher shortage, lack
of professionally qualified teachers, and deployment of teachers for
non-educational purposes. The draft Policy recommends that teachers should be
deployed with a particular school complex for at least five to seven years.
Further, teachers will not be allowed to participate in any non-teaching
activities (such as cooking mid-day meals or participating in vaccination
campaigns) during school hours that could affect their teaching capacities.
For teacher training, the existing B.Ed. programme will be replaced by a
four-year integrated B.Ed. programme that combines high-quality content,
pedagogy, and practical training. An integrated continuous professional
development will also be developed for all subjects. Teachers will be required
to complete a minimum of 50 hours of continuous professional development
training every year.
Regulation of schools
The draft Policy recommends separating the regulation of schools from aspects
such as policymaking, school operations, and academic development. It suggests
creating an independent State School Regulatory Authority for each state that
will prescribe basic uniform standards for public and private schools. The
Department of Education of the State will formulate policy and conduct
monitoring and supervision.
Regulatory structure and accreditation:
The Committee noted that the current higher education system has multiple
regulators with overlapping mandates. This reduces the autonomy of higher
educational institutions and creates an environment of dependency and
centralised decision making. Therefore, it proposes setting up the National
Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA).
This independent authority would
replace the existing individual regulators in higher education, including
professional and vocational education. This implies that the role of all
professional councils such as AICTE and the Bar Council of India would be
limited to setting standards for professional practice. The role of the
University Grants Commission (UGC) will be limited to providing grants to higher
Currently, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is an
accreditation body under the UGC. The draft Policy recommends separating NAAC
from the UGC into an independent and autonomous body. In its new role, NAAC will
function as the top level accreditor, and will issue licenses to different
accreditation institutions, who will assess higher educational institutions once
every five to seven years. All existing higher education institutions should be
accredited by 2030.
Establishment of new higher educational institutions:
Currently, higher educational institutions can only be set up by Parliament or
state legislatures. The draft Policy proposes that these institutions could be
allowed to be set up through a Higher Education Institution Charter from NHERA.
This Charter will be awarded on the basis of transparent assessment of certain
specified criteria. All such newly constituted higher educational institutions
must receive accreditation as mandated by NHERA within five years of being
Restructuring of higher education institutions:
Higher education institutions will be restructured into three types: (i)
research universities focusing equally on research and teaching; (ii) teaching
universities focusing primarily on teaching; and (iii) colleges focusing only on
teaching at undergraduate levels. All such institutions will gradually move
towards full autonomy - academic, administrative, and financial.
Establishing a National Research Foundation:
The Committee observed that the total investment on research and innovation in
India has declined from 0.84% of GDP in 2008 to 0.69% in 2014. India also lags
behind many nations in number of researchers (per lakh population), patents and
The draft Policy recommends establishing a National Research Foundation, an
autonomous body, for funding, mentoring and building the capacity for quality
research in India. The Foundation will consist of four major divisions:
sciences, technology, social sciences, and arts and humanities, with the
provision to add additional divisions. The Foundation will be provided with an
annual grant of Rs 20,000 crore (0.1% of GDP).
Moving towards a liberal approach:
The draft Policy recommends making undergraduate programmes interdisciplinary by
redesigning their curriculum to include: (a) a common core curriculum and (b)
one/two area(s) of specialisation. Students will be required to choose an area
of specialisation as 'major', and an optional area as 'minor'. Four-year
undergraduate programmes in Liberal Arts will be introduced and multiple exit
options with appropriate certification will be made available to students.
Further, within the next five years, five Indian Institute of Liberal Arts must
be setup as model multidisciplinary liberal arts institutions.
The Committee observed that there is a need to revisit the existing system of
governance in education, and bring in synergy and coordination among the
different ministries, departments and agencies. In this context, it recommends:
Creation of a National Education Commission or Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog, as an
apex body for education, to be headed by the Prime Minister. This body will be
responsible for developing, implementing, evaluating, and revising the vision of
education in the country on a continuous and sustained basis. It will oversee
the implementation and functioning of several bodies including the National
Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the proposed National
Higher Education Regulatory Authority, and National Research Foundation.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Development must be renamed as the Ministry
of Education in order to bring focus back on education.
The Draft Policy reaffirmed the commitment of spending 6% of GDP as public
investment in education. Note that the first National Education Policy (NEP)
1968 had recommended public expenditure in education must be 6% of GDP, which
was reiterated by the second NEP in 1986. In 2017-18, public expenditure on
education in India was 2.7% of GDP.
