Right to Education

Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Constitutional validity of the Right to Education Act. What this means is that there will be 25% reservation in schools for students from economically weaker sections of the society. The RTE is applicable to government, local authority schools and private schools. This however, is not applicable to Boarding schools.

The law was brought by introducing Article 21(A) in the Constitution which says the state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children between 6 and 14 years in such a manner as the state may, by law, determine.According to the petitioners, Section 3 of the Act imposed an absolute mandate on all schools, including private unaided and minority institutions, to admit without any choice each and every child whosoever comes to take admission in the schools in the neighborhood.

What this means is that any type of screening which is necessary for admission is prohibited. If a private school is unable to meet recognition norms, then the RTE Act de-recognises the school and forces it to close down. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has been mandated to monitor the implementation of this historic Right. A special Division within NCPCR will undertake this huge and important task in the coming months and years. 

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