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PRODUCED AND PUBLISHED BY

Multiple Action Research Group (MARG) 205-206, Shahpurjat, New Delhi-110049 Tel: 91-11-26496925/7483 Fax: 91-11-26495371 Website: www.ngo-marg.org

RESEARCH AND WRITING Seema Misra EDITED BY Anju Talukdar & Karuna Dayal RESEARCH ASSISTANCE Anup Kumar Agarwal PHOTOGRAPHS Karuna Dayal, Rajesh Deoli, Rajesh Mindi (Courtesy Oxfam India) COVER CONCEPT Satyam Grafix, MARG SUPPORTED BY Oxfam India COVER DESIGN & PRINTED BY Satyam Grafix ISBN 978-81-87377-20-7

THE RIGHT OF CHILDREN TO FREE AND COMPULSORY EDUCATION ACT, 2009 A MANUAL

PREFACE

A law will be effective only when people understand what it contains: the rights guaranteed, and the means of redress in case of violation. This manual seeks to explain various aspects of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act in a way that is easy to understand and to act upon. The manual has used many stories and cases to explain different aspects of the RTE Act. Most of these stories have been taken from newspaper reports, blogs, testimonies of people and activists. The names of schools, students, etc have been changed. Important judgments of the Supreme Court and High Courts have been cited to make the law clearer. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act is a Central legislation and is applicable throughout the country1. State governments have the power to make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act. All the state governments have notified their rules. Though essentially for use by Right to Education activists, this manual can be used by a wide section of people. NGO workers, students, lawyers, teachers, parents - in fact anyone who believes in the rights based approach to education - will find this manual useful.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The thoughts and ideas of many have contributed to this manual. We are grateful to Oxfam India for their valuable support. This book has been enriched by the guidance of several experts in the field: Advocate Ashok Aggarwal, Ambarish Rai, Anjela Taneja, Annie Namala, Dr. SDJM Prasad, Kiran Bhatty, Sinu Jain, Saurabh Sharma, Rajesh Kumar, Shirin Naseem and Vikram Sahay. This book would not have been possible without Seema Misra who did the research and writing, Satyam Grafix, and of course the entire team at MARG for their commitment, sincerity and hard work.

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ABBREVIATIONS

CWC

: Child Welfare Committee

DCPCR : Delhi Commission on the Protection of Child Rights DISE EWS FIR GO LSA : District Information System for Education : Economically Weaker Section : First Investigation Report : Government Order : Legal Services Authority

NCPCR : National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights NCTE : National Council for Teachers Education NHRC : National Human Rights Commission OBC : Other Backward Class

REPA : Right to Education Protection Authority RTE Act : Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 RTI : Right to Information Act

SCPCR : State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights SMC SSA : School Management Committee : Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  ABBREVIATIONS  INTRODUCTION  CHAPTER 1 DEFINITIONS  CHAPTER 2 WHAT IS THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION  CHAPTER 3 WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR GUARANTEEING THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION  CHAPTER 4 MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS  CHAPTER 5 HOW TO ACCESS THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION: GRIEVANCE REDRESS MECHANISMS CHAPTER 6 USING RIGHT TO INFORMATION TO ENFORCE THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION CHAPTER 7 CHECKLIST FOR ACTIVISTS OR PARENTS WORKING TO ENSURE THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN BETWEEN AGES 6-14 YEARS ANNEXURE 1 THE SCHEDULE TO THE RTE ACT 81 ANNEXURE 2 LIST OF SELECTED RTE REPRESENTATIVES  ANNEXURE 3 RIGHT TO EDUCATION FORUM (RTE FORUM)

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ANNEXURE 4 LIST OF SOME USEFUL LINKS88

INTRODUCTION

The journey towards securing the right to education in India has been a slow and difficult one. There is still a long way to go, but important milestones have been achieved. Article 41 of the Constitution of India puts the responsibility on the state to secure the right to education for its citizens. But it also says that the state should do this “within its economic capacity and development”. This led to very little being actually done by the state to fulfill this responsibility The earlier version of Article 452 said that the state should try to provide free and compulsory education for all children till the age of 14. This was meant to be done within 10 years of the commencement of the Constitution i.e. by 1960. Unfortunately, these articles of the Constitution (which are part of the Directive Principles of State Policy) were not an area of focus for the Legislature for many years. The Indian judiciary has had a better record. The Supreme Court of India has repeatedly held that the fundamental right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution is not limited to mere physical survival. It means the right to live with dignity, a basic requirement of which is the right to education. Way back in 1993, in the case of Unni Krishnan J.P. Vs State of Andhra Pradesh3, the Supreme Court held that the right to education till the age of 14 years should be deemed a fundamental right. It took almost another decade for Article 21A to be inserted as a fundamental right in the Constitution. Article 21A states, “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.” To fulfill this obligation, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act) was enacted. The RTE Act was the result of many years of advocacy, pressure and campaigning by a cross section of people. Despite its shortcomings, the RTE Act has innovative, bold and empowering features. Properly implemented, the RTE Act has the potential of transforming life in India. Which is where the challenge lies: the effective implementation of this law.

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The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act is a Central legislation and is applicable throughout the country.4 State governments have the power to make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act. The central government and a number of state governments have formed and notified their rules. In the manual, when either the central rules or rules of any particular state are mentioned, they are referred to specifically.

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Chapter

DEFINITIONS

In this chapter various terms defined in the RTE Act are explained, including:
yyAppropriate Government yyCapitation Fee yyChild yyChild belonging to disadvantaged groups yyChild belonging to Weaker Sections yyChild with disability yyLocal Authority yyGuardian yyParent yySchools yyScreening Procedure

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CHAPTER 1
DEFINITIONS
Section 2 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE Act, in short) contains a list of definitions. Some of them have been dealt with in this chapter.

Appropriate Government [Section 2 (a)]
Each school comes under the jurisdiction or area of control of either the central government or a state government. The central government is the ‘appropriate government’ for schools set up/owned/ controlled by the central government or a union territory which does not have a legislature. For example, Lakshwadeep is a union territory without a legislature and comes under the jurisdiction or area of control of the central government. The state government or the government of a union territory is the ‘appropriate government’ for any school set up/owned/ controlled by the state government or union territory with a legislature. The appropriate government is responsible for providing free and compulsory education and ensuring that all schools (whether government or private) function in accordance with the RTE Act. The appropriate government for the Kendriya Vidyalaya in Silchar, Assam will be the central government as this school has been set up by the central government. All matters related to the school will be dealt with by the central government. Sunshine School is a private school in Silchar, Assam. The appropriate government for this school is the state government. It is the duty of the Government of Assam to ensure that Sunshine School functions according to the provisions of the RTE Act.

Capitation fees [Section 2 (b)]
This means any donation or contribution or payment other than the declared fee of the school. Any money taken by a school as a donation, etc. to guarantee admission is ‘capitation fee’.

Child [Section 2 (c)]
A child means any child male or female, between the ages of 6 to 14 years. Child belonging to disadvantaged group [Section 2 (d)]S.2(d) A child belonging belonging to disadvantaged group means: yya child with disability (this is further defined below under Section 2(ee) or yya child belonging to a
ÒÒScheduled ÒÒScheduled ÒÒSocially ÒÒAny

Caste, or Tribe, or

and educationally backward class, or

other disadvantaged group (i.e. a group that has any disadvantage due to social, cultural, economic, geographical, linguistic, gender or other reasons).
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Each state government is required by the Constitution of India to make a list of communities in their state who will be considered as Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, or socially and educationally backward classes.

For example:
Some of the communities mentioned in the list of Scheduled Tribes in Odisha are the Kond, Baiga, Ho, etc. A child from these communities will fall within the definition of child belonging to a disadvantaged group. Some of the communities that come within the list of Scheduled Castes in Bihar are Dhobi, Chamar, Musahars, Doms, etc. Any child from these communities will be considered a child belonging to a disadvantaged group. Some of the communities listed as socially and economically backward or better known as other backward classes (OBC) in Gujarat are Ahir, Bawa, Barto, etc. Any child belonging to these communities will be considered a child belonging to a disadvantaged group. For the purpose of RTE Act, each state government may issue a list to declare the category of children who belong to the other disadvantaged group (the fourth group). The Government of Odisha has notified that a child found without any home or any settled place or any means of a livelihood; a child found begging; a street child or a working child will also be included in the list of children belonging to a disadvantaged group. In Tamil Nadu the government has included a child who is an orphan; a child affected with HIV/AIDS; a transgender; or a child of a scavenger in the category of disadvantaged group.

Child belonging to weaker section [Section 2 (e)]
Any child whose parents’ or guardians’ yearly income is less than an amount specified by the government are ‘children belonging to weaker section’. The central government has specified that any child whose parents’ or guardians’ yearly income is less than one lakh rupees per year will fall in the category of weaker section. Every state has issued a notification and specified the yearly income below which the child will be considered belonging to the weaker section. The notification of each State is available with their Education/Human Resource Development Department website or can be obtained by filing an application under the Right to Information Act.

For example:
The Government of Odisha has declared children of parents or guardians who are BPL card holders will fall in the category of children belonging to weaker section. In Tamil Nadu, children whose parents’ yearly income is less than two lakh rupees will belong to the weaker section category. The definition of ‘disadvantaged groups’ and ‘weaker section’ is significant as all aided and unaided private schools and specified category schools are required to give admission in Class 1 to such children in the neighbourhood, to the extent of at least 25% of the strength of that class.

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Child with disability [Section 2 (ee)]
As per the Persons with Disabilities Act5 , a child with disability is one who has one/ more than one of the following disabilities: yyBlindness yyLow vision yyHearing impaired yyLocomotor disability yyCerebral palsy yyLeprosy cured yyMental retardation yyMental illness A child having a disability listed in the National Trust Act of 19996 is also a child with disability under the RTE Act. The National Trust Act of 1999 lists the following disabilities: yyAutism yyCerebral palsy yyMental retardation yyMultiple Disability (where a person has more than one of the disabilities mentioned in the Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995) Children with multiple disabilities and children with severe disabilities7 have the right to opt for home-based education.

Local Authority [Section 2 (h)]
This includes: yyMunicipal corporation(s)/ council(s) yyZilla parishad(s) yyPanchayat(s) yyAny other authority or body which has administrative control over the school (e.g. cantonment boards, etc.) Under the RTE Act, a complaint regarding any violation of the right of a child to education has to be first made to the local authority.

Guardian [Section 2 (g)]
The guardian of a child means any person having care and custody of the child and includes a natural guardian (i.e. a mother or a father) or a guardian appointed by a court or any law. Biswas is 7 years old and lives in a village near Puri, Odisha. Since his parents died in a cyclone two years ago he has been living with his mother’s brother, Amit’s family. Biswas likes staying with Amit’s family. Amit applied to the court to become Biswas’s guardian. The court, convinced that this would be in the best interest of Biswas, granted Amit the guardianship.
The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 7 Eighty per cent or more of one or more multiple disabilities (as defined in the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999)
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Parent [Section 2 (k)]
Parent means yya natural father or natural mother of a child, or yya father or mother of a child they have adopted, or yya stepfather or stepmother of a child. Bindu is 6 years old and has applied to a nearby government school for admission. She lives with her mother and grandmother. Her father does not live with them. As a parent, Bindu’s mother can sign the admission form. The school cannot stop her from doing so and insist on the father’s signature.

School [Section 2 (n)]
A school means any recognized school which provides elementary education (i.e. education till class 8) and includes: i) A school established, controlled or owned by the government (either state or central) or any local authority (e.g. a municipality, zilla parishad or cantonment board, etc.) ii) An aided school. This means a private school which receives funds from the government or local authority to meet whole or part of its expenses. iii) A school belonging to specified category, such as Kendriya Vidyalaya, Navodaya Vidyalaya and Sainik Schools. These schools are set up by the government but have a distinct character and are declared to be ‘specified’ by the government. iv) A private unaided school. This means a private school not receiving any funds or aid from the government. A school is given recognition by the central or state government.

Minority schools
The RTE Act8 states that its provisions are subject to Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India. These articles grant linguistic and religious minorities the fundamental right to set up and run their own educational institutions, i.e. schools and colleges. The RTE Act also states that its provisions do not apply to madrasas, vedic pathshalas and educational institutional institutions primarily imparting religious instruction. The minority status of a group is decided statewise. Each state has declared the groups which are considered minorities groups in the State. For example, in Delhi, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Christians are considered minority groups. A minority school must be set up and administered by a member or members of a religious minority community for the benefit of the minority community. Most of the students studying in the school must be from the minority community, but there can be some students from other communities. A minority educational institution can have its own procedure and criteria for admitting students but it should be a fair and transparent procedure.9 The Supreme Court has held that RTE Act will apply to all schools except unaided minority schools.10 A school set up by a minority community and not getting funds from government
Vide RTE Amendment Act of 2009 As held by the Supreme Court in T.M. A. Pai Foundation & Others Vs Stateof Karnataka and ors, AIR 2003 SC 355 10 Society of Unaided Private Schools of Rajasthan Vs UOI & ors (2012) 6 SCC 1
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can function without government recognition and it does not have to reserve 25% seats in class 1 for children from weaker section and disadvantaged group, or comply with other provisions of the RTE Act. If a minority school gets funds from the government then it will have to comply with all the provisions of the RTE Act, including giving admission in class 1 to at least 25% children from weaker section and disadvantage group. Carmel Convent School has been set up and run by the Catholic Church in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. It is a minority school. It has applied to the Education Department of the Madhya Pradesh Government for recognition. The government cannot refuse to grant it recognition if it meets all the required conditions. Carmel Convent School does not get any financial support from the government, it is an unaided minority school. Until it gets recognition from the government, the RTE Act will not apply to Carmel Convent School. The school will not have to reserve 25 % seats in class 1 for weaker section children or children belonging to disadvantaged group. Himmat High School is a school set up by the Muslim community in Azamgarh. Majority of the students studying in the school are Muslims. Himmat High School has been recognized by the government and receives funds from Government of Uttar Pradesh. This is an aided minority school. The RTE Act will apply to Himmat High School and it will have to reserve 25% seats in class 1 for children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group.

Screening procedure [Section 2 (o)]
Screening procedure means a specific, non-random method by which one child is selected for admission over another child. Examples of screening procedures are selection on the basis of education qualification of the parents, test/ interview of children or parents, etc. Only random selection of children for admission is allowed. Random selection includes selection for admission through the drawing of lots. Random selection ensures that there is no favouritism or discrimination during the admission process.

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IN A NUTSHELL:
ÒÒAppropriate

Government - the central government is the ‘appropriate government’ for schools set up/owned/ controlled by the central government or a union territory which does not have a legislature. The state government or the government of a union territory is the ‘appropriate government’ for any school set up/owned/ controlled by the state government or union territory with a legislature. Fee - means any donation or contribution or payment other than the declared school fee. – boy or girl between the age of 6 to 14 years. belonging to disadvantaged group - a child with disability, a child belonging to a Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, or Socially and educationally backward class, or any other disadvantaged group belonging to Weaker Sections – a child whose parents’ or guardians’ yearly income is less than an amount specified by the government with disability - a child with disability is one who has one/ more than one of the following disabilities: Blindness, low vision, hearing impaired, locomotor disability, cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, mental retardation, mental illness. A child having a disability listed in the National Trust Act of 1999 is also a child with disability under the RTE Act. Panchayat(s), any other authority or body which has administrative control over the school (e.g. cantonment boards, etc.)

ÒÒCapitation ÒÒChild ÒÒChild

ÒÒChild ÒÒChild

ÒÒLocal Authority – includes the Municipal corporation(s)/ council(s), Zilla parishad(s),

ÒÒGuardian ÒÒParent

– any person having care and custody of a child and includes a natural guardian (i.e. a mother or a father) or a guardian appointed by a court or any law – means a natural father or natural mother of the child, a father or mother of an adopted child, a stepmother or stepfather. - A school means any recognized school which provides elementary education (i.e. education till class 8) as under the RTE Act 2009 Procedure - Screening procedure means a specific, non-random method by which one child is selected for admission over another child.