The draft Policy seeks to double the public investment in education from the
current 10% of total public expenditure to 20% in the next 10 years. Of the
additional 10% expenditure, 5% will be utilized for universities and colleges
(higher education), 2% will be utilized for additional teacher costs or
resources in school education and 1.4% will be utilized for early childhood care
The Committee also observed operational problems and leakages in disbursement of
funds. For instance, it observed that District Institutes of Education and
Training have about 45% vacancies which have led to their allocations not being
used or being used ineffectively. It recommends optimal and timely utilization
of funds through the institutional development plans.
Technology in Education
The Committee observed that technology plays an important role in: (a) improving
the classroom process of teaching, learning and evaluation, (b) aiding in
preparation of teachers and continuous professional development of teachers, (c)
improving access to education in remote areas and for disadvantaged groups, and
(d) improving the overall planning, administration and management of the entire
education system. It recommends focused electrification of all educational
institutions as electricity is a pre-requisite for all technology-based
Further, it recommends:
National Mission on Education through information and communication technology:
The Mission will encompass virtual laboratories that provide remote access to
laboratories in various disciplines. A National Education Technology Forum will
also be setup under the Mission, as an autonomous body, to facilitate decision
making on the induction, deployment and use of technology. This Forum will
provide evidence-based advice to central and state-governments on
National Repository on Educational Data:
A National Repository will be setup to maintain all records related to
institutions, teachers, and students in digital form. Further, a single online
digital repository will be created where copyright-free educational resources
will be made available in multiple languages.
The Committee observed that less than 5% of the workforce in the age-group of
19-24 receives vocational education in India. This is in contrast to 52% in the
USA, 75% in Germany and 96% in South Korea. It recommends integrating vocational
educational programmes in all educational institutions (schools, colleges and
universities) in a phased manner over a period of 10 years. Note that this is an
upward revision from the National Policy on Skills Development and
Entrepreneurship (2015) which aimed at offering vocational education in 25% of
Key recommendations in this regard include:
All school students must receive vocational education in at least one vocation
in grades nine to 12. The proposed school complexes must build expertise in
curriculum delivery that is aligned to the competency levels under the existing
National Skills Qualifications Framework.
The proposed Higher Education Institutions must also offer vocational courses
that are integrated into the undergraduate education programmes. The draft
Policy targets to offer vocational education to up to 50% of the total enrolment
in higher education institutions by 2025, up from the present level of enrolment
of well below 10% in these institutions.
National Committee for the Integration of Vocational Education
The Committee will be set up to work out the steps that need to be taken towards
achieving the above goals. A separate fund will be setup for the integration of
vocational education into educational institutions. The Committee will work out
the modalities for the disbursement of these funds.
As per Census 2011, India still had over 3.26 crore youth non-literates (15-24
years of age) and a total of 26.5 crore adult non-literates (15 years and
above). In this regard, the draft Policy recommends:
Establishing an autonomous Central Institute of Adult Education, as a
constituent unit of NCERT, which will develop a National Curriculum Framework
for adult education? The Framework will cover five broad areas: foundational
literacy and numeracy, critical life skills vocational skills development, basic
education, and continuing education.
Adult Education Centres will be included within the proposed school complexes.
Relevant courses for youth and adults will be made available at the National
Institute of Open Schooling. A cadre of adult education instructors and
managers, as well as a team of one-on-one tutors, will be created through a
newly-established National Adult Tutors Programme.
Education and Indian Languages
The Committee observed that a large number of students are falling behind since
classes in schools are being conducted in a language that they do not
understand. Therefore, it is recommended that the medium of instruction must
either be the home language/mother-tongue/local language till grade five and
preferable till grade eight, wherever possible.
Introduced by the first National Education Policy, the three-language formula
stated that state governments should adopt and implement the study of a modern
Indian language, preferably one of the southern languages, apart from Hindi and
English in the Hindi-speaking states, and Hindi along with the regional language
and English in the non-Hindi speaking states. The draft Policy recommended that
this three-language formula be continued and flexibility in the implementation
of the formula should be provided.
The Committee remarked that the implementation of the formula needs to be
strengthened, particularly in Hindi-speaking states. Further, schools in
Hindi-speaking areas should also teach Indian languages from other parts of
India for national integration. To provide flexibility in the choice of
language, students who wish to change one or more of their three languages may
do so in grade six or grade seven, subjected to the condition that they are
still able to demonstrate proficiency in three languages in their modular board
To promote Indian languages, a National Institute for Pali, Persian, and Prakrit
will be set up. All higher education institutes must recruit high-quality
faculty for at least three Indian languages, in addition to the local Indian
language. Further, the mandate of the Commission for Scientific and Technical
Terminology will be expanded to include all fields and disciplines to strengthen
vocabulary in Indian languages.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is seen as a basis for all
international legal standards for children's rights today. There are several
conventions and laws that address children's rights around the world. Fully
developed children's rights education means that all members of the school
community receive education on the rights of the child.
