“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
RTE an overview
he World Declaration and the Framework for Action recognize the necessity to give to present and coming generations an expanded vision of, and a renewed commitment to, basic education. The Declaration reaffirms that education is a fundamental right for all people, women and men, of all ages. Primary education must be universal, ensure that the basic learning needs of all children are satisfied, and take into account the culture, needs and opportunities of the community. India is signatory to three key international instruments that guarantee the Right to Education – Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Covenant), 1966 and the (UDHR) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989. In 2002, India joined, albeit after fifty-two years of Independence, the host of countries that provide a constitutional guarantee for free and compulsory education (FCE). Article 21–A of the Indian Constitution casts a duty upon the State to provide FCE to children in the age group of six to fourteen years, ‘as the State may, by law, determine’. Ours is a country that proudly boasts of article 21-A for providing free and compulsory to children from the ages of 6-14, but the dismal way it is implemented is a shocking revelation. The Right to Education received considerable impetus during the last decade as a result of the concerted effort of many groups and agencies that made determined efforts to ensure that all children in India receive at least minimum education irrespective of their socioeconomic status and their ability to pay for education in a situation of continuous impoverishment and erosion of basic needs. But in reality the right to education act in our country is a ruse to create an illusion that the government is doing everything within its power to actually eradicate illiteracy in our country. The Right to Education Act came into effect on 1st April, 2010 exactly 3 years back from now as Government of India’s most ambitious project in education, with a vision to provide free and compulsory education to children, but how much it has yielded till now?
The enactment of a project alone is not enough, necessary measures have to be taken to ensure that steps are actually taken to ensure the proper implementation of the project zeroing in on the various factors that actually contribute to the success of the project. With the case in hand these factors include proper infrastructure and quality infrastructure. Recent studies show that children are not able to grasp study material that are being taught to children who are three grades younger than them. Students around the age of 14-15 (roughly in their 9th grade) are unable to form a single coherent sentence in English. The basis of comparison over here is not the level knowledge of any particular language as a whole but also the entire level of education provided in the whole primary level as a whole.