ÒÒSchools

ÒÒScreening

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Chapter

WHAT IS THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION?

This chapter deals with the following:
yyWho is included in ‘every child between the ages of 6 and 14 years of age’? yyWhat does ‘free’ education mean? yyWhat does compulsory education mean? yyWhat does ‘Neighbourhood School’ mean? yyWhat does elementary education mean? yyIn which class will children who drop out be readmitted? yyDifferent aspects of the right to education

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CHAPTER 2
WHAT IS THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION
This chapter sets out what is meant by the right to education under the RTE Act and what are its various components. Rubina is about 10 years old and lives in a slum in Indore with her parents and baby brother. Her father is a carpenter and her mother a domestic worker. Rubina has never been to school. Her parents would like to send her to school but do not have the money to pay for her fees. They also do not have the time to take her to school every day as it is far away and not safe for Rubina to go on her own. Sunil is an Adivasi boy aged 7 years and lives in a village in Koraput district in Odisha. None of the children in his village go to school as the school building has been under construction for the last 2 years. The teacher comes once every two months, and on Republic Day to unfurl the national flag. Sarita is about 11 years old and lives with her two brothers and sister. She is the only one in her family who does not go to school. She had polio as a child, which affected her legs. As she cannot walk, she is unable to attend the government school. The private school which has a school bus is very expensive and her parents cannot afford to send her there. Sarita is very keen to study and is always asking her brothers and sisters to teach her. All these children have the right to education and must be admitted to a school and receive education. Article 21 A of the Constitution of India states, “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.” Article 21A is a fundamental right, which is the highest category of rights enforced in India. To ensure fulfillment of this fundamental right, The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 has been enacted. The right guaranteed under “The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education, 2009” (The RTE Act) is the right: yyof every child between the ages of 6 to 14 yyto free and compulsory education yyin a neighbourhood school yytill completion of elementary education [Section 3, RTE Act] It is the responsibility of the government, both the central and the state, to ensure the fulfillment of the right to education of every child as given under Section 3 of the RTE Act. The government cannot deny any child’s fundamental right of to education on the pretext of not having sufficient funds. The RTE Act lays down specific responsibilities of the central government, state government, local authority, schools and teachers in guaranteeing this right.

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Who is included in “every child between the ages of 6 and 14 years of age”?
All children between the ages of 6 to 14 years of age in the country, irrespective of where they live or what their circumstances, have a right to free and compulsory education. No child can be denied education between classes 1 to 8.

For example:
Children with disability Suraj Mandal is 6 years old and is blind since birth. Sarita is 9 years old and, as a result of polio, she cannot walk. Debo Murmu is 7 years old. He has cerebral palsy. He cannot walk without help. He is unable to eat on his own. He also finds it difficult to speak. These children with disability have the right to education. It is the duty of the government to ensure that they go to school. The government has to take all steps to ensure that children with disability are able to go to school and study. This includes arranging for transport, special teachers, appropriate text books, ramps, accessible toilets, etc. However, children with multiple disabilities and children with severe disabilities have the right to opt for home-based education. Children with disabilities have the right to free education in an appropriate environment till the age of 18 years.

Migrant Children
Bhola is 8 years old and lives in Samastipur district in Bihar. Every year for seven months his parents go to Jalandhar in Punjab to work as agricultural labourers. Bhola and his 6 year old sister also accompany their parents as no one from their community is left in the village. Bhola and his sister have a right to education. It is the duty of the government to ensure that Bhola goes to school. The Government of Punjab government has to ensure that Bhola attends school while in Jalandhar, and the Government of Bihar has to ensure that he goes to school while in his village in Bihar. The Governments of Bihar and /or Punjab can also provide facilities of a residential school to Bhola.11

Children affected by conflict
Linga is 9 years old and lives in a village in Dantewada district in Chattisgarh with his family, where the Maoist insurgents and state security forces have been fighting each other. The villagers are worried about their security as they are often caught between the two fighting groups. Linga’s family and many others in the village migrated to a nearby border village in Andhra Pradesh about a year ago. They are not sure how long they will remain there, but would like to return to their village as soon as the fighting ends.

Section 29 of the RTE Act says the medium of instruction should, as far as practicable, be in the child’s mother tongue. In the case of migrant children, who may be travelling across various linguistic states, it may not be practicable to teach the child in his/her mother tongue. This should not be an excuse for the child not to be admitted to school. A matter of concern that arises is the increased burden on migrant children to learn the languages of the states they live in. An option could be instruction in state-neutral languages (e.g. Hindi, English) and special assistance in language for migrant children.
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Linga has the right to go to school in the village in Andhra Pradesh where his family has migrated. It is the responsibility of the Government of Andhra Pradesh to ensure that Linga is able to go to school as long as his family stays there. It is also the duty of the Government of Chattisgarh to ensure that as long as the villagers remain in Dantewada the conflict does not affect the children’s right to education and that they are able to attend school.

Child labour
Billoo is 12 years old and works in a roadside tea shop in Karnal, Haryana. Meena, a 13 year old from Jharkhand, is a domestic worker in Delhi. Both Billo and Meena have the right to go to school and be educated. All children below the age of 14 years, including those who are working, have a right to go to school. It is the duty of the government to protect children from being made to work and ensure that they go to school instead. Billoo and Meena cannot be made to work in tea shops or as domestic workers. Employing children below the age of 14years for such work is prohibited and punishable under The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.

Children in institutions
Chellam was 5 years old when he was found near a bus stop in Chennai. His parents could not be located, nor did he know the name of his village. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC)12 sent him to a children’s home in the city. He is now 9 years old. He has been living in the children’s home for the last 4 years. Vijay is 13 years old and is part of a gang of car thieves. He has been caught stealing cars for the third time. A case was registered against him and he was found guilty of theft and was sent to a special home by the Juvenile Justice Board13 for one year. All these children in institutions have a right to education and the government has to ensure that they go to school. They are in the custody of the state and it is the duty of the government to send them to school and protect their right to education. Even if the children were in a private institution (such as a private orphanage), the children must be sent to school.

Street children
Salman is 10 years old and Amir is 12 years old. They have both run away from their homes and live near the railway tracks in Mumbai. Salman ran away because his father would drink and beat him up. Amir ran away because his parents died in the cyclone in Odisha some years ago and his relatives with whom he lived treated him badly. They both manage to survive by doing some odd jobs at the various local stations. Salman and Amir have a right to education. It is the duty of the government to ensure that children such as Salman and Amir are admitted to a school and are able to go to school regularly. In such cases it is preferable to send the children to a residential school, which the government will have to facilitate.
CWCs are set up under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. It is their duty to provide care and protection to children in need of it. 13 Juvenile Justice Boards are set up under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children), Act, 2000 to deal with cases of juveniles who are accused of committing a crime.
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Children affected by communal or caste conflict
Rakesh Digal studies in class 4 in his village near Daringabadi in Kandhamal district of Odisha. A few years ago the people of his community, the Panas, were attacked by another community. Two people died and all the houses of the Panas were destroyed. His family was among the many that fled the village and moved to camps set up by the government. Rakesh stayed in the camp for over a year. It is the duty of the Government of Odisha to protect Rakesh Digal and his family and ensure that they are safe. The government must take all steps necessary so that they can return to their village and live there safely. The government must also protect the right to education of Rakesh Digal and other children of his community. The government must make provisions to enable the children to attend school while they are living in camps. When they return to their village, the government must ensure that the situation is normal and safe so that the children are able to attend the village school without any fear.

Children who are displaced
Savita and Soni studied in classes 6 & 7 in the government middle school near Palamu in Jharkhand. The land of their village was acquired by the government to build a thermal power plant. The whole village had to move to another district where the government gave them land near the forest. All the families lived in makeshift huts for nearly a year till they could build their own houses. The place was remote and had almost no facilities. Savita and Soni, like many other girls, had to stop going to school as the nearest school was 6 kms away and there was no direct bus. While displacing families the government must ensure that the right to education of their children is not violated. The government must not shift the families to the rehabilitation site till a fully functional school is set up there, or should organize a bus for the children to go to a neighbouring school.

What does “free” education mean?
Education must be provided free of cost for children between 6-14 years of age. No child should be prevented from enrolling, attending and completing elementary schooling because the child or the parents cannot afford any fees, charges or other expenses. For example, a child with disability who cannot walk to school must be provided with transport facilities free of cost by the government to enable that child to attend school. Anjum goes to the nearby government school and studies in class 4. She is not charged any school fees, but is required to buy all the text books and note books on her own. Her father works as a mechanic in a car garage. He has four other children and is not able to afford text books and note books for all of them. He has been talking to his wife about discontinuing Anjum’s studies as he is finding it difficult to send all 5 of his children to school. Free education means that the Anjum’s father cannot be charged any fees or asked to buy text books. These have to be provided free of cost in government schools. Other expenses that cannot be charged in any government school include money for text books or uniforms, fees for any extracurricular activities (such as sports, arts and crafts), building fund, etc. A government school in Hissar, Haryana was taking Rs 200/- as fees from each child. The District Education Officer said that the parents of the children who come to the school are
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not poor and if they pay they will value the education given in the school. No government school can charge fees. In this case when the parents complained, the school had to refund the fees.

Does this mean education is free for every child?
Yes. All children are entitled to be educated free of cost from classes 1-8. However, if a child is sent by his/her parents to a private school instead of a neighbourhood government school. The parents will have to pay the fees themselves. However, if the child has been admitted in the category of 25% seats reserved for economically weaker section or disadvantaged group, the state must bear the costs as per the provisions of the RTE Act.  [Section 8 (a) RTE Act]

What does compulsory education mean?
Compulsory education means that it is the responsibility of the government to: yyProvide free elementary education to every child between ages of 6-14 years, and yyEnsure that every child between the ages of 6 to 14 years is admitted, attends and completes elementary education.  [Section 8 (a) RTE Act] Compulsory education means that the government must ensure that every child is studying in school and no child is refused admission on the grounds of non-availability of seats. The government cannot ask any child, other than children choosing to study in private schools, to make their own arrangements for elementary education. Nor can the government say that they do not have sufficient funds to fulfill the above. The government must take all steps necessary to ensure that every child attends school regularly and actually completes class 8.

What does “Neighourhood School” mean?
Neighbourhood school means a nearby school which is easy and convenient for the children to attend. It is the duty of the central and state governments to set up schools in the neighbourhood. The central and the various state governments have specified the distance within which neighbourhood schools will be set up. They have been specified in the rules made under RTE Act. The central government and most of the state governments have prescribed that: yyFor children in classes 1-5, a school should be established within a walking distance of one km of the neigbhourhood. yyFor children in classes 6- 8, a school should be established within a walking distance of 3 kms of the neighbourhood.  [Section 6 of the RTE Act and R6, Central Rules] It is the duty of the government to set up sufficient number of schools so that all children can attend a school in the neighbourhood and get education free of cost. This must be done by 1st April, 2013. Sumani Murmu lives in a village in Mayurbhanj district in Odisha and studies in class 7. Her sister Suganti studies in class 2.

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As per the rules, Sumani should not have to walk more than 3 kms to go to school and Suganti should not have to walk more than 1 km to reach school. Sumani’s school is about 3 kms away but there is a huge hillock between the village and school. It is very difficult to climb this, and in the rains it gets very slippery. So the children go around the hillock, which takes them over 2 hours to reach the school. It also increases the distance to the school to almost 5 kms. The children usually get late reaching school and by the time they return home they are exhausted. In such circumstances the state government or local authority must locate the school so that the children do not have to walk more than 3 kms, or provide transport for the children to reach school. In a village in Phalodi, Rajasthan there are various dhani or hamlets in a village. These are scattered and quite far away from each other. Some of them are more than a kilometer away from where the village school is located. In such a case the Rajasthan Rules provide that the government in remote hilly areas will: yy Set up schools with classes 1-5 in a habitation with a population of 150 people and a minimum of 20 children of the age group of 6-11 years. yy Set up schools with classes 6 to 8 in a habitation with a minimum 30 children in class 5 coming from at least 2 primary schools. yy If the dhanis or hamlets are still far away, free transport should be arranged for the children. If there are no motorable roads, hostels or other residential facilities should be provided.  [Rules 7(3) & (4) Rajasthan Rules] In a slum colony in Kolkata there are many children studying in the nearby government primary school. There is overcrowding in the classrooms as this is the only government school for the children in the locality. The children have no place to sit. In each class there are over 50 children. In such a situation, where the number of children in a classroom is more than the standard prescribed under the RTE Act (i.e. 30 students), the government must either construct more classrooms in the same school or set up another school, so that there is no overcrowding. The government can set up more than one school in a neighbourhood. Schools should be set up depending on the population of the area.

What does elementary education mean?
It means education from classes 1 to class 8. All children must be educated till at least class 8. The right to education means not only being admitted to a school in class 1, but being able to complete elementary education, i.e. class 8.  [Section 2(f) RTE Act]

Parvati lives in a village near Almora in Uttarakhand. She has studied till class 5 and then stopped going to school. In her village the school is only till class 5, after which the children have to go to Almora to study, which is about 5 kms away. Most of the girls in her village do not go to school after class 5. Her parents do not want to send her so far as the bus service is erratic and it often gets dark by the time the girls get back and it is not safe.

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Anil is 13 years old and is a Dalit. He dropped out of school two years ago when he was in class 6. On his way to school he had to pass through the “upper caste” mohalla (locality), and he was abused and beaten while passing through that area. He felt humiliated and stopped going to school. The right to education of Parvati and Anil has been violated as they have not been able to complete elementary education. Almost half the children being admitted to class 1 drop out of school by the time they reach class 8. In 2009-10 133.4 million children enrolled in Class 1-5, but only 54.5 million made it to classes 6-8. The government must take steps to ensure that children like Parvati and Anil are able to complete schooling till class 8. They can do this by opening more schools, providing free transport or setting up residential schools. Parvati and Anil have the right to be re-admitted to school and get free education till class 8. By the time Anil and Parvati finish class 8 they will be above 14 years of age. They are entitled to free education till they complete class 8, even if they have crossed the age of 14.  [Section 4 RTE Act]

In which class will children who drop out be re-admitted?
They will be admitted in the class appropriate to their age. This means that they will be admitted to the class in which children of their age are studying. For example, if a child dropped out of school after completing class 2, and seeks readmission after 2 years, s/he will be readmitted to the class she would have been in had she not dropped out (in this case, class 5). She is entitled to receive special training from the school so that she does not fall behind the rest of the children in her class.  [Section 4 RTE Act]

Is the right to education of a child limited to being admitted to and attending school? The Supreme Court has said, “The right of a child should not be restricted only to free and compulsory education, but should be extended to have quality education without any discrimination on the ground of their economic, social and cultural background.”14 It is the responsibility of the government to take all steps required to provide good quality education and to remove any hurdles that come in the way of a child completing elementary education either in a government school or private school. The Right to Education of a child has the following facets: yyAdequate number of schools yySafe and secure environment in school yyFreedom from harassment in school yyNon-discrimination in school yyNo denial of admission to school yyNo expulsion or holding back in any class till completion of elementary education yyAccess to text books and uniforms free of cost yyRegular classes taken by qualified teachers
14

State of Tamil Nadu & Ors v K Shyam Sunder & Ors, AIR 2011 SC 3470

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yyAdequate infrastructure (e.g. blackboards, drinking water, toilets etc) yyAccess to appropriate education for children with disability yyGood quality education It is the fundamental right of each and every child to receive education free from fear, anxiety and harassment. Let us examine in detail the different aspects of the right to education.