This chapter regards
children as bearers of human rights, that children are citizens in their own
right, that schools and educational institutions are learning communities where
children learn (or fail to learn) the values and practices of human rights and
citizenship, and that educating children about their own basic human rights is a
legal obligation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Education is a key component of human development which is an essential tool for
country's growth. Education is recognized as a purposeful commitment on the part
of every state, ensuring innovative, low cost and effective education even under
conditions of great scarcity and daunting poverty. Education has been accepted
as a fundamental right of every child. It is needed both as an end in itself to
enable people to lead a cultured and more satisfying life as well as a means for
developing human capabilities for earning higher income.
The incremental process
of educational achievements intensively impacts upon other indicators of human
development like birth, death, infant mortality and literacy rate. Education
plays one of the most important roles in the process of socialization which
cause better acculturation and internalization of norms. The quality of
education plays a major role in imparting knowledge that is unbiased, relevant
as well as capable of making the recipient lead a successful life despite
formidable odds in today's competitive world.
The Right to Education has been enshrined in a range of International
Conventions. The establishment of United Nations in 1945 and its emphasis on
human rights ushered in new opportunities to address the Right to Education to
every child of the world. The United Nations, through its various Declarations,
Covenants, Conventions and Resolutions have been instrumental in bringing
attention to equal Right to Education around the globe.
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948), International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966), the Convention Against Discrimination
in Education (1962), Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, 1979) and the more recently.
on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 1989) have given a long way in impressing
member nations of the urgent need of social and economic justice to children by
making their rights to quality education accessible to them on equal basis.
While the United Nations can be considered as a pioneer in bringing attention to
Right to Education around the world, it cannot guarantee action which rest alone
with the respective Governments of its Sovereign Member States.
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Publications, Edition: 22, 2018
 Article 2 of Conventions on Rights of the Child (CRC)
 Article 3 of Conventions on Rights of the Child (CRC)
 Article 6 of Conventions on Rights of the Child (CRC)
 Article 12 of Conventions on Rights of the Child (CRC)
 Ashok (Dr.) v. Union of India AIR 1997 SC 2298
 Covell, K., and Howe, R.B. (1999). "The Impact of Children's Rights
Education: A Canadian study." International Journal of Children's Rights, 7,
 Covell, K., and Howe, R.B. (2001). "Moral Education through the 3 Rs:
Rights, Respect and Responsibility." Journal of Moral Education, 30, 31-42
 Covell, K., Howe, R.B., and McNeil, J.K. (2008). "'If there's a dead rat,
don't leave it.' Young children's understanding of their citizenship rights and
responsibilities." Cambridge Journal of Education, 38 (3), 321-339.
 Howe, R.B. and Covell, K. (2007). Empowering Children: Children's Rights
Education as a Pathway to Citizenship. Toronto: University of Toronto Press
 DeCoene, J., and De Cock, R. (1996). "The Children's Rights Project in the
Primary School 'De vrijdagmarkt' in Bruges. In E. Verhellen (Ed.), Monitoring
children's rights. (pp. 627-636). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff
 Wallberg, P., and Kahn, M. (2011). "The Rights Project: How rights
education transformed a classroom." Canadian Children, 36 (1), 31-35
 Covell, K., McNeil, J.K, and Howe, R.B. (2009). "Reducing teacher burnout
by increasing student engagement." School Psychology International, 30 (3),
 Newman, Michael (2015) Children's Rights in our Schools - the movement to
liberate the child, an introduction to the New Ideals in Education Conferences
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 Krappman, L. (2006). "The rights of the child as a challenge to human
rights education." Journal of Social Science Education.
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review of research, policy and practice 1995-2005." Research Papers in
Education, 21 (4), 433-466.
 Covell, K., Howe, R.B., and McNeil, J.K. (2010). "Implementing children's
human rights education in schools." Improving Schools, 13 (2), 117-132.
 Child Rights Information Network (2008). Convention on the Rights of the
Child Archived 2012-11-03 at the Wayback Machine.
 Amnesty International USA (2007). Convention on the Rights of the Child:
Frequently Asked QuestionsArchived 2008-12-22 at the Wayback Machine.
 "Weekly Press Conference on the Progress of the Government". Dayniile. 28
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Rights of the Child. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
 Verhellen, E. (1994). Convention on the Rights of the Child. Kessel-Lo,
 Van Bueren, G. (1992). The international Law on the Rights of the Child.
Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff.
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International, 14 (3), 199-208.
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 United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (1991). General
Guidelines Regarding the Form and Content of Initial Reports. CRC/C/5. New York.
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Convention on the Rights of the Child.New York: UNICEF.
