Right to Education In India
The right to education is a universal right of education. This is recognized in the International contract on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as a human right that includes free right to elementary education for all, an obligation to develop secondary education accessible to all, in particular by the progressive introduction of free secondary education, as well as an obligation to develop equitable access to higher education, ideally by the progressive introduction of free higher education. Today, almost 70 lakh children across the world are prevented from going to school each day.
The right to education also includes a responsibility for the society to provide basic education for children who have not completed primary education. In addition to these access to education provisions, the right to education encompasses the obligation to rule out discrimination at all levels of the educational system, to set minimum standards and to improve the quality of education.
Assessment of fulfillment
The basic protocol to encompass the right to education is by using the 4 A’s framework, which emphasis on the educationwhich is to be a meaningful right, accessible, acceptable and adaptable. The 4 A’s framework was developed by the former UN Special Reporter on the Right to Education, Katarina Tomasevski.
The 4 A’s framework proposes that a governments has to bear as the prime server, have to respect, protect and fulfill the right to education by making education available, accessible, acceptable and adaptable. The protocol also places duties on other stakeholders in the education process: the child, which as the privileged subject of the right to education has the duty to comply with compulsory education requirements, the parents as the ‘first educators’, and professional educators, namely teachers.
The 4 A’s have been further elaborated as follows:
Availability – funded by governments, education is universal, free and compulsory. There should be proper infrastructure and facilities in place with adequate books and materials for students. Buildings should meet both safety and sanitation standards, such as having clean drinking water. Active recruitment, proper training and appropriate retention methods should ensure that enough qualified staff is available at each school.
Accessibility – all children should have equal access to school services, regardless of gender, race, religion, ethnicity or socio-economic status. Efforts should be made to ensure the inclusion of marginalized groups including children of refugees, the homeless or those with disabilities in short there should be universal access to education i.e. access to all. There should be no forms of segregation or denial of access to any students. This includes ensuring that proper laws are in place against any child labor or exploitation to prevent children from obtaining primary or secondary education. Schools must be within a reasonable distance for children within the community, otherwise transportation should be provided to students, particularly those that might live in rural areas, to ensure ways to school are safe and convenient. Education should be affordable to all, with textbooks, supplies and uniforms provided to students at no additional costs.
Mohini Jain v. State of Karnataka
Charging capitation fee limits the access to the education only to the richer section of the people. Poorer person with better merit cannot get admission due to inability to pay money and as a consequence in educational institution a citizen’s ‘right to education’ gets denied. Further, allowing charging capitation fee violates Article 14 of the constitution of India. The only method of admission to the medical colleges should be by merit and merit alone. The court further stated that the capitation fee was simply a price for selling education. The concept of “teaching shops” was not at par with the constitutional scheme and was entirely opposing character to the Indian culture and heritage.
Court made one significant remark in stating that if government recognizes or approve a professional institution to run a professional course, it is State responsibility to ensure that the Institute should charge the government grates only and right to education is preserved.
We have the right to education as a constitutional right given under Article 21. But, many children in our country cannot enjoy this right as their fundamental right. It is just because that our society is not so vigilant. If any of our right is infringed we always raise our voices, but why can’t we raise our voices when the right of an individual is being infringed. The right to education is a fundamental right of every child, & it is our fundamental duty or moreover it is our responsibility to protect this right. Lastly I would say that knowledge is everything, a person who possesses knowledge in any field can dominate any kind of person, but a person who does not have knowledge about his own rights can be dominated by many people.