Adequate number of schools
To ensure that every child is able to go to school, there have to be enough schools. For this the government must take whatever steps are required, such as construction of schools, renting buildings or rooms, purchasing land, not using existing school buildings for noneducational purposes. As per the RTE Act, by April 1, 2013, the required number of schools must be set up by the government, so that every child is able to attend school.  [Section 4 RTE Act]

We have seen earlier the case of Sunil, the Adivasi boy aged 7 years who lives in a village in Koraput district in Odisha. None of the children in his village go to school as the school building has been under construction for the last 2 years. By April 1, 2013 there must be a school in Sunil’s village that meets the standards required by the RTE, Act. Till then, the government must make some arrangement to ensure that the children attend school. This can be done by either arranging for the children to attend school in a neighbouring village or taking a few rooms or a house on rent in the village till the school is ready. Sori is from a village in Dantewada district, in Chattisgarh. None of the children in her village go to school. The Maoists are attacking the police and administration from the nearby forest. Therefore the security forces have set up a camp in the village school. This is the situation in almost all the nearby villages. This matter was brought before the Supreme Court15 and the Court ordered the security forces to vacate all the schools and hostels. In Jagatsinghpur district in Odisha, the villagers were opposing acquisition of their land for setting up a steel plant. A large police force was deployed in the villages to maintain law and order. The police force occupied the school buildings, and the children stopped attending school as they were scared of the police and the weapons stored there. Schools are meant for children to study in, and not to be used by the government for other purposes. In this case, both the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) issued notice to the Government of Odisha asking for a report. Due to this intervention the schools were vacated and the police was located elsewhere.

Safe and secure environment in school
Lord Hari Middle School was a private school in Chennai in which about 900 children studied. The school was located in a crowded thatched roof building. It had a narrow staircase,
15

Nandini Sundar & Ors v Stateof Chattisgarh WP( C ) 250 of 2007 decided on 5.7.2011

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windowless classrooms, and only one entrance. Midday meals were cooked near the main building in a makeshift kitchen with a thatch roof. A fire started in the kitchen sparked by dry coconut leaves used as firewood. It spread to the main building. The thatched roof of the classrooms caught fire and the blazing roof supported by bamboo poles collapsed on the school children and most of them died on the spot. About 93 children died. The school had been inspected three years before and no action was taken even though the thatch roof was against the school building regulations. In a similar case the Supreme Court16 held that parents should not be compelled to send their children to dangerous schools, nor should children suffer compulsory education in unsound buildings. No matter where a family seeks to educate its children, the state must ensure that children suffer no harm in exercising their fundamental right. It is the duty of the states to ensure that schools provide safe facilities. The Supreme Court directed that: yyThe government, before granting recognition to a school, should ensure that the building is constructed according to the safety norms laid down in the National Building Code yyAll government and private schools should keep firefighting equipment in the school premises and have staff trained on how to use such equipment yySchools should not keep inflammable and toxic material, or if they do, they should store such material safely yyPeriodic inspection of the schools should be done to ensure the building is safe. The RTE Act requires a school to be located in an all – weather building. In a government school in Delhi, there is water logging every year during the rains. The children find it difficult to reach their classrooms. Mosquitoes breed in the large pools of stagnant water. Many children fall ill every year with dengue. In a government primary school in Siwan, Bihar, the roof of the building collapsed. Around 12 students and a teacher were injured by the debris. All these are instances of violation of children’s right to safety and security in schools. Guaranteeing a safe environment in school means ensuring that such situations don’t occur. This will also require regular inspection by the government.

Freedom from harassment in school
No child can be subject to physical punishment, mental harassment, sexual abuse or harassment. Hari is in class 7 and did not submit his Maths homework. The teacher gave him two extra days, but he still did not do it. Then his Maths teacher got angry and said that he was not taking his work seriously and should be taught a lesson. The teacher punished him by making him sit on his haunches and hold his ears throughout the 25 minute class. This is physical punishment and is not allowed. Under no circumstances can the teacher physically punish a child even if it is a single slap. Boxing, slapping, hitting with a stick, making a child stand in the sun or on the desk, are all examples of physical punishment and are prohibited under the RTE Act. Action can be taken against the teacher who carries out such punishment.

16

Avinash Mehrotra v UOI & Ors, WP (C ) No483 of 2004, decided on 13.04.2009

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The National Commission for the Protection of Rights of Children (NCPCR) has issued detailed “Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools“.17 Sheila is a Dalit girl studying in class 4 in the nearby primary school . She is very keen to study and likes going to school. A few months ago she started making excuses to not go to school. When her mother insisted on sending her to school, Sheila would leave the house but go elsewhere. Her mother realized that something was wrong and asked Sheila about it. Sheila hesitantly told her mother that she has a new teacher who shouted at her a lot and would say things like, “Oh you low castes cannot understand anything, it is useless to teach you. You just want to get jobs through reservation.” Some children would start laughing and Sheila felt humiliated and therefore did not want to go to school. This is mental harassment. The teacher has violated Section17 of the RTE Act. Sheila’s mother can complain to the School Management Committee or the panchayat or the Block Education officer. It is the duty of the government to take action against the teacher. The teacher has also committed an offence Section 3(1)(x) of The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989. Irfan is studying in class 4 in a school in Bijapur, Karnataka. The class teacher constantly addresses him and other Muslim boys in the class as “terrorists”. Irfan was very upset and told his parents, but they are scared to complain as Irfan may be asked to leave the school. This is also a case of mental harassment. The class teacher has violated Section 17 of the RTE Act and disciplinary action can be taken against the teacher. Razia is 14 years old and is studying in class 7 in the neighbourhood school. A few senior boys pass lewd comments whenever they see Razia. They not only tease her, they often touch her as well. Razia is frightened. She does not want to go to school and is embarrassed about telling anyone at home or in school. Her classmate Rubina encouraged her to tell her mother. Razia’s right to study in a secure environment has been violated. It is the duty of the school to ensure that the school environment is free from sexual harassment. The school has to ensure that action is taken against the boys. The harassment by the boys is an offence under Sections 354 (outraging modesty of a woman) & 509 (insulting the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code. If Razia and her family want, an F.I.R. (First Information Report) can be registered against them in the police station.

Non-discrimination in school
Children have the right not to be discriminated against in school on the basis of caste, class, religion, gender, etc. It is the duty of the school to ensure that a child does not face discrimination either at the time of admission or while attending school. Action should also be taken against those who resort to discrimination. The Constitution and the RTE Act prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, caste, religion, language, place of birth, etc. In a primary government school in a village in Banda district, Uttar Pradesh, there are many Dalit children. They have been divided into groups of 4 and assigned the task of cleaning the toilets by turn everyday. The school head teacher does not think that this is wrong. He says there are no sweepers in the school and this is the only way he can keep the toilets clean. Otherwise, he will be in trouble if the school inspector visits.
17

http://www.ncpcr.gov.in

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The school cannot make students, Dalit or otherwise, clean toilets. Action can be taken against the head teacher. Moreover, the head teacher has committed an offence under The Protection of Civil Rights Act and an F.I.R. can be registered against him. A demand should be made to employ sweepers for the school. In the government school where Ayesha and Hamida study, all the Muslim children are served the midday meal after the other children have eaten. The teacher says that it is not intentional, and has only happened a few times because the children had gone out to play. But the children say that it been it has been like this for many years. The teacher is discriminating against Muslim children. After the death of her mother, Hina has been living with her grandparents in Vijawada. She goes to the nearby government upper primary school. Hina’s mother died of AIDS four months ago. When they learned that Hina’s mother had died of AIDS, the parents of the other children told the school authorities that Hina should not be allowed to sit with the other children. Hina is now made to sit separately, right at the back of the class. The school cannot do this. Even if Hina was HIV + or had AIDS, the school cannot make her sit separately. Complaints by other parents and guardians is no excuse. Manoj got his son admitted to a reputed English medium private school through the economically weaker section (EWS) quota. He was very happy that his son would learn English and get a good education. A couple of months after the admission, he found that his son was put in a class in which there were only other EWS students. This class was neither taught English nor made to do any of the activities that other classes were doing, such as arts, music, etc. When he asked the primary school in-charge he was told that if he did not like things here he could withdraw his child and go to some other school. Another private school has admitted children belonging to disadvantaged group and weaker section. The classes for these children are held from 2 p.m to 6 p.m., after the regular school is over. This is discrimination and is not permitted under the RTE Act. It is the duty of the government to ensure that private schools do not segregate children belonging to the disadvantaged group or economically weaker section. By putting all the children belonging to disadvantaged groups and weaker section in a separate classroom, the school has segregated the students, which is prohibited under RTE Act.

No denial of admission to school
Aarti is 6 years old and lives in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, with her parents and brothers. Her parents went to the nearby government school to get her admitted. The school asked them for Aarti’s birth certificate. Aarti does not have a birth certificate. When she was born her family lived in a village in Jhabua district and they do not remember if her birth certificate was made. Arti’s parents are labourers and cannot leave their work and go back to the village to get her birth certificate made. No child can be refused admission for not being able to provide proof of age. Where a birth certificate is not available, hospital or Auxillary Nurse Midwife (ANM) register records or anganwadi records can be used as age proof. If any of these documents are not available then a declaration or affidavit of the age of the child by the parent or guardian will be taken as age proof. 
24

[Section 14 (2) RTE Act, Rule 13]

The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009

Kalu is 12 years old and was studying in class 6 in his village near Nandurbar in Maharashtra. His parents are construction workers and migrated sometime in June to Surat for work. Kalu went with them. The nearby government school in Surat refused to admit Kalu saying that the admissions were over in February and classes have begun. No child can be denied admission on the ground that the academic session has begun. Every state has laid down an extended period of admission, which in most cases is 6 months after the academic year begins. A child can be admitted during the extended period of admission, or even after the extended period. If a child is admitted after the extended period of admission, i.e. after 6 months of the start of the academic session, s/he should be given special training to catch up with the rest of the children.  [Section 15 RTE Act]

Progressive Education Society is running residential schools for Adivasi boys and girls in different districts in Odisha. The organization receives funds from the Tribal Welfare Department. The Progressive Education Society advertised in several newspapers announcing admissions to class 6 and the date for the entrance exams. Sunshine Primary School is a private school in Cuttack, Odisha. It has 100 seats in class 1. When the admissions opened, it received over 250 applications. To shortlist whom they will admit, they are holding a written exam for the children and will interview the parents of those children who pass the exam. No school, whether government or private, can refuse admission to a child on the ground that s/he has failed a test. No school is allowed to put any child or the parents through any screening procedure for admitting the child.  [Section13 RTE Act]

Sheelu is 13 years old and has completed class 7 from a private school in Siwan in Bihar. Her family moved to Kolkata and found that they could not afford to send Sheelu to any private school as it was beyond their means. They went to the government school in their colony to enquire about admitting Sheelu. The school said that they would admit Sheelu in class 8 only if she produced a transfer certificate from the school in Siwan. A child cannot be refused admission in a government or an aided school on the grounds that she does not have a transfer certificate. Sheelu has the right to study in the government school, irrespective of whether she produces a transfer certificate from Siwan or not. Sheelu does not have the right to be automatically admitted to a private school or a specified school, but even these schools cannot refuse her admission solely on the ground that she does not have a transfer certificate.  [Section 5 RTE Act]

The Delhi High Court18 has held that though the school can ask for a transfer certificate from a child, they cannot refuse admission on that basis. If the transfer certificate takes 4 months to be obtained, the child should not be kept waiting for 4 months without going to school. The child must be given admission at once. Sholey is 13 years old and both her lower limbs are paralysed. Three years ago she passed Class 4 with 80% marks in a private residential school run by an NGO in Ghaziabad. She had to leave that school as it kept girls till they were 10 years old. She began living in Delhi with her father who is a ragpicker. When she returned to Ghaziabad, Sholey did not take
18

Kumari Uzma Bano and Ors.Vs.Govt. of NCT of Delhi and Another, 172 (2010) DLT 344

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admission in school as she had to look after her 3 year old baby brother. Sholey is very keen to start going to school again. A social worker informed her that she would get admission in the neighbouring government school. One day she managed to finally convince her father to go to the school with her. She was informed by the school authorities that they cannot admit her as there has been a 3 year gap in her studies. A government school cannot refuse to admit children between the ages of 6 to 14 years even if they have never been to school or have dropped out of school before completing class 8. A child who has never been to school or has dropped out of school is entitled to be provided special training by the school so that she does not fall behind the rest of the children in studies. Such a child has the right to study in school free of cost till she completes class 8 even if she is more than 14 years of age.  [Section 4 RTE Act]

No expulsion or holding back in any class till completion of elementary education
Shravan studies in class 6 in a private school in Chennai. He scored very low marks in the annual examination and failed in all the subjects. The school did not promote him to Class 7. He was asked to repeat Class 6. When Sravan’s father objected, he was told that the school was abiding by a circular issued by the Education Department regarding promotion. The government circular instructs schools not to hold exams till class 5 and to promote everyone. From class 6 onwards students have to take exams to get promoted. If a child fails in 3 subjects, he can take a retest. If s/he passes in the retest, s/ he will be promoted. Since Shravan had failed in all the subjects he could not take the retest and therefore could not be promoted. The school threatened to expel him if his father created any problems. After the enactment of the RTE Act no child can be held back in class or expelled till s/he completes class 8. The school cannot fail or expel Shravan.  [Section16 RTE Act ]

In a similar case, the Madras High Court19 held that a circular issued by the Education Department which laid down conditions for promotion from classes 6, 7 & 8 was illegal and invalid after the coming into force of the RTE Act. The RTE Act requires schools to introduce ‘continuous and comprehensive evaluation’ whereby a child’s learning is assessed on an ongoing basis, instead of holding an exam at the end of the year. This would help both the teacher and student continuously monitor the progress of the child and identify areas of weakness which need to be remedied.

Access to text books and uniforms free of cost
The head teacher in a government school in Amrawati district in Maharashtra has asked the children in Classes 7 and 8 to give money for the Mathematics text book. According to him the government has not given the school enough text books for all the children. With the money collected he will buy the remaining number of text books, so that all the children can be given one Mathematics text book. Till the month of August, the children of Class 6 of all government schools in the state had not received the Science text book whereas the academic session started in February. The parents of the students are very worried about how the children will study or prepare for any evaluation or test. They have raised the matter with different authorities. They were
19

Ka. Kalaikottuthayam v Stateof Tamil Nadu and Ors, MANU/TN/0804/2010

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informed that the text books had been printed incorrectly and were being reprinted. This would take at least one more month, so nothing can be done. Non- availability of text books is a violation of the right to education. It is the duty of the government to ensure that all relevant text books are available and provided free of cost to the students in government schools. Under no conditions can money be taken for text books from any child between the age of 6 to 14 years in a government school. This is a common problem and in many parts of the country people have gone to court over this.  [Section12 RTE Act]

The children belonging to disadvantaged group and weaker section studying in private unaided schools or specified schools in the 25% quota are entitled to get text books and note books free of cost.  [Rule 9, Central Rules]

Regular classes taken by qualified teachers
In Mamta Jena’s school there are around 400 students and only 5 teachers. As a result they are not able to teach properly. Other than trying to make the children sit in the classroom and read the text books on their own, the teachers are unable to do very much. The children are learning very little. Very often the teachers take classes 3, 4 & 5 together, and classes 6 and 7 together. Parents have complained about this a number of times. Kanshi lives in Jabalpur town in Madhya Pradesh and studies in a nearby government school in class 8. In his school sufficient teachers have been appointed and they come to school, but do not take regular classes. They often sit together, chat and play cards. They sign the attendance register and leave. As a result, Kanshi and his friends play cricket in school the whole day. Kanshi’s parents have gone and spoken to the Principal but he says that the teachers have political clout and do not listen to him. In a colony in Sirsa town, Haryana, classes 5-8 of the government middle school are held in a rented building. Funds have been sanctioned for the construction of the school. The Science teacher is the senior most teacher and is overseeing the construction work. He sits at the site every day to ensure that the work is progressing properly and that the construction is completed within the given deadline. As a result he is not able to teach the children. The Right to Education is meaningless unless there are sufficient qualified teachers. The RTE Act lays down the minimum qualifications required for teachers. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that sufficient teachers are trained, recruited and paid their salary regularly. There are several instances where teachers have not received salary for over 4-5 months20. The government must also ensure that teachers are present and taking classes, and are not assigned non-teaching tasks.