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 Article 21-A of the Constitution of India
 Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009
 Naik J.P. Education Reforms in India: A Historical Review, Bombay: Orient
Longman Limited (1978)
 Supra note1
 Nurulla S., Naik J.P. History of Education in India during the British
Period, London, England:
 The East India Company Act 1813, also known as the Charter Act of 1813,
was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which renewed the charter
issued to the British East India Company, and continued the Company's rule in
India. However, the Company's commercial monopoly was ended, except for the tea
trade and the trade with China. Reflecting the growth of British power in India,
1. The Act expressly asserted the Crown's sovereignty over British India.
2. It allotted Rs 100,000 to promote education in Indian masses and allowed them
to open anywhere anytime.
3. This act permitted Christian missionaries to propagate English and preach
The power of the provincial governments and courts in India over European
British subjects was also strengthened by the Act. Financial provision was also
made to encourage a revival in Indian literature and for the promotion of
The Company's charter had previously been renewed by the Charter Act of 1793,
and was next renewed by the Charter Act of 1833.
 Pathannia A. and Pathania K. Primary Education and Mid Day Meal Scheme-
Results, Challenges and Recommendations, New Delhi: Deep and Deep Publications
Private Limited (2006)
 Mukherji S.N. Education in India- Today and Tomorrow, Baroda: Acharya Book
 UNESCO towards the Universalization of Primary Education in Asia and the
Pacific Country (1984)
 Rastogi K.G. and Sharma H.L. Universalisation of Elementary Education
Broucher- V, New Delhi: NCERT(1981).
 Compulsory primary education should be introduced in those areas where a
certain percentage of boys and girls of school-age (6-10) were already receiving
· The percentage of attendance should be fixed by the Governor-General in
· It should be left to the discretion of local bodies whether to apply the Act
to certain areas under their jurisdiction or not.
· Local bodies should be given the right to levy educational cess to meet the
cost of compulsory primary education.
· Expenditure on education was to be shared by the local bodies and Provincial
Government in the ratio of 1:2.
· For the introduction of compulsion, the previous sanction of the Viceroy and
the Governor respectively were necessary.
· Compulsory primary education is intended to apply in the first instance only
to boys, though later on a local body may extend it to girls also.
· Guardians whose income is less than Rs. 10/- per month should not be asked to
pay any fee for their wards.
 Supra note 8
 Supra note 31
 Sen J .M Primary Education Acts in India- A Study Calcutta Young Men's
Christian Association (CYMCA) (1925)
 Aggarwal, I. C (2005), Landmarks in the History of Modern Indian
Education, Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi
 An Auxillary Committee of Simon Commission constituted in the year 1929
 Ghosh S.C. (2013), The History of Education in Modern India, 1757-2012.
New Delhi: Orient Black Swan Private Limited
 Chauhan C.P.S (2004), Modern Indian Education
- Policies, Progress and
Problems, New Delhi, Kanishka Publishers, Distributors
 Supra note 53
 National Policy on Education, 2019, HRD Ministry, Government of India
 National Policy on Education, 1986, HRD Ministry, Government of India
 National Policy for Children, 1974, Ministry of Women and Child
Development, Government of India
 Supra note 62
 Awasthi S.K. and Kataria R.P. (2000), Law Relating to Protection of Human
Rights: Containing Commentary on the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 with
Rules, Regulations, Allied Laws, International Covenants, Constitutional
Provisions and various other useful Appendices, Millennium Edition Reprint 2002,
Orient Publishing Company New Delhi Allahabad
 86th amendment to Articles 21A, 45 and 51A to the Indian Constitution
 Universalisation of Secondary Education, Report of CABE Committee,
Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India
 Supra note 86
 (2012) 6 SCC 1
 Section 23, Qualifications for appointment and terms and conditions of
service of teachers
(1) Any person possessing such minimum qualifications, as laid down by an
academic authority, authorized by the Central Government, by notification, shall
be eligible for appointment as a teacher.
(2) Where a State does not have adequate institutions offering courses or
training in teacher education, or teachers possessing minimum qualifications as
laid down under sub-section (1) are not available in sufficient numbers, the
Central Government may, if it deems necessary, by notification, relax the
minimum qualifications required for appointment as a teacher, for such period,
not exceeding five years, as may be specified in that notification:
PROVIDED that a teacher who, at the commencement of this Act, does not possess
minimum qualifications as laid down under sub-section (1), shall acquire such
minimum qualifications within a period of five years.(3) The salary and
allowances payable to, and the terms and conditions of service of, teachers
shall be such as may be prescribed.
 Nayak A.K. and Rao V.K. (2009), Primary Education, APH Publishing
Corporation, First Edition, ISBN 10: 8176483656 / ISBN 13: 9788176483650
 Government of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, National
Education policy 2019Written By: Student of LLM (International Law) ILS Law College, Pune
Email: [email protected]