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It is a fact that out of the 300 million children in India, a lot lives in an economic and social environment which could impede the child's physical and mental development. It is the need of the hour that we all gear up to meet the needs of these children in India today, to enable us to see an enlightened and empowered India tomorrow. In India, the post-independence era has experienced an explicit expression of the commitment of the government to the cause of children through constitutional provisions, policies, programmes and legislation. In the last decade of this century, dramatic technological developments particularly in the areas of health, nutrition, education and related spheres have opened up new vistas of opportunities for the cause of children. The Government, Non Government Organization (NGO’s) and others have all come together for the cause, primarily focusing on the unique problems concerning the children in India. They include issues related to children and work, tackling the problem of child labour, elimination of discrimination towards Girl Child, uplifting street children, indentifying the special needs of children with disabilities, and providing education to every child as its Fundamental Right.
Education as Fundamental and Human Right
Every citizen of India has the right to education. Some of the basic principles which guide us are – education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages; elementary education shall be compulsory;. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Education for all
The Education for All movement is a global commitment to provide quality basic education for all children, youth and adults. The movement was launched at the World Conference on Education for All in 1990. Ten years later, many countries are far from this stated goal. Representatives from various countries met again in Dakar, Senegal and affirmed their commitment to achieving Education for All by the year 2015. They identified six key education goals which aim to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015. As the lead agency, UNESCO is mobilizing and harmonizing the international efforts to reach Education coordination for All. Governments, development agencies, civil society, nongovernment organizations and the media are but some of the partners working toward reaching these goals.The drive to achieve the EFA goals also contributes to the global pursuit of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially MDG 2 on universal primary education and MDG 3 on gender equality in education, by 2015.
are critical to achieving the education MDGs. especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. . and environmental sustainability. numeracy and essential life skills. These countries are unlikely to achieve universal primary education by 2015 unless domestic and international efforts are accelerated substantially. 23 of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa. free.Six specific education goals Expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education. there are many children of school age. Ensure that by 2015 all children. and conflict. and achieve gender equality in education by 2015. especially for women. Improve all aspects of the quality of education and ensure the excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all. particularly girls. have access to and complete. especially in literacy. those in difficult circumstances. such as improved health. HIV/AIDS. with a focus on ensuring girls' full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality. challenges remain. Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005. and those belonging to ethnic minorities. who are still not in school due to financial. However. Although there has been steady progress towards achieving many EFA goals. or physical challenges. Ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programs. social. Achieve a 50 % improvement in adult literacy by 2015. including high fertility rates. access to clean drinking water. and compulsory primary education of good quality. huge challenges remain in 44 countries. as well as the fact that EFA has created a body of experience in multi-partner collaboration toward the 2015 targets. and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults. Simultaneously. Why is EFA important Achieving the Education for All goals is critical for attaining all 8 MDGs—in part due to the direct impact of education on child and reproductive health. achieving the other MDGs. decreased poverty. Today. Access to schooling in developing countries has improved since 1990—some 47 out of 163 countries have achieved universal primary education (MDG 2) and an additional 20 countries are estimated to be ―on track‖ to achieve this goal by 2015.
.6 per cent of these children (nearly 92 lakh) are out of school. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal has said that legal process would not affect the implementation of law. who have either dropped out from schools or have never been to any educational institution. For example. Its implementation will directly benefit close to one crore children who do not go to schools at present. At present. was passed by Parliament last year. The majority of these countries (13) are in Sub-Saharan Africa. However. there are nearly 22 crore children in the relevant age group. Certain schools have already challenged the law in the Supreme Court as being "unconstitutional" and violating fundamental rights of unaided private educational institutions. The 86th Constitutional amendment making education a fundamental right was passed by Parliament in 2002. the government today implemented a historic law to provide free and compulsory education to all children in age group of 6-14 years. These children. Despite recent gains in girls’ enrollment at both the primary and secondary levels—particularly in low-income countries in SubSaharan Africa and South Asia—24 countries are unlikely to achieve gender parity at either the primary or at secondary level by 2015. However. The Act mandates that even private educational institutions have to reserve 25 per cent seats for children from weaker sections. Poor learning outcomes and low-quality education also remain overriding concerns in the education sector. The school management committee or the local authority will identify the drop-outs or out of school children above six years of age and admit them in classes appropriate to their age after giving special training.Although the gender gap in education (MDG 3) is narrowing. girls are still at a disadvantage when it comes to access and completion of both primary and secondary school. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act. pupil/teacher ratios in many countries exceed 40:1 and many primary teachers lack adequate qualifications. In India: From today. The Right To Education is being touted by the UPA government as another major achievement after Right To Information Act and National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. a ministry official said. The new law makes it obligatory on part of the state governments and local bodies to ensure that every child gets education in a school in the neighborhood. every child has a right to education NEW DELHI: Nearly eight years after the Constitution was amended to make education a fundamental right. a law to enable the implementation of the fundamental right. The Act makes it a right of every child to get education. 4. Additionally. in many developing countries. Both the Constitutional amendment and the new law came into force from today. will be enrolled in schools. less than 60 percent of primary school pupils who enroll in first grade reach the last grade of schooling. The Act makes it obligatory for the appropriate governments to ensure that every child gets free elementary education.
000 crore to the states for implementation of the Act. the schools need to have certain minimum facilities like adequate teachers. The critical lack of financing calls for partners to explore innovative financing approaches for education which can act as an important supplement to. As per the new law. especially in rural areas as well as backward areas. in the Government sector. . The hard-won gains in education will not be preserved without improving resources for vulnerable populations n india. there will be a requirement of Rs 1. The Act says no school can deny admission to a student and all schools need to have trained teachers. As per the government's estimate.The Finance Commission has provided Rs 25.71 lakh crore in the next five years for implementation of the Act. playground and infrastructure. Sibal said that the government has arranged the required funds for implementing the law. and catalyst for. they will have to comply with the provision within three years. In case of schools not having trained teachers. more efficient use of scarce resources keeping in view the need for Universalisation of Elementary Education. there has been expansion at Primary and Upper Primary School stage of education. The government will evolve some mechanism to help marginalised schools comply with the provisions of the Act.