Qualifications for teachers
The minimum qualifications required for teachers are: For classes 1-5: Senior Secondary with 50% marks + Diploma in elementary education + Passing the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) For classes 6-8: B.A./B.Sc + Diploma in Elementary Education or Bachelor’s in Education + Passing the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET)
Teachers can approach the High Court in cases of non-payment of salary. A considerable number of cases have been filed in this regard.
20

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This is requirement is for all schools whether government or private. The minimum qualifications have been laid down by NCTE (National Council for Teacher Education). The NCTE has been declared the academic authority by the central government.

What if a teacher who is currently teaching does not have the required qualifications?
The teacher will have to acquire the minimum qualifications within five years of the RTE Act being notified, i.e. by 2015.

In some schools assistant teachers or shiksha mitras have been appointed. Is this permitted?
It does not matter what title they are given (shiksha mitra or otherwise). But the teachers must have the required minimum qualifications as laid down by the NCTE. If the teachers recruited by a state government before the enactment of RTE Act are not qualified, they should be provided training so that they have the minimum required qualifications by April, 2015. The states which do not have teacher training institutes or will not be able to get sufficient teachers with the required qualifications, can apply to the NCTE for lowering the minimum qualification for a specific time, but not exceeding 5 years. The states of Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam have been granted relaxation of minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers.  [Section23, RTE Act]

The teacher – pupil ratio
For classes 1-5 there must be at least one teacher for every 30 children. If the number of children is more than 150 in a school, then there must be a Head Teacher plus 5 teachers. If there are more than 200 children in a school there must be one teacher for every 40 children. No school can remain a single teacher school. For classes 6–8 there should be one teacher for every 35 children, and separate teachers for Science and Mathematics, Social Studies and Languages. All schools must have the required teacher-pupil ratio within 6 months of the RTE Act becoming applicable. The government must also ensure that in any school under its control the teacher vacancy should not be more than 10 per cent. This means that if the required strength is 20 teachers, then at no point should the school have less than 18 teachers. It also means that no teacher post should be vacant at any time for a school that has less than 10 teachers.  [Sections 25 & 26, Schedule, RTE Act] The Supreme Court in a case relating to discriminatory treatment of teachers regarding salaries has said that the appointment of qualified and efficient teachers is essential for maintaining high standards in any educational institution.21 

21

The Chandigarh Administration & Ors Vs Mrs Rajni Vali & Ors AIR 2000 SC 634

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The minimum number of working days and teaching hours in schools
Classes 1-5: Classes 6-8: the minimum working days should be 200 and minimum teaching hours should be 800 per academic year. the minimum working days should be 220 and minimum teaching hours 1000 per academic year.

This means that in each academic year the teachers should teach at least 4 hours a day and the school must be open on the number of days mentioned above. This does not include time spent by the teachers for preparing for the lessons or evaluating the work done by children. It also does not include recess and play time of children.  [Schedule to the RTE Act]

Teachers cannot be given non-teaching duties except election and census duty or help in disaster relief. Teachers cannot be given work such as overseeing construction of the school building, cooking of the midday meal, purchasing furniture or giving polio drops. The teachers must be present in school during working days and taking classes.  [Section 27 RTE Act]

The Supreme Court has held22 that teaching can be given duties of roll revision and election work on holidays and non-teaching days. Teachers should not ordinarily be put on duty on teaching days and during teaching hours. These restrictions do not apply to non-teaching staff.

Adequate infrastructure (e.g. blackboards, drinking water, toilets etc)
Right to education of a child includes the right to study in a school which has facilities such as clean drinking water, toilets and a boundary wall. The Supreme Court has held that not ensuring hospitable conditions in schools and denying drinking water, toilets and other basic facilities is a violation of the fundamental right to free and compulsory education. Without drinking water and toilets, it is not possible for children to remain for long hours in schools and study. The Delhi High Court23 in a case relating to drinking water facilities in MCD schools said, “The importance of provision of drinking water in a school cannot be over emphasised. Children cannot be expected to remain in school for long hours without water. They cannot be made to go outside the school, on busy and hazardous roads, in search of water. Water sustains life. To deny water is to deny adequate sustenance.” Arun, a 7 year old boy, was studying in a government primary school in Delhi. As there was no drinking water in his school, he went outside the school premises to get water. While crossing the road in front of the school, he was run over by a four wheeler tempo and died on the spot. Immediately after the incident 2 hand pumps were installed in the school. The Delhi High Court said that if the hand pumps had been installed earlier, Arun’s life would have been saved. The High Court found that the school authorities had been negligent on two counts: not providing drinking water in the school, and not providing enough security so that the children do not go outside during school hours. They ordered the authorities to pay the parents of the child Rs 2 lakh as compensation.
22 23

Election Commission Vs St Mary’s School, AIR2008SC655 All India Lawyers Union v Union of India & Ors; AIR 1999 Delhi 120

30

The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009

Sunita is 14 years old and studies in an upper primary school about 3 kms from home. It takes her half an hour to reach school. In her school all the toilets are in a terrible condition and cannot be used. This means that girls like Sunita have to manage throughout the day without using the toilet. Many of them leave school early. Some have stopped coming to school for this reason. In a village in Bameru tehsil in Banda district, Uttar Pradesh, new toilets have been constructed in the primary school. But the children cannot use the toilets as they are kept locked and the keys are with the head teacher. It is the responsibility of the school to provide clean separate toilets for boys and girls. The toilets should be clean and have enough water. The Supreme Court has held24, “It is imperative that all schools must provide toilet facilities; empirical researches have indicated that wherever toilet facilities are not provided in the schools, parents do not send their children (particularly girls) to schools.” The Supreme Court ordered25 all state governments and union territory administrations to provide drinking water and toilet facilities in all schools by April 3, 2013. In case it is not possible to construct permanent toilets, at least temporary toilets should be provided. The Court said that this is necessary for the implementation of the fundamental right enshrined under Article 21A of the Constitution. The Court also ordered all the District Collectors and Magistrates in the country to submit a report on the availability in schools of potable drinking water, separate toilets for boys and girls, electricity, boundary walls, mid-day meals, and requisite number of teachers. 

Access to appropriate education for children with disability
Sridhar is 12 years old and is blind since birth. He considers himself very lucky to have got admission in the nearby government primary school. He has been going to school regularly. He has been given the same text books as the other children, but he cannot use them because of his disability. The right to education is not merely limited to being admitted to a school. To fulfill Sridhar’s right to education, the government must provide him text books in Braille, and ensure that he is taught Braille. Sunita Oraon has cerebral palsy. She finds it difficult to walk and cannot speak clearly. She enjoys going to school and playing with other children. The teachers have told her parents to send her to school only on Tuesdays and Fridays as the special educator comes on these days. The rest of the days they find it very difficult to deal with her. The school cannot limit Sunita Oraon’s education to classes only with special educators. This is contrary to the right of children with disability to an inclusive education. Sunita is entitled to study and play like all the ot,her children. Special educators are meant to provide additional assistance and meet particular needs, not to be the sole source of instruction. To guarantee the right to education of children with disabilities, the government must ensure all the necessary facilities (e.g. ramps, special educators, assistive devices, books in Braille, accessible toilets, etc) are provided. All schools, whether government or private, have to be accessible in order to get recognition.
24 25

Environmental and Consumer Protection Foundation v Delhi Administration & Ors, W.P. (Civil ) 631 of 2004 supra

The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009

31

The Delhi High Court26 has directed that at least one special educator should be available for each school with children with disabilities. Till the adequate number of teachers is available the Court allowed the government to appoint one special educator for 2-3 government schools in a cluster. It also directed that no government school can deny admission to children with disabilities on the grounds that the school does not have facilities for these children.

Good quality education
Sonu studies in class 6 in a government school and cannot read properly. Arun studies in class 5 and cannot do simple arithmetic. In both these situations the right to education is violated, as they have not learned what they should have in their respective classes. Every child is entitled to good quality education. To ensure this, the RTE Act states that the academic authority must develop a course or curriculum which: yyPromotes the values laid down in the Constitution yyEmphasizes the all round development of the child yyBuilds a child’s knowledge, capability and talent yyDevelops physical and mental abilities yyAllows learning through activities, discoveries, exploration in a child friendly and child centered environment, yyEncourages the child to express views freely. The medium of instruction should be in the child’s mother tongue as far as possible. The child should not be required take any board exam till after completing elementary education. Instead, there must be a method of continuous evaluation which means that a child will be evaluated throughout the year on the basis of class-work, home work, weekly tests, etc. After passing class 8 the child will be given a certificate of completion of elementary education.  [Sections29 & 30 RTE Act]

26

Social Jurist, A Civil Rights Group v Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Anr; 163(2009)DLT489

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The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009

In a nutshell:
ÒÒWho

is included in “every child between the ages of 6 and 14 years of age”? - All children between the ages of 6 to 14 years of age in the country, irrespective of where they live or what their circumstances may be. does “free” education mean? - Education must be provided free of cost for children between 6-14 years of age. No child should be prevented from enrolling, attending and completing elementary schooling because the child or the parents cannot afford any fees, charges or other expenses. does compulsory education mean? - Compulsory education means that the government must ensure that every child is studying in school does “Neighourhood School” mean? - Neighbourhood school means a nearby school which is easy and convenient for the children to attend. 8.

ÒÒWhat

ÒÒWhat ÒÒWhat

ÒÒWhat does elementary education mean? - It means education from classes 1 to class ÒÒIn

which class will children who drop out be re-admitted? – Drop-out children will be admitted in the class appropriate to their age (i.e. to the class in which children of their age are studying). number of schools

Different aspects of the right to education:
ÒÒAdequate ÒÒSafe

and secure environment in schools from harassment in schools in schools

ÒÒFreedom

ÒÒNon-discrimination ÒÒNo ÒÒNo

denial of admission in school expulsion or holding back in any class till completion of elementary education to text books and uniforms free of cost classes taken by qualified teachers infrastructure (e.g. blackboards, drinking water, toilets etc)

ÒÒAccess

ÒÒRegular

ÒÒAdequate ÒÒAccess ÒÒGood

to appropriate education for children with disability

quality education

The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009

33

3

Chapter

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR GUARANTEEING THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION
This chapter deals with the specific responsibilities of the Central Government, the State Government, local bodies, schools and teachers:
yyWho in the government is responsible for ensuring that children are not denied the right to education? yyResponsibilities of the central government yyResponsibilities of the central and state governments (depending on who is the appropriate government) yyResponsibilities of the local authority yyResponsibilities of schools yyResponsibilities of the teacher yySchool Management Committee (SMC) yyWhat is the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and how does it relate to the RTE Act? yyResponsibilities of parents and guardians

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35

CHAPTER 3
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR GUARANTEEING THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION
The government is responsible to ensure that every child between the ages of 6-14 years completes elementary education and that the education is provided free of cost. Arun Digal from Kandhamal has two children studying in the primary school in Daringabadi, the district headquarter. His daughter is in Class 7. Throughout the year there has been no teacher in her class. The parents have written to the Collector several times and even to the Secretary of the Education Department. The reply given to them is that there is a shortage of teachers and new teachers will be recruited in the next financial year after the budget has been sanctioned. This is a common excuse among government functionaries. The right to free and compulsory education of every child between the ages of 6 to 14 years is a fundamental right. Lack of funds cannot be used as a reason by the government for not making available what is necessary under the right to education. Availability of teachers is an essential part of right to education. Simply providing a school building where children can go, does not fulfill the obligation of the state. The Supreme Court27 has held that non-availability of funds cannot be a justification for not protecting the fundamental rights of the people. In Uttar Pradesh the textbooks for clases 6 and 7 have not been printed. It has been three months since the beginning of the academic term and no one can tell when they will be available. The children’s parents have written to everyone including the Education Minister. They were told that the centre has not given funds and the Uttar Pradesh government does not have enough funds. The state government cannot pass on the responsibility to the central government. Section 7 of the RTE Act lays down that the central and state governments will share financial responsibilities for carrying out the functions required to ensure free and compulsory education. The governments cannot blame each other for insufficient funds. The central government has to ensure that sufficient funds are available for the states. and make available additional funds if needed. The RTE Act also states that the state government will be responsible for providing extra funds required for the implementation of the RTE Act in the State.

Who in the government is responsible for ensuring that children are not denied the right to education?
The RTE Act lays down the specific responsibilities of the central government, the state governments, local bodies, schools and teachers. A body called the School Management Committee (SMC) has to be set up in every school other than an unaided school. However, in schools established and administered by linguistic or religious minorities, as well as in aided schools, the SMC functions only in an advisory capacity.

Municipal Council, Ratlam v. Vardhichand 1980CriLJ1075; The Chandigarh Administration & Ors Vs Mrs Rajni Vali & Ors AIR2000SC634
27

The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009

37

In government schools and specified schools (e.g. Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas), the SMC has a crucial role in monitoring the work of the government, local bodies, schools and teachers. The SMC consists of representatives of parents of the children in school, teachers and elected representatives of local bodies, with majority of the members being parents. Depending on where the school is located, the central government or the state government is responsible for the schools that fall within their area of control. The central government is responsible for implementation of the RTE Act in schools set up by the central government and schools set up in union territories without a legislature. The state governments are responsible for the implementation of RTE Act in their respective states. Each state government has a Department of Education or a separate Department of Elementary Education. The union territories with legislatures such as Pudduchery are responsible for implementation of the RTE Act in their areas. Local authorities, such as the gram panchayats, municipal corporations or the zila parishads (district councils), etc. are responsible for schools set up by them. K. Rao’s son studies in Class 5 in the Zila Parishad School in Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. His son has a disability and is not able to walk properly. There is no ramp in the school and his son finds it very difficult to enter the school building and go for his classes. In this case the local authority, which is the zila parishad, is responsible for ensuring that there are ramps in the school. R Malla’s son is in Class 5 in Rose International School, a private school in Guntur. They did not promote him to Class 6 on the ground that he failed in 4 subjects in the final exams. R. Malla knows that the school cannot do this. When he raised this issue with the Principal, he was told that it is being done for his son’s good. In this case the Primary Education Department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh is responsible for ensuring that private schools under its area of control do not violate the provisions of RTE Act. R. Malla can complain to the District Education Officer of Guntur who is an officer of the Education Department at the district level. Let us look at their specific responsibilities. 1. Responsibilities of the central government
ÒÒPrepare ÒÒNotify

estimates of expenditure required to fulfill the functions laid down in the law and provide the same to the state governments the Academic Authority. (The National Council for Teacher Education has been notified as the academic authority) and enforce standards for training of teachers schemes for teacher training (in-service training as well as at stage of recruitment) a framework of national curriculum up a National Advisory Council

ÒÒDevelop ÒÒPrepare

ÒÒDevelop ÒÒSet

The Department of School Education and Literacy in the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the central government is responsible for the implementation of RTE Act throughout the country.

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The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009

2. Responsibilities of the central and state governments (depending on who is the appropriate government)
ÒÒProvide

free and compulsory elementary education to every child

ÒÒEnsure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education

by every child
ÒÒEstablish ÒÒEnsure ÒÒEnsure ÒÒEnsure

sufficient schools by 31st March, 2013

availability of neighbourhood schools

that no child has to suffer discrimination or abuse on the basis of caste, religion, economic status, class or sex that children belonging to weaker section or disadvantaged group are not discriminated against in the classroom, playground, during mid day meals, in access to drinking water, or in any way prevented from pursuing and completing elementary education infrastructure such as school building, teaching staff and learning equipment special training facilities for children who are above the age of 6 years but have never been to school, and are now taking admission of every child

ÒÒProvide ÒÒProvide

ÒÒEnsure and monitor admission, attendance and completion of elementary education ÒÒEnsure ÒÒEnsure

good quality elementary education as per the standards given in the law such as pupil – teacher ratio, number of classrooms, number of working days, etc. that the curriculum and study course for classes 1- 8 are ready on time. training facilities for teachers

ÒÒProvide ÒÒIssue ÒÒNot

certificate of recognition to schools

to deploy teachers for non – teaching purposes

ÒÒEnsure ÒÒEnsure

that the teacher vacancy is not more than 10 % of the total sanctioned strength that every child in a government or aided school, and children belonging to weaker section and disadvantage group, are provided text books, writing materials, and uniforms free of cost [Section 8, RTE Act] 

Who in the central or state government is responsible for performing these functions?
At the centre and in the states, there exists a system for the administration of elementary education. At the centre, the Department of Primary Education and Literacy in the Ministry of Human Resource Development is in charge of primary education. In each state there is a Department of Primary Education, which is overall in charge of primary education. It has officials at the district and block levels to manage and oversee the functioning of schools, teachers, etc. The state level officials deal with policy issues while the district and block (tehsil) level officials have to ensure the proper functioning of schools, including management of the funds, school inspection, checking records, etc. Each state has enacted its own laws for managing school education, setting up and monitoring schools, recruitment and condition of service of teachers, regulation of fees of

The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009

39

private schools, etc. (e.g. Delhi Education Act, 1973, Haryana School Education Act, 1995). The education laws in each state must conform to the RTE Act. This means that if there is a contradiction between the provisions of the RTE Act and the provisions of any state law, the RTE Act will prevail. 3. Responsibilities of the Local Authority The duties of the local authority are given in Section 9 of the RTE Act. Most of the duties of local authorities (gram panchayats, municipal corporations, and district councils) are similar to those of the state governments. Local authorities should:
ÒÒProvide ÒÒEnsure ÒÒEnsure

free and compulsory education to every child

availability of neighbourhood schools

that children belonging to weaker section or disadvantaged group are not discriminated against, or prevented from pursuing and completing elementary education by every child residing within its jurisdiction

ÒÒEnsure and monitor admission, attendance and completion of elementary education ÒÒProvide

infrastructure including school building, teaching staff and learning

material
ÒÒProvide ÒÒEnsure ÒÒEnsure

special training facilities to children above 6 years of age who have not attended school earlier and have taken admission at a later stage good quality elementary education conforming to the standards specified in the Schedule to the RTE Act that the curriculum and study course for classes 1-8 are ready on time training facilities for teachers text books, writing material and uniforms functioning of schools within their area of control

ÒÒProvide ÒÒProvide ÒÒEnsure

admission to children from migrant families the academic calendar i.e. when the school session will begin

ÒÒMonitor ÒÒDecide

ÒÒIdentify

neighbourhood schools where children can be admitted and make such information public records of children up to the age of 14 years living within its area and update it annually that names of the children enrolled are publicly displayed in the school.

ÒÒMaintain ÒÒEnsure

The local authority has to maintain records of all children up to the age of 14 years living in its area. The record of each child must have the following information: 1. Name, sex, date of birth of the child 2. Name, address, occupation of parent or guardian 3. Pre primary school/ anganwadi centre that the child attends till the age of 6 4. Elementary school where child is admitted 5. Present address of the child 6. Class in which the child between 6-14 years is studying; and, if education is discontinued, the reason for this
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41

7. Whether the child belongs to an economically weaker section 8. Whether the child belongs to a disadvantaged group 9. Whether the child requires any special facility This information is useful for ensuring and monitoring admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by every child. 4. Responsibilities of Schools As is defined in Section 2 (n) of the RTE Act, there are 4 kinds of schools: i) Government schools: set up, controlled by the central government, state government or local authority; ii) Aided schools: private schools which receive aid /funds partly or fully from the government; iii) Specified schools: set up by the government, but put in a separate category e.g. Kendriya Vidyalayas, Army Schools iv) Unaided schools: private schools receiving no financial support /aid from the government As discussed earlier, with regard to minority schools, the provisions of the RTE Act are subject to Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India. These articles grant linguistic and religious minorities the fundamental right to set up and run their own educational institutions, i.e. schools and colleges. The RTE Act does not apply to madrasas, vedic pathshalas and educational institutional institutions primarily imparting religious instruction. Minority schools which take funds from the government will fall in the category of aided schools and the RTE Act will apply to them. Thus, if a minority school gets funds from the government then it will have to comply with all the provisions of the RTE Act, including giving admission in class 1 to at least 25% children from weaker section and disadvantage group. Schools set up by a minority community and not getting funds from government can function without government recognition and do not have to reserve 25% seats in class 1 for children from weaker section and disadvantaged group, or comply with other provisions of the RTE Act.

TABLE 1: Responsibilities of the different kinds of schools
Government Schools Provide free & compulsory education till class 8 to children in the neighbourhood Aided Schools Provide free & Compulsory education till class 8 to such proportion of children admitted as amount of grant received, but not less than 25 % (e.g. if a school receives aid up to 50%, then 50% of the children should get free education) Specified Schools Admit in class 1 at least 25% children belonging to the disadvantaged group and weaker section from the neighbourhood and provide them free education till class 8 Unaided Schools Admit in class 1 at least 25% children belonging to the disadvantaged group and weaker section from the neighbourhood and provide them free education till class 8 (school to be reimbursed by state in prescribed manner)

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The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009

Government Schools No screening procedure at the time of admission Admit children between the ages of 6-14 years who have dropped out or never been to school before Provide special training to students who have taken admission late or who have never attended school before No taking capitation fee Cannot refuse admission for lack of proof of age Cannot keep back a child in any class or expel a child till the completion of class 8 Must prevent physical punishment or mental harassment of any child and take action against those who cause physical punishment or mental harassment to any child Prevent discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, class, sex, etc. and take action against any person doing so

Aided Schools No screening test at the time of admission (not applicable)

Specified Schools No screening test at the time of admission (not applicable)

Unaided Schools No screening test at the time of admission (not applicable)

(not applicable)

(not applicable)

(not applicable)

No taking capitation fee Cannot refuse admission for lack of proof of age Cannot keep back a child in any class or expel a child till the completion of class 8 Must prevent physical punishment or mental harassment of any child and take action against those who cause physical punishment or mental harassment to any child Prevent discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, class, sex, etc. and take action against any person doing so

No taking capitation fee Cannot refuse admission for lack of proof of age Cannot keep back a child in any class or expel a child till the completion of class 8 Must prevent physical punishment or mental harassment of any child and take action against those who cause physical punishment or mental harassment to any child Prevent discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, class, sex, etc. and take action against any person doing so

No taking capitation fee Cannot refuse admission for lack of proof of age Cannot keep back a child in any class or expel a child till the completion of class 8 Must prevent physical punishment or mental harassment of any child and take action against those who cause physical punishment or mental harassment to any child Prevent discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, class, sex, etc. and take action against any person doing so

The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009

43

Government Schools Aided Schools (not applicable) (not applicable)

Must function as per the standards set out in the Schedule regarding pupil - teacher ratio, number of working days, infrastructure, construction of ramps, etc Form a School Management Committee (SMC)

(not required)

Make all records available for inspection by the government and SMC

Must function as per the standards set out in the Schedule regarding pupil - teacher ratio, number of working days, infrastructure, construction of ramps, etc Form a School Management Committee (SMC) (with advisory functions) Obtain recognition from the government Make all records available for inspection by the government and SMC

Specified Schools No segregation of children belonging to economically weaker section and disadvantaged group from other children in the classroom, or holding classes at different timings, etc. Must function as per the standards set out in the Schedule regarding pupil - teacher ratio, number of working days, infrastructure, construction of ramps, etc Form a School Management Committee (SMC)

Unaided Schools No segregation of children belonging to economically weaker section and disadvantaged group from other children in the classroom, or holding classes at different timings, etc. Must function as per the standards set out in the Schedule regarding pupil - teacher ratio, number of working days, infrastructure, construction of ramps, etc (not applicable)

(not required)

Make all records available for inspection by the government and SMC

Obtain recognition from the government Make all records available for inspection by the government

RESPONSIBILITY OF SPECIFIED SCHOOLS/ UNAIDED PRIVATE SCHOOLS/ AIDED PRIVATE SCHOOLS UNDER THE RTE ACT
Section 12 of the RTE Act has put some responsibility on private schools to provide free and compulsory education to children between the ages of 6 to 14 years. A private school which receives aid partly or wholly by the government, including an aided minority school, has to provide free elementary education to children. The number of children to whom the school will provide free education will be proportionate to the amount of funds the school gets from the government, but must be at least 25% of the children admitted in class 1.

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For example:
Garden school is a private school in a Patna. Till 2010 the school received grants from the government which amounted to 20 % of its total expenditure. There are about 3,000 children studying in the school. The school must provide 25% of these children free education, i.e. 750 children. In 2011 the government aid to the school went up 30% of the total expenditure. The school must provide 30% of the children education free of cost, i.e. 900 students. In the case of private schools which receive no aid from the government and specified schools, at least 25% of the children admitted in class 1 should be from weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighbourhood. A.H. Public School in Delhi is a private school and receives no financial aid from the government. In 2011 it admitted 250 children in class 1. Out of these 63 children must belong to weaker section and disadvantaged group and they must be given free education till class 8. Free education means that the children cannot be charged any money for application forms, fees, laboratory expenses, extracurricular activities, etc. If these schools have preschool classes, i.e. nursery and KG, then the same rule will apply to those classes. The private unaided schools will be reimbursed by the government for the 25% children admitted from disadvantaged group and weaker section. However this reimbursement will not be more than the per – child – expenditure incurred by a government school. However, if a private unaided school is required to provide education to a certain number of children on account of the school having received land or any other facility either for free or at a concessional rate, the school will not be reimbursed for the education of that specified number of children. A number of private schools had filed a case in the Supreme Court28 to declare Section 12 of RTE Act unconstitutional. The Supreme Court upheld the provision and ruled that all private unaided schools must comply with Section 12 of the RTE Act. 5. Responsibilities of the Teachers
ÒÒAttend ÒÒTeach

school regularly and on time the course within the specified time

the course as set out by the Academic Authority

ÒÒComplete

ÒÒAssess the learning ability of each child and give extra classes to children who need

help
ÒÒNot ÒÒNot ÒÒNot

discriminate against any child on the basis of caste, religion, sex, economic situation or any similar condition give corporal punishment to any child mentally harass any child

ÒÒHold

regular meetings with parents and guardians to keep them up to date on the attendance, learning ability and progress of the child a file containing the student cumulative record in training programmes

ÒÒMaintain

ÒÒParticipate
28

Society of Unaided Private Schools of Rajasthan V UOI & ors (2012) 6 SCC 1

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The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009

ÒÒParticipate ÒÒNot

in course development

give private tuition or indulge in any private teaching activity

Each state has laid down rules for teacher recruitment and conditions of service. Any disciplinary action to be taken against a teacher will be according to these rules. These rules must conform to the RTE Act. The terms and conditions of service of teachers must include a provision making them accountable to the SMCs. 6. School Management Committee (SMC) Section 21 of RTE Act requires a School Management Committee to be set up in every school other than an unaided private school. The SMC enables parents to monitor the functioning of the school in which their children study. The SMC plays an important role in ensuring that the schools provide free and compulsory education to every child between 6 to 14 years as required under the RTE Act. The SMC should consist of the following members: i) Parents or guardians of the children studying in the school ii) Teachers iii) Elected representatives of the local authority. Three fourth of the members of the SMC must be parents or guardians. Out of these, depending on the percentage of children from weaker section and disadvantaged groups studying in the school, their parents must be represented. Half the total number of the SMC members must be women. The meetings of the SMC will be held at regular intervals and will be recorded. These records will be available for all the parents, teachers, government functionaries and members of the local authority to inspect. The RTE Rules of each state have specified the number of members in the SMC, the time – period of the SMC, and the method of electing members. The SMC in each state will have different number of members and different methods of electing the members, but the state rules must comply with the overall requirements of Section 21 RTE Act.

For example:
As per The Uttar Pradesh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, the SMC will consist of 15 members and have a term of 2 years and will meet at least once a month. The selection of the parent /guardian members will be by general agreement at an open meeting. In Uttar Pradesh, the SMC will consist of: yy11 members from amongst the parents or guardians and at least one from each class. Out of these 1 should belong to the Scheduled Castes; 1 from Scheduled Tribes, 1 from other backward classes, and 1 from weaker section. yyThe remaining 4 members should consist of the following persons:
ÒÒOne ÒÒOne

member from the elected representatives of the local authority (to be decided by the local authority) member from the Auxillary Nurse Midwives (to be decided by the teachers)

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47

ÒÒOne ÒÒOne

Lekhpal (the person who keeps revenue records) to be nominated by District Magistrate member shall be the head teacher or the senior most teacher.

In Rajasthan, parents and guardians of all the children have been made SMC members. In Bihar, there is an elaborate procedure laid out for election of parents to the SMC, with the election being conducted by the State Election Authority. The parents and guardians of students cannot be stopped from entering the school their children or wards attend. But when they go to school, they should not disturb the classes and the everyday functioning of the school. To fulfill their roles as SMC members, the parents are not only required to go to school but must be allowed to check the records (such as teachers’ attendance registers, children’s attendance registers, cumulative progress records etc), physically inspect the infrastructure, etc.

Responsibilities of the SMC:
1. Monitor the working of the school. This includes:
ÒÒChecking ÒÒChecking

if the teachers come to school regularly and on time if the teachers complete the course that the teachers are not given non –teaching work

ÒÒMonitoring ÒÒInforming

the local authority if any teacher physically or mentally harasses or punishes a student

ÒÒInforming the local authority if any school is charging fees or money from any child ÒÒMonitoring the identification, enrollment and facilities for children with disabilities ÒÒMonitoring

implementation of midday meals

ÒÒMonitoring the pupil-teacher ratio; number of working days; infrastructure such as

number of classrooms; drinking water facilities; availability of ramps
ÒÒIdentifying ÒÒEnsuring

children who need special training and organizing such training

that children from the neighbourhood are being admitted and attending

school. 2. Prepare a 3 year school development plan, which includes 3 yearly sub plans, mentioning:
ÒÒEstimates ÒÒNumber

of class wise enrolment for each year of additional infrastructure such as class rooms, equipment

of additional teachers required

ÒÒRequirement ÒÒFinancial

requirement to meet the above and to meet requirement of special training needs and free text books and uniforms.

3. Spread information about the rights of the child as given in the RTE Act and the responsibilities of the government, local authority, the school and parents/ guardians. SMCs in minority schools and private aided schools only have advisory functions.

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The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act, 2009

4. What is the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and how does it relate to the RTE Act? The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is the main programme of the central government for implementation of the right to free and compulsory education for children below 14 years. The SSA is a registered society with the general body chaired by the Prime Minister. The SSA is being implemented in partnership with the state governments. It provides funds for strengthening the present school system by constructing new schools, ensuring infrastructure, other facilities and training teachers, etc. As of now the SSA has a separate structure, with a Project Director in charge of each state, and functionaries at the district, block and cluster level. The SSA has to implement its programme within the framework of the RTE Act. In some states there is confusion about the role of the SSA and the Education Department of the State. The state Education Department and functionaries are responsible for the implementation of the RTE Act and cannot pass this on to the SSA functionaries. 5. Responsibility of parents and guardians It is the duty of the every parent and guardian to admit their child or ward to a neighbourhood school which provides elementary education.

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IN A NUTSHELL:
ÒÒWho

in the government is responsible for ensuring that children are not denied the right to education? – The central government, state governments, local bodies, schools and teachers have different responsibilities to ensure that children are not denied education. of the central government: Prepare estimates of expenditure, develop and enforce standards for training of teachers, prepare schemes for teacher training (in-service training as well as at stage of recruitment), develop a framework of national curriculum, etc of the central and state governments (depending on who is the appropriate government) Ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by every child, Establish sufficient schools (by 31st March, 2013), ensure that no child has to suffer discrimination or abuse, provide infrastructure such as school building, teaching staff and learning equipment, ensure good quality elementary education as per the standards given in the law, provide training facilities for teachers, issue certificate of recognition to schools, not to deploy teachers for non – teaching purposes, ensure that the teacher vacancy is not more than 10 % of the total sanctioned strength, etc of the Local Authority Provide free and compulsory education to every child, Ensure availability of neighbourhood schools, ensure non-discrimination of children, monitor completion of elementary education by every child residing within its jurisdiction, provide infrastructure (e.g. school building, teaching staff, learning material), provide text books, writing material and uniforms, ensure admission to children from migrant families, monitor functioning of schools within their area of control, etc of Schools: (please refer to Table 1 on page 42 ) of the teacher Attend school regularly and on time, complete the course within the specified time, assess the learning ability of each child and give extra classes to children who need help, not discriminate against any child, not give corporal punishment to any child, not mentally harass any child, not give private tuition or indulge in any private teaching activity Management Committee (SMC) : Monitor the working of the school, prepare a 3 year school development plan, spread information about the rights of the child as given in the RTE Act is the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and how does it relate to the RTE Act? - The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is the main programme of the central government for implementation of the right to free and compulsory education for children below 14 years school which provides elementary education.

ÒÒResponsibilities

ÒÒResponsibilities

ÒÒResponsibilities

ÒÒResponsibilities ÒÒResponsibilities

ÒÒSchool

ÒÒWhat

ÒÒResponsibility of parents and guardians: admit their child or ward to a neighbourhood

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4

Chapter

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

This chapter deals with:
yy Recognition of Schools yy Reimbursement of Schools yy Penalty yy Disciplinary Action

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CHAPTER 4
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
1. Recognition of Schools
A certificate of recognition from the appropriate government is required for any school other than a government school and a minority unaided school to function or to be set up. This means that aided and unaided private schools require certificates of recognition. Unaided minority schools can be established and function without recognition. To get the certificate of recognition, a school has to fulfill the standards specified in the Schedule to the RTE Act. Every school which does not already meet these standards, must do so within with 3 years of the law coming into force, i.e. by March 31, 2013, at its own expense. The school can be derecognized if the conditions of recognition are violated. The procedure for getting the certificate of recognition is given in the RTE Rules of each state.  1. Pupil- teacher ratio a) For classes 1-5 yy1 teacher for every 30 children yyFor more than150 children, 5 teachers plus 1 head teacher yyFor more than 200 children, at least 1 teacher for 40 students b) For classes 6- 8 yy1 teacher for every 35 children yy1 teacher per class so that there is 1 teacher each for science & mathematics, social studies and languages. yyIf over 100 children are admitted then 1 full time head teacher and part time instructors for art education, health and physical education, and work education. 2. Building specifications All weather building consisting of: i) At least one class room for every teacher ii) Barrier free access iii) Separate toilets for boys and girls iv) Safe drinking water facility v) Kitchen for cooking midday meals vi) Playground vii) Boundary wall or fence enclosing the school 3. Minimum prescribed working hours and working days yyFor Classes 1-5: 200 working days per year and 800 teaching hours per academic year yyClasses 6-8: 220 working days and 1,000 teaching hours per academic year
29

[Sections 18 & 19 RTE Act]

The standards specified for recognition in the Schedule29 to RTE Act are:

The Schedule to the RTE is annexed as Annexure 1

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4. Minimum number of working hours per week for the teacher: 45 hours including preparation time. 5. Each school should have a library, teaching learning equipment, play material, games and sport equipment. Some other conditions a school must fulfill to be recognized are: yyThe school is run by a society registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 or a public trust set up under the law yyThe school is not run for profit for any individual or group or association of individuals yyThe school conforms to the values given in the Constitution of India yyThe school building and grounds will be used for educational and skill development purposes only yyThe school will be open to inspection by any officer authorized by the government yyThe school will submit any report or information that the government may require.  [Rule 15 of the Central Rules]

2. Reimbursement of Schools
The unaided private schools under the RTE Act must admit 25% of the total children admitted in Class 1 from weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighbourhood. These children have to be provided free education till completion of class 8. In case the school has pre-school classes i.e. Nursery or KG, then 25 % children admitted in those classes must be also be from weaker section and disadvantaged groups. The government will refund the schools the money they spend on providing free education to the children from weaker sections and disadvantaged group. The government will pay per child expenses incurred by the school. This amount will either be the amount the school spends on each child or the amount the government spends per child in the schools set up and owned and controlled by the government, whichever is less.  [Section 13(2) RTE Act]

The private unaided school will not be reimbursed the cost of providing free education to children from disadvantaged groups or weaker section if the school has been given any land or building or other facilities free of cost or at concessional rates and due to which it is under a duty to provide free education to these children.  [Section 12 (c) RTE Act]

3. Penalty
Punishments for violation of provisions of the RTE Act are: yyAny school or person taking capitation fees will be punished with a fine which may extend to ten times the capitation fee charged. A case can only be started with the permission of an officer designated by the government.  [Section 13 (2) (a) RTE Act] yyAny school or person making a child or the parent go through any kind of screening

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procedure will be punished with a fine which may extend to Rs 25,000/-. If the offence is repeated, the fine will be Rs.50,000/-.  yyAny person who runs a school
ÒÒWithout ÒÒAfter

[Section 13 (2) (b) RTE Act] obtaining the certificate of recognition, or

the recognition has been withdrawn, can be fined up to one lakh rupees. If the school continues to run after the fine, then for each day the school is run without recognition it will be fined Rs10,000/-. [Sections18 (5) & 19(5) RTE Act] 

A criminal case will be filed against the school or person either taking capitation fee, or conducting a screening test or continuing to run a school after de-recognition. But no case will be filed without the permission an officer authorized by the government to give permission.  [Section 36 RTE Act]

The Odisha government has by a Government Order (GO 18614 on 21.09.2011) made the Director, Elementary Education, the person competent to give permission for filing a criminal case if a school or person commits an offence under the RTE Act. On receiving a complaint, the Director Elementary Education will issue a notice to the school and ask for an explanation. In case the explanation is not satisfactory or no reply is received, an enquiry will be held, and on the basis of the enquiry a case will be registered against the school.

4. Disciplinary Action
The RTE Act lays down that disciplinary action will be taken against teachers if they violate any provision of the law. yy When a child moves from one school to another school, the child is entitled to be given a transfer certificate from the school immediately. Disciplinary action under the service rules will be taken against the Head –Teacher or the school In-charge if they delay in issuing the transfer certificate.  [Section 5(3) of the RTE Act] yyNo child can be punished physically or mentally harassed in school. Disciplinary action against the person – teacher, Head Teacher, librarian, etc - for physically punishing or mentally harassing the child will be taken according to their service rules.  [Section 17(2) of the RTE Act] yyDisciplinary action under the teachers’ service rules will be taken against a teacher coming late, or not coming to school regularly, or not completing the course, or not performing any other duty required under the RTE Act.  [Section 24(2) of the RTE Act]

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IN A NUTSHELL:
yyRecognition of Schools – this means that a certificate of recognition from an appropriate government is required for any school other than a government school and a minority unaided school to function. yyReimbursement of Schools – The government will refund private unaided schools the money spent on providing free education to the children from weaker sections and disadvantaged groups. This amount will either (i) the amount the school spends on each child, or (ii) the amount the government spends per child in government schools, whichever is less. yyPenalty
ÒÒTaking

capitation fees....fine which may extend to ten times the capitation fee charged a child or parent go through any kind of screening procedure.... fine which may extend to Rs 25,000/-; if the offence is repeated, fine will be Rs.50,000/a school without certificate of recognition....fine up to Rs. 1 lakh, and Rs. 10,000/- for each day the school continues to run in issuing the transfer certificate....disciplinary action under the service rules against the Head –Teacher or the school In-charge punishment or mentally harassment of child...disciplinary action under the service rules against the person responsible coming late or irregularly, or not completing the course, or not performing any other duty under the RTE Act ....disciplinary action under the teachers’ service rules will be taken against the teacher

ÒÒMaking

ÒÒRunning

yyDisciplinary ActionÒÒdelay

ÒÒPhysical ÒÒteacher

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5

Chapter

HOW TO ACCESS THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION: GRIEVANCE REDRESS MECHANISMS
This chapter deals with:
yyFramework for seeking redress
ÒÒProcedures ÒÒThe

under Section 32 of the RTE Act

NCPCR and the SCPCR

ÒÒLitigation

yySuggested steps for seeking redress

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CHAPTER 5
HOW TO ACCESS THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION: GRIEVANCE REDRESS MECHANISMS
Feroz Ali has two children aged 7 and 11 years old. He recently moved to Kolkata from Cuttack. He went to P.J. Public School to enquire if his children could get admission. The Principal asked him to pay Rs.50,000/- for each child if he wants to get the children admitted. Feroz Ali knows that the school cannot take so much money as admission fee. But he does not know what to do and his children’s education is important. He is trying to borrow money to pay this amount. P.J. Public School has demanded capitation fee, which is prohibited under the RTE Act. The school can be fined ten times the amount of the capitation money demanded. Feroz Ali should file a complaint against the school. The procedure for redress of grievances is given in the RTE Act.

Framework for Seeking Redress
The complaints procedure laid down in Section 32 of the RTE Act is:
ÒÒA written complaint has to be made to the local authority of the area such as Gram

Panchayat or Zila Parishad (district council) or Municipal Corporation, notified by the government to receive complaints.
ÒÒThe

local authority must decide on the complaint within 3 months. While dealing with the complaint, the local authority must hear both sides, i.e. the complainant and the school authorities/ teachers/ government officials, etc. state must notify the local authority to whom the first complaint is to be made and the procedure by which each complaint will be dealt with. Appeal against the decision of the local authority can be made to the State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) of that state. Authority (REPA) temporarily, till a State Commission is set up. In these states an appeal against the decision of the local authority will be heard by the REPA.

ÒÒEach ÒÒAn

ÒÒStates which do not have an SCPCR, should set up the Right to Education Protection

2) A complaint can also be made to officials of education department at the block, district or state level. Though this is not mentioned in the RTE Act, each department has an administrative procedure to deal with complaints. The Education Department/ Human Resources Department of a state is responsible for the proper functioning of the schools and ensuring that every child between the ages of 6-14 years of age in the state is getting education as per the RTE Act. 3) A complaint can also be made to the SMC. This is a body in which parents, teachers and the local authority are represented and has the responsibility to monitor the working of the school. It is therefore best suited to deal with problems in the school in a nonconfrontational manner. Some useful recommendations on monitoring, accountability and grievance redress mechanism on the Right to Education suggested by the National Advisory Council (NAC) Working Group on Education are now available on their website30.
30

http://nac.nic.in/pdf/recommendations_gr.pdf

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Problem: The detailed operational procedure for receiving, acknowledging, deciding or replying to complaints or appeal has not been laid down as yet in most states. This makes the complaints procedure uncertain.

The NCPCR and the SCPCR
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and the SCPCR have been set up under The Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005. The NCPCR has been set up at the Centre and each state government may set up an SCPCR. Each Commission consists of a Chairperson and six members. The National and State Commissions for the Protection of Child Rights have been set up to ensure the overall protection of the rights of children by analyzing government policy, conducting research, inspecting juvenile homes, inquiring into complaints of violation of rights of children (e.g. child labour, child sexual abuse, etc). The NCPCR and the SCPCR have been given the responsibility under Section 31 of the RTE Act to monitor the right to education of children. They are required to: yyexamine and review what governments are doing to ensure the right to education as per RTE Act yyrecommend steps to be taken for effective implementation (e.g. the NCPCR has issued a set of guidelines on corporal punishment for all schools to follow) yylook into complaints relating to right to education or take up cases on their yyown yyinclude the status of right to education in every state in their annual report The SCPCR is the authority which hears appeals from the decision made by the local authority. While hearing a complaint or an appeal the Commissions can act like civil courts and summon persons to appear before them. They can take evidence and call for public records. On finding that the right of a child to free and compulsory education has been violated, the Commissions have the power to: yymake recommendations to the central /state government or local authority to take action against a particular person or body or authority yymake recommendations to the central or state government to provide relief to the child and his/her family yyapproach the Supreme Court or High court for appropriate action

For example:
The Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) received a complaint that a school had asked students to take a written examination to admit them in class 1. The DCPCR can ask the Delhi government to take action against the school. In case no action is taken by the government, the DCPCR can file a case against the school in the Delhi High Court. The NCPCR has appointed RTE State Representatives to assist the Commission in its task on monitoring the implementation of the RTE Act at the state level. The names of the representatives appointed is given in Annexure 2. The RTE State Representatives can be contacted if there is a complaint /problem relating to the implementation of the RTE Act. 

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Grievance Redress Procedure in Different States
The redress of grievance is essential to accessing the right to education for children. The RTE Rules formulated by each state sets out the complaints procedure to be followed in that state and specifies the local authority to whom complaints can be made. Given below are the highlights of the complaints procedure in some states. Most states do not have a clearly laid down complaints procedure, leading to some confusion. Rajasthan Rajasthan is one of the few states to have formulated clear and effective rules for grievance redress. Under the Rajasthan Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011, any grievance of the parents or children about a violation of the RTE Act must be made to the Chairperson of the SMC. The complaint will be registered and then taken up at the next meeting. There is a provision to call an emergency meeting. Both parties will be heard by the SMC. If the SMC can deal with the matter then it will take action. Otherwise it will send the matter to the concerned government to take action. The government will take action within 3 months and inform the complainant. There exists a provision for appeal to the Rajasthan Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Uttar Pradesh Uttar Pradesh has set up a complaints procedure different from what is given in the RTE Act, which may well prolong the redress of grievances. The Uttar Pradesh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011, requires the first complaint to be made to the Village Education Committee (VEC) or Ward Education Committee (set up under the U.P Basic Education Act, 1972). An appeal against the VEC order can be made to Assistant Basic Shiksha Adhikari /Nagar Shiksha Adhikari. A second appeal can be filed with the Zilla Parishad. Odisha The Odisha Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2010, does not provide for a specific grievance redress system. It says that complaints should be filed before the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. It recommends setting up of a child helpline and that complaints be monitored through a transparent on-line mechanism. Tamil Nadu The Tamil Nadu Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011, does not provide for a specific grievance redress system. Haryana The Haryana Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011, defines local authority but does not lay out a grievance redress procedure. Local Authority is defined to include the SMC, Block Education Officer, the District Elementary Education Officer, the SCPCR, the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, the Mewat Development Board and Shivalik Development Board. Complaints can be made to any of these local authorities.

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Litigation The grievance redress procedure under the RTE Act is an administrative process. The RTE Act does not prevent anyone from filing a case in the local civil court, but there are differing opinions whether this can be done when a redress procedure is given. The Supreme Court and High Courts can be approached for enforcing the right to education. The right of every child to free and compulsory education between the ages of 6 to 14 years is a fundamental right guaranteed in Article 21A of the Constitution of India. For enforcement of fundamental rights a person can directly approach the Supreme Court or High Court. The courts can issue directions, writs or orders to any authority to enforce fundamental rights. For example, Special teachers are required for teaching children with disabilities. The right to education of these children is meaningless if special teachers are not recruited. The parents and guardians of children with disabilities studying in Tamil Nadu have been informed that there is no provision in their state to recruit special teachers. The parents and guardians can file a writ petition in the Madras High Court on the grounds that non-recruitment of special teachers is a violation of their children’s fundamental right under Article 21A and ask the Court to direct the government to recruit such teachers. The Supreme Court or the High Court can be approached to issue writs or orders directing any public authority to perform their duties as required under the RTE Act. For example: The Maharani Laxmibai Girls government school in Jhansi held entrance exams for girls taking admission in Classes 5 & 6. When they were informed that this was in violation of Section13 of the RTE Act, they said that they wanted to ensure good results and so would only take girls who were serious about studies. Some parents of girls who did not get admission complained to the local education officer. But no action was taken and the next year the school again held an entrance exam. The parents then filed a writ petition in the Allahabad High Court praying that the Education Department be directed to take action against the school and fine them Rs 50,000/- as is required under the RTE Act. Khemla, an adivasi boy, was studying in class 5 of a private school in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The school did not promote him to class 6 as he failed in all the subjects in the final examinations. When Khemla’s father informed the school that they could not do so as it was in violation of Section16 of RTE Act, he was told that the Education Department had issued a circular that any child who failed in more than four subjects would not be promoted. Khemla’s father filed a writ petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court asking the Court to declare the circular of the Education Department illegal as it was a violation of his right under RTE Act. Public Interest Litigation When the fundamental rights of a person or a class of persons are violated and they are not in a position to approach the court for relief, any member of the public or a social action group can approach the Supreme Court or High Courts on their behalf. This is called Public Interest Litigation or PIL. There have been numerous PILs filed to enforce Article 21A and the rights guaranteed under the RTE Act. Usually the person whose fundamental rights have been violated has the right to approach the Supreme Court or the High Court for relief. Usually the affected party or those with ‘locus standi’ (or a place of standing to approach a court) can seek redress from a court. In India the poor and marginalized sections of society are routinely denied justice due to
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the inability to access the formal legal system. It is for this reason that the Supreme Court departed from traditional rule of locus standi/legal standing in the case of fundamental rights, so that cases can be filed in the public interest. For redress of problems should one complain to the local authority or approach the High Court directly? It is best to first follow the complaints procedure given in the RTE Act and make a complaint to the local authority. If the authorities do not respond and resolve the problem, then the High Court or the Supreme Court can be approached. These higher courts usually require that the alternative remedies provided under the law be tried first before approaching them. The Supreme Court or High Courts may be approached directly in matters where urgent relief is needed or the child’s right to education will suffer irreparable harm e.g. the child will lose the whole academic year or will not get admission in any school that year. For most people it is very difficult to take any matter to the High Court/ Supreme Court: what can they do? In cases involving fundamental rights, the higher courts even accept letters and postcards addressed to the Chief Justices as petitions, but it is better to file a petition with the help of a lawyer. The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, provides for free legal assistance to people belonging to weaker section of society such as the poor, women, children, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, etc. A child can get legal help /aid in any court ranging from the Supreme Court to the courts at the subdivision level. All the expenses such as lawyer’s fees, court fees, typing expenses will be borne by the Legal Services Authorities. The Legal Services Authorities are present at the national, state, district and taluka levels and are under the supervision of the judiciary. In a primary school in a village in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh, none of the children have been given text books. The parents and guardians have petitioned the district authorities for more than 6 months. The parents of the school are losing hope. The parents can approach the Madhya Pradesh State Legal Service Authorities for legal aid. The lawyers of the Madhya Pradesh Legal Service Authorities will file a writ petition on behalf of the students asking the High Court to direct the Education Department to supply the texts books immediately. Vineet Majhi is 12 years old and lives in a village in Koraput, Odisha. Though he is enrolled in the village school, no classes are held as the school has been under construction for the last 3 years. The school teacher also does not come to school saying it is a complete waste of time. The Gram Pradhan has approached the block SSA authorities; the parents have met the District Education Officer and even the Collector. They have all given assurances that the school will be ready soon, but the situation remains unchanged. In this case, the parents of the children of the village can make an application to the Odisha State Legal Services Authority asking for help in filing a writ petition in the Odisha High Court to direct the authorities to construct the school building in a time bound manner, to hire space in the village to hold classes, appoint a new teacher and take action against the absentee teacher.

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Suggested steps for seeking redress STEP 1 Inform / complain to the SMC about the problem in writing. STEP 2 The SMC must raise the issue in their regular meetings and try to deal with the problem. STEP 3 In case the SMC cannot resolve the problem, the SMC must forward the complaint to the local authority. The complainant should also send the complaint to the local authority. STEP 4 The local authority must deal with problem within 3 months and pass an order. If it is an urgent matter, such as admission or expulsion, the local authority must try to deal with it within a shorter time. If an offence has been committed, then the local authority should help in getting an F.I.R registered with the police. STEP 5 If the complaint cannot be dealt with by the local authority then they should send it to the authority which has the power to do so. For example: if disciplinary action has to be taken against a teacher and the local authority is not the recruiting authority, then they should forward the complaint to the District Education Officer (DEO). STEP 6 If the person making the complaint is not satisfied with the order of the local authority/ DEO s/he can appeal to the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR). If the authorities do not accept the complaint, or do not respond, or the matter is urgent, then a writ petition can be filed in the High Court. Things to remember while making a complaint yy Complaints must always be made in writing. yy Parents and guardians often hesitate to complain because they feel that the school or teacher may harass their child or ward. The SMC is a forum of both parents and teachers. It may therefore be less confrontational to raise the problem there, even though the RTE Act does not require a complaint be made first to the SMC. yy As per Section 32 of RTE Act a complaint can be filed directly with the local authority, without informing or approaching the SMC. yy A complaint to the SMC or local authority or the SCPCR should have the specific details of violation of the provisions of RTE Act. yy For example, if teacher absenteeism is being complained about, then the exact timeperiod during which the teacher did not come to school should be mentioned. If it is a complaint about physical punishment, the date and time of the incident, what actually happened, who was present, must be given. It is advisable to mention which provision of the RTE Act or directive of the Supreme Court /High Court has been violated. If an offence has been committed on a child in school (e.g. physical violence or being locked in a room), the child and parents can go directly to the police station to file an

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F.I.R. They do not require the permission of the local authority or SMC. But they can ask the SMC for support. yySome states, such as Odisha, have set up toll free numbers. They are useful to make prompt complaints. But for effective results it is always advisable to follow this with a written complaint. yyPublic pressure is an effective method of highlighting a problem. This is usually done through demonstrations, articles in newspapers, public hearings (Jan Sunwais). These must be followed up by sending written complaints to the local authority. yyAuthorities are more likely to take action on complaints when there is continuous follow up, such as sending reminders, appealing against unsatisfactory orders, etc.

Examples of grievance redress
An aggrieved person or group can adopt different strategies to resolve a problem under the RTE, Act. What action can be taken will depend upon the kind of problem, the affected person or group, the location and the previous record of the authorities in resolving problems. Given below are some examples of how different kinds of problems can be dealt with. CASE 1 In the government elementary school in Gaya, Bihar, the class 3 teacher had not come to school for a month. When the parents enquired from the head teacher, they were told that the teacher had some personal problem and they should be considerate. Can the parents do anything if the teacher does not come, or should they just wait? A teacher’s absence and classes not being held for a month has serious impact on the right to education of the entire class. If the teacher has taken leave as per the rules then no action can be taken against the teacher. It is the responsibility of the Bihar Education Department to provide a substitute teacher. If the teacher is absent without taking formal leave, then action can be taken against the teacher. A teacher can take leave only as per rules. The parents can raise the issue with the SMC, which must forward the complaint to the local authority. The parents can also make a complaint to the District Education Officer. If the problem is not resolved, an appeal can be filed with the Bihar Commission for Protection of Child Rights. CASE 2 In an upper primary government school in Mewat, Haryana, there is no drinking water and also no water in the toilets. There is a hand pump, which is broken, and one tap which is dry. According to the principal, he has complained to the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Collector a number of times. He told the parents to complain to the PWD as it is responsible for ensuring water supply in school and not to come to him as he cannot do anything. What should the parents do, will the parents have to go the PWD office to file a complaint? Being provided basic facilities such as drinking water and functional toilets in school is an essential part of right to education. The parents do not have to go to the PWD. They can follow the complaints procedure laid down in the RTE Act and make a written complaint

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to the local authority. If the parents find that the local authority has not taken a decision in 3 months or they are not satisfied with the decision, they can appeal to the Haryana SCPCR. The parents can also approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court and ask the court to hold the government in contempt as the Supreme Court31 has directed the states to provide drinking water facilities and toilets in all schools. CASE 3 Ajith and Tony study in class 8 in a government school in Kottayam Kerala. They brought a few balloons to school and burst them during class. When the teacher complained to the principal, he locked them in the store for half hour and then beat them with a cane, which left deep cuts on their hands and backs. Where should a complaint about this be made and whose responsibility is it to stop this and take action against the principal? Physical punishment is prohibited under the RTE Act. The principal has committed an offence of wrongful confinement and grievous hurt under the Indian Penal Code. Ajith and Tony’s parents can inform the SMC or complain to the local authority. The local authority must help them file an F.I.R. against the principal. The local authority after hearing what the principal has to say, must take disciplinary action. In case the local authority is not the authority which appoints teachers/principals in that school the complaint should be forwarded to the appointing authority. If Tony and Ajith’s parents are not satisfied with the decision of the local authority, or no action has been taken, they can appeal to the Kerala Commission for Protection of Child Rights. CASE 4 In a government school in Sarai Meer village in Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh, there are only 3 teachers for 300 students. As a result the children are not studying or learning anything. This has been the situation for almost 2 years. The parents have complained to the Collector, the Zilla Parishad Chairperson and the MLA, who all say that till the state government recruits more teachers, nothing can be done. What can the parents do besides waiting and hoping? The parents can take any or all the following steps, yyGet information about how many teachers have been recruited in the school. This can be obtained from the District Information System for Education (DISE). This data is available on the internet or can be obtained under the Right to Information Act from the District Education Officer. The parents can also file an RTI application to find out the total number of vacant teacher posts in the state and what steps the state government has taken to recruit teachers and the time period within which they plan to fill these posts. yyThis data will help in finding out whether the sanctioned number of teachers in the school is 3 or more. If more than 3 teachers have been sanctioned a demand can be made to appoint more teachers. The parents can also check if there are any schools in the district with extra teachers, i.e. is more than the required teacher –pupil ratio. They can demand that some of the teachers be sent to teach in their school where there is a shortage of teachers. yyWhile making the School Development Plan, the SMC must specify the number of teachers required by the school.
31

Environmental and Consumer Protection Foundation v Delhi Administration & Ors, W.P. (Civil ) 631 of 2004

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yyTake up the issue at the SMC meeting and make a written complaint on behalf of the SMC to the Zilla Parishad, marking a copy to the secretary and minister in charge of the Education Department. yyThe parents can also file a Public Interest Litigation at the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court seeking direction for the state government to allocate more teachers for the school in Sarai Meer and to recruit more teachers without delay. CASE 5 Amar and his sister Anita belong to the Dalit community. They study in class 6 and 8 in a school in Bhilwara, Rajasthan. One day a dog was found dead in the school compound. The teacher asked them to pick up the dog and throw it away. The children refused saying that they did not want to touch the dog. The teacher hit them and pushed them towards the dead dog saying, “This is what your father does, you cannot refuse to pick up the dog.” Where can a complaint be made against the teacher? This is an extreme case of mental harassment and discrimination, which is prohibited under the RTE Act. This is also an offence under Section506 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7 of The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1971. A complaint or F.I.R. against the teacher can be registered at the police station and the teacher may be arrested. Besides this, Amar and Anita’s parents can complain about the teacher so that disciplinary action is taken against the teacher. They can complain to the District Education Officer or to the local authority within whose area the matter falls.

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In a nutshell:
yySuggested steps for seeking redress
ÒÒInform ÒÒSMC

/ complain to the SMC about the problem in writing

to raise the issue in their regular meetings and try to deal with the problem

ÒÒIn case the SMC cannot resolve the problem, the SMC must forward the complaint

to the local authority.
ÒÒThe

local authority must deal with problem within 3 months and pass an order. If it is an urgent matter, such as admission or expulsion, the local authority must try to deal with it within a shorter time. If an offence has been committed, then the local authority should help in getting an F.I.R registered with the police. the complaint cannot be dealt with by the local authority then they should send it to the authority which has the power to do so. the person making the complaint is not satisfied with the order of the local authority, appeal can be filed to the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR). the authorities do not accept the complaint, or do not respond, or the matter is urgent, then a writ petition can be filed in the High Court. Courts can be approached at an earlier stage depending on urgency of the matter

ÒÒIf ÒÒIf

ÒÒIf

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Chapter

USING RIGHT TO INFORMATION TO ENFORCE THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION
This chapter deals with:
yyExamples of use of the RTI Act yyCan information only be obtained about government schools under the RTI Act?

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CHAPTER 6
USING RIGHT TO INFORMATION TO ENFORCE THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION
Usually the response of the authorities to any complaint under the RTE Act is that they cannot do anything. They claim things are beyond their control and give reason such as non availability of funds or text books not printed, teachers not recruited, etc. Along with making written complaints, getting information using The Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) can help in supporting the complaint and pressurizing the authorities. Some examples are given below. CASE 1 In a government school in Nalbari district in Assam, the construction of toilets had started, as there were no toilets in the school. After the walls of the toilets were constructed, work stopped. When one of the parents enquired, they were informed that the money sanctioned was not enough and was spent on just the construction of the walls. A parent or activist or SMC member can file an application under Section 6 of the RTI Act and ask for details and records with regard to the construction of toilets. They can ask how much of money was sanctioned and when. A certified copy of the letter sanctioning construction should be asked for. The name of the contractor, a copy of the contract, certified copies of the expense vouchers can be obtained under RTI Act. Once this information is available it will be easier to make a complaint or file a case if required. Besides making an application the parents or the SMC can ask the school or the District Education Officer to install a notice board near the construction site, stating the name of the contractor, how much money was sanctioned, who was the sanctioning authority (e.g. the Education Department or the panchayat department) the date when the work is expected to be completed. All this information is required to be proactively provided by each authority under Section 4 of RTI Act, without anyone having to ask for it. With this information being made public it will become easy for anyone to monitor the construction of toilets and the money spent. CASE 2 In a government school in Palamu district in Jharkhand, a few children get scholarship money for two to three months of the year. When the parents enquired about the scholarship amount, the teacher scolded them. The parents then went to the head teacher who said that he does not know as the department has not told him anything. He simply hands over the money as and when it comes. Besides sending a complaint in writing, what can the parents do? The parents can file an RTI application to find out about the scholarship scheme: who is eligible for the scholarship, the application procedure, what is the amount and when is it to be paid. They can demand under Section 4 of the RTI Act that the details about the scholarship scheme be put up on a poster or as a wall writing in the school. Under Section 4 of the RTI Act they must keep registers of the beneficiaries and allow them to be checked. If the information is publically displayed then chances of irregularities become less. CASE 3 In a government school in Chhattisgarh, for the last 6 months, half the teachers have not been coming to school. The parents at the SMC meetings have requested the principal to
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show them the teachers’ attendance registers, records of allocation of funds and other records. The parents feel that these records are important for the SMC to function effectively. But the principal has on some pretext or the other not shown them any record. What can they do? Parents and SMC members must be allowed to inspect these documents to enable them to monitor whether the school is abiding by the RTE Act. The parents and activists must demand that every school keep teachers’ attendance registers, student admission records, budget allocation records, etc. in the school as per Section 4 of the RTI Act. Joint Action for Self Help (JOSH), an organization in Delhi, tried to inspect such records but were refused. They complained to the Central Information Commissioner (CIC), saying that not making such information available was a violation of Section 4 of RTI Act. The CIC ordered that: admission records, students’ attendance records, teachers’ attendance records, budget allocations, expenditure incurred, etc. be kept properly, and be made available for inspection at the school. CASE 4 The parents feel that if the Education Department was more vigilant then the school would function properly. They say that no one from the Education Department comes to check the school and when they complain, no action is taken by the Department. The parents want to know the system by which the Education Department monitors the functioning of a school. The parents can file an application under Section 6 of RTI Act to find out who are the different officials in the Education Department and what are their roles and responsibilities. They can get information about the system of inspection and ask for certified copies of the inspection reports. The reports will contain useful information about how often the inspector visited the school, reports filed on the situation in the school, and recommendations. Filing an application to get this information will make the inspectors more vigilant. Under Section 6 RTI Act the parents can also ask for information on what action was taken on a complaint made by them. They can ask the Education Department to give a daily progress report on their complaint and the file notings made.

Can information only be obtained about government schools under RTI?
Information about aided and unaided private schools can also be obtained under the RTI Act from the Education Department32. An RTI application cannot be directly filed with the private school, but an RTI application can be filed before the Education Department for access to records of these schools available with the Education Department. Records such as documents related to recognition of the school under RTE Act or the children admitted under the disadvantaged category or school inspection reports, etc can be obtained.

In a nutshell:
ÒÒExamples

of use of the RTI Act - the RTI Act has been successfully used to obtain information on such issues as construction of toilets, scholarship schemes, teacher absenteeism, monitoring of schools

information only be obtained about government schools under the RTI Act? Information about aided and unaided private schools can be obtained under the RTI 32 Act from the Education Department If the information sought for is available with another Department, the information can accordingly be obtained from
that Department.

ÒÒCan

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7

Chapter
CHECKLIST FOR ACTIVISTS OR PARENTS WORKING TO ENSURE THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN BETWEEN AGES 6-14 YEARS

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CHAPTER 7
CHECKLIST FOR ACTIVISTS OR PARENTS WORKING TO ENSURE THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN BETWEEN AGES 6-14 YEARS
In this chapter a checklist is provided for activists, parents, SMC members or anyone else working on the right to education to see if all the requirements as per RTE Act are fulfilled. The checklist is as follows:

GENERAL
1. All children between the ages of 6 -14 years must be studying in a school. 2. There must be sufficient neighourhood government schools for children to attend. 3. The panchayat, zilla parishad or municipal corporation must keep records containing details of all children between the ages of 6-14 years in their area, such as whether they are in school or not and in which class.

ALL SCHOOLS
1. All schools at the time of admission:
ÒÒ cannot make the children or parents go through an exam or other kind of screening

process
ÒÒ cannot ÒÒ cannot ÒÒ cannot

take capitation fees deny admission for lack of proof of age deny admission because of non availability of transfer certificate - teacher ratio as per the Schedule of the RTE Act.

2. All schools must comply with the following:
ÒÒ Student ÒÒ For ÒÒ For

classes 1-5: 1 teacher per 30 children; for over 200 children, 1 teacher per 40 children classes 6-8: 1 teacher per 35 children working days and hours prescribed in the RTE Act Schedule and employ teachers with minimum prescribed qualifications teachers take classes regularly no child is subjected to physical punishment or mental harassment no child is expelled from school till class 8

ÒÒ Minimum ÒÒ Recruit ÒÒ Ensure ÒÒ Ensure ÒÒ Ensure ÒÒ No

discrimination against any child on the grounds of sex, caste, economic status or religion the curriculum is completed the method of comprehensive and continuous evaluation

3. All schools must meet the following academic requirements:
ÒÒ Ensure ÒÒ Follow ÒÒ No ÒÒ No

child is kept back in any class till completion of class 8 child is made to take a board exam till completion of class 8

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ÒÒ Give

transfer certificate to any child leaving the school of elementary education to all children completing

ÒÒ Give a certificate of completion

class 8 within one month 4. All schools must provide the following facilities
ÒÒ All

weather building, which is fire safe wall or fence free access to the school and classrooms

ÒÒ Boundary ÒÒ Barrier

ÒÒ Playground ÒÒ One ÒÒ Safe

classroom for every teacher and adequate drinking water toilets for boys and girls

ÒÒ Separate

GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
Government schools must:
ÒÒ Grant ÒÒ Not

admission to all children living in the neighbourhood text books free of cost to all children till completion of class 8

charge any fees from children till completion of class 8 children even after the start of the academic session

ÒÒ Provide ÒÒ Admit ÒÒ Admit

any child above the age of 6 years who has not completed class 8 in a class appropriate to his/her age, and provide special training to such children teachers from giving private tuitions engage teachers in non-educational work except election duty or census or disaster relief an SMC and ensure regular meetings the SMC makes a school development plan

ÒÒ Prevent ÒÒ Not

ÒÒ Form

ÒÒ Ensure

SPECIFIED SCHOOLS
Specified schools must:
ÒÒ Reserve ÒÒ Provide ÒÒ Not

at least 25% seats in class 1 for children from weaker section and disadvantaged groups these children education free of cost discriminate against children belonging to weaker section or disadvantaged groups an SMC and ensure regular meetings the SMC makes a school development plan

ÒÒ Form

ÒÒ Ensure

PRIVATE AIDED SCHOOLS
Private aided schools must:
ÒÒ Obtain

a certificate of recognition from the government

ÒÒ Reserve

at least 25% seats in class 1 for children from weaker section and disadvantage groups

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ÒÒ Provide ÒÒ Not ÒÒ Not

these children education free of cost

discriminate against children belonging to weaker section or disadvantaged groups hold separate classes or activities for children belonging to weaker section or disadvantaged groups an SMC and ensure regular meetings the SMC makes a school development plan

ÒÒ Form

ÒÒ Ensure

PRIVATE UNAIDED SCHOOLS
Private unaided schools must:
ÒÒ Obtain

a certificate of recognition from the government

ÒÒ Reserve ÒÒ Provide ÒÒ Not ÒÒ Not

at least 25% seats in class 1 for children from weaker section and disadvantage groups these children education free of cost discriminate against children belonging to weaker section or disadvantaged groups hold separate classes or activities for children belonging to weaker section or disadvantaged groups

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ANNEXURE 1
THE SCHEDULE TO THE RTE ACT
(Refer sections 19 and 25)
S. No. Item 1. Number of teachers

NORMS AND STANDARDS FOR A SCHOOL
Norms and Standards Admitted children Number of teachers Two (a) For first class to fifth Up to Sixty Between sixty-one to ninety Three class Between ninety-one to one Four hundred and twenty Between one hundred and Five twenty-one to two hundred Above one hundred and fifty Five plus one Headchildren Teacher Above two hundred children Pupil-Teacher Ratio (excluding Headteacher) shall not exceed forty. (b) For sixth class to (1) At least one teacher per class so that there shall eighth class be at least one teacher each for— (i) Science and Mathematics; (ii) Social Studies; (iii) Languages (2) At least one teacher for every thirty-five children (3) Where admission of children is above one hundred— (i) a full-time Head-teacher; (ii) part-time instructions for— (A) Art Education; (B) Health and Physical Education; (C) Work Education Building: All-weather building consisting of— (i) at least one class-room for every teacher and an office-cum-store-cum-Head teacher’s room; (ii) barrier-free access; (iii) separate toilets for boys and girls; (iv) safe and adequate drinking water facility to all children; (v) a kitchen where mid-day meal is cooked in the school; (vi) playground; (vii) arrangements for securing the school building by boundary wall or fencing.

2.

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S. No. Item Norms and Standards 3. Minimum number (i) Two hundred working days for first class of fifth of working days/ class. instructional hours in an (ii) Two hundred and twenty working days for sixth academic year class to eighth class (iii) Eight hundred instructional hours per academic (iv) One thousand insturctional hours per academic year for sixth class to eight class. 4. Minimum number of Forty-five teaching including preparation hours. working hours per week for the teacher Teaching learning Shall be provided to each class as required. equipment Library There shall be a library in each school providing newspaper, magazines and books on all subjects, including story-books. Play material, games Shall be provided to each class as required and sports equipments

5. 6.

7.

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ANNEXURE 2
LIST OF SELECTED RTE REPRESENTATIVES
States Andhra Pradesh Names Sh. Rajendra Prasad State Coordinator, M.V.F. Foundation, 201, Narayan Apartments, West Marredpally, Secunderabad, Hyderabad (M) : 09849648363, (Tel) 040 27801320, 27700290, 27710150 Fax: 040 27808808, 27701656 Ms. Bhanumati Kalluri Dhaatri-Resource Centre for Women and Children 307, Manasarovar Heights, Phase I Tirumalgiri Mob: 09848824419 Secunderabad-500009 Ph. 040-40121365 Ms. Gita Rani Bhattacharya , Aashirwad Bhawan, 3rd floor Dr. R.P. Road Lastgate Dispur, Guwahati- 6 Office-0361-2231879 Res.---0361-2360123 Mob - 09435194439 Dr. Sunil Kaul The ant, Udangshri Dera Rowmari, P O Khagrabari, via Bongaigaon Dist Chirang (BTAD), Assam 783380 INDIA www.theant.org, www.theantsstore.com sunil@theant.org Ph: 094351 22042 (m) 03664 293803 (r) Mr. Sanat Sinha Chief Coordinator, Bal Sakha Vicky Hotel. Jamal Road, Patna – 800001 Mob: 09234938631 Tel. 0612 – 2270043, 3293953 Fax - 0612 – 2270043 Organization M.V. Foundation

Dhaatri Resource Centre for Adivasi Women and Children

Assam

Director Assam Mahila Samata Society,

The ant

Bihar

BAL SAKHA

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States

Names

Sr. Sudha Varghese Nari Gunjan Prerna Hostel, Lal Kothi Danapur, Patna – 801 503 Bihar. (M) 09431025201, 09304969503 Chhattisgarh Mr. Gautam Bandhopadyay Chattisgarh Action and Research Team, O-3, Anupamnagar, Post : Shankarnagar, Raipur - 492 007 Ph : 0771 - 2282286, 0771-2444120 Gujarat Mr. Sukhdev Patel GANATAR, 1st Floor, Kalpana Aptt. Beside Hero Honda Show Room Vijay Char Rasta, Navrangpura Ahmedabad – 380 009 (Gujarat) Mob: 09825012036 Mr. Suraj Kumar White Lotus 31, DDA Flats, Panchsheel Park Shivalik Main Road, New Delhi-17 (M) 09810085910 Ms. C.P. Sujaya A-2 (3rd Floor), Diwanshri Apartments, 30 Feroze Shah Road, New Delhi 110001 Tel: 011-23719434, 23320353 Dr O.P. Bhuraita Director, State Resource Centre, Rajya Gyan Vigyan Kendra, Shivalik Sadan, Engine Ghar, Sanjouli, Shimla Himachal Pradesh Tel: 094184-54867 0177-2842972 (O) Ganesh Reddy 7, Betar Kendra, Niwaranpur, Ranchi-834002. 09334466777/09431176777

Organization Nari Gunjan

Chattisgarh Action and Research Team

Ganatar

Haryana

White Lotus

Himachal Pradesh

Rajya Gyan Vigyan Kendra, Shimla

Jharkhand

Citizens foundation

Madhya Pradesh

Ms. Asha Mishra BGVS Vice President Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samithi E-7/32-B (State Bank Colony) Arera Colony Bhopal Madhya Pradesh Tel:462 016 0755, 2461 086,5294 378(O) Mob: 0 94253 02012

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States

Names

Ms. Archana Sahay Director, AARAMBH 52-C, Indrapuri, BHEL, Bhopal – 462 021 Madhya Pradesh (M) 09425300571 Maharashtra Mr. Suryakant Kulkarni Socio Economic Development Trust Kerwadi, Plam (T), Parbhani , Maharastra-431720 Tel:02453-270236 Dr. Madhukar Gumle Apeksha Homoeo Society, Gurukunja Mozari Taluka Teosa Dist. Amravati – 444 902 (M) 09422190811 Odisha Ranjan Kumar Mohanty C/o- PECUC H.No- VII-M-13, Shailashree Vihar, Bhubaneswar -21, Odisha Tel.No.- +91- 674 - 2382175/2352278 Ph. No / Fax-0674-2382175 Rajasthan Mr. Bhanwar Singh Chadana 39, Kharol Colony, Udaipur, Rajasthan - 313004 Phone: 0294- 2451348 Telefax: 0294- 2451391 Mob.: 09414166348 Mr. Arvind Ojha Bhawan, Ganganagar Road, Bikaner, Rajasthan334001 Phone: 0151-2523093 (O), 2545097 (R) Fax: 0151-2522041 Mob: 09414137093 Mr. Ossie Fernandes Director, Human Rights Foundation, No.10, Thomas Nagar,Little Mount, Saidapet,Chennai - 600 015 Mob: 04422353503 Mr. Henri Tiphagne Institute of Human Rights Education C/o People’s Watch 6A, Vallabhbhai Road Chokikulam Madurai – 625 002 (M) 09894025859

Organization AARAMBH

SCPCR

Apeksha Homoeo Society

PECUC

Astha Sansthan

URMUL

Tamil Nadu

Human Rights Foundation

Institute of Human Rights Education

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States Uttar Pradesh

Names Ms. Sehba Hussain BETI Foundation C-842, H-Road, Mahanagar LUCKNOW – 226006 Ph. 0522-2334878, 23327355 (M) 09839211887 Ms. Malini Ghosh Nirantar B-64, 2nd Floor, Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi-110017 011-26966334 Dr Veena Gupta Opp. Sai Baba Mandir, Kapoorthala, Lucknow. Ph- 0522-4108386, Mob-09336828441

Organization BETI Foundation

NIRANTAR

West Bengal Mr. Probir Basu National Convener Campaign Against Child Labour (CACL) 66/2 Sarat Chandra Dhar Road Kolkata 700090 Mobile 09331992897/09239314238 Email: caclcs@yahoo.com caclcs@caclindia.org. Mr. Partha Roy Residential Address: 187/3 B.B. Chatterjee Road Kolkata - 700 042 Mob: 09831107383

CACL

CINI ASHA

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ANNEXURE 3
RIGHT TO EDUCATION FORUM (RTE FORUM)
Right to Education Forum (RTE Forum) is a platform of education networks, national networks, peoples’ movements and prominent educationists with a combined strength of 10,000 NGOs from all over India. The forum is having presence in 20 states altogether. Out of which we have state chapters in 12 states (as per the information mentioned over the website). Therefore, no new states are added as State chapters as of now after those 12 states. The following is a list of the 12 State RTE Forum chapters33 1. Uttar Pradesh 2. Uttarakhand 3. Rajasthan 4. Delhi 5. Bihar 6. Jharkhand 7. Odisha 8. West Bengal 9. Andhra Pradesh 10. Chattisgarh 11. Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry 12. Karnataka The forum is in process of expansion and formation of new state chapters in states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Assam for deepening the advocacy and mass mobilization for the implementation of the Act. The six broad thematic areas of its work around the Act include: yySystemic Readiness and Redressal Mechanism yy Issues of Teachers yy Community Participation yy Quality yy Social Inclusion yy Private Sector The Secretariat is located at: RTE Forum (In premises of Council for Social Development) 53, Sangha Rachna, Lodi Estate, New Delhi Tel: 91-11-24615383, 24611700, 24616061, 24693065, 24692655 Fax: 91-11-24616061 Website: www.rteforumindia.org Email: rteforumnewdelhi@gmail.com
33 More information on State Chapters can be found at http://www.rteforumindia.org/content/state-chapters

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ANNEXURE 4
LIST OF SOME USEFUL LINKS
Census of India Central Board of Secondary Education Department of Education & Literacy http://www.censusindia.net/ http://www.cbse.nic.in/ http://mhrd.gov.in/rashtriya_madhyamik_ shiksha_abhiyan Directorate of Education (Delhi) http://edudel.nic.in/directorate.html District Information System for Education http://www.dise.in/ (DISE) MIS Under SSA International Institute for Education http://www.iiep.unesco.org/ Planning List of Government Aided Schools http://delhi.gov.in/wps/wcm/connect/ DOIT_Education/education/home/ about+us/list+of+government+aided+sch ools Ministry of Human Resource Development http://mhrd.gov.in/ (MHRD) National Commission on Protection of http://ncpcr.gov.in/ Child Right (NCPCR) National Council for Educational Research http://www.ncert.nic.in/ and Training (NCERT) National Portal for Education http://india.gov.in/citizen/education.php National University of Educational Planning http://www.nuepa.org/ and Administration (NUEPA) Right to Education Division of NCPCR http://rtemonitoringcell.info/ Right to Information (RTI) official http://rti.gov.in/ RTE Forum India http://www.rteforumindia.org SAKSHAT - The National Mission on http://www.sakshat.ac.in/ Education through ICT Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) http://ssa.nic.in/ School Report Cards http://schoolreportcards.in/SRC-New/ Secondary Education Management http://semisonline.net/semis/default.aspx Information System State Council for Educational Training & http://delhi.gov.in/wps/wcm/connect/doit_ Research scert/Scert+Delhi/Home/ State wise list of SCPCR http://www.ncpcr.gov.in/scpcr.htm UNICEF India http://www.unicef.org/india/ National Advisory Council http://nac.nic.in/

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