The legal standards for the right to education encompass two broad elements: equality in access, non-discrimination, and freedom of educational institutions and content. These elements represent the cardinal essence of the right to education. According to the CESCR, the state has four responsibilities in ensuring the right to education. These obligations include ensuring that all children attend a school of their choice, and providing the necessary resources for those children. Moreover, the law recognizes the right to free religious education.
Rights of children to free and compulsory elementary education
The Right to Free and Compulsory Elementary Education Act came into effect on 1 April 2010 and guarantees the right to a free elementary education for all children between the ages of six and fourteen. It provides for the free admission of children and their attendance in schools, and also sets certain minimum educational standards. This law protects children from poverty and exploitation, and ensures that children from economically weaker sections of society receive quality elementary education.
Article 10 of CEDAW
The right to an education is a fundamental human right, and the definition of that right is vast and multifaceted. Article 10 refers to ideas that exist in the mind of people, which are then enacted in their behavior to create social and cultural trends. These ideas are passed down through culture, parents, religious holy texts, media, and educational curricula. They also affect the way people think about themselves, their role in society, and gender. Belief formation happens very early in life.
Mandatory enrolment of children in schools
Under the Right to Education Act, all children must be enrolled in a school in their respective neighbourhoods. This is done through regular neighbourhood surveys. Schools receive a reimbursement from the central government of the amount they spend per child. This reimbursement also covers private school fees. However, enrolment has not reached its full potential yet. The fill rate has been fluctuating between 20 and 26 percent since 2013.
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Justiciability of non-compliance with provisions of the Right to Education Act 2009
The Justiciability of Non-Compliance with the Right to Education Act 2009 (RTE) is a key issue in implementing the RTE. The RTE guarantees a fundamental human right to education to every individual. This right has been recognised in international human rights law, as well as regional treaties. However, it needs to be implemented and enforced at national level. If a government fails to comply with the Act, a right-holder may take his case to an independent body and seek a remedy, which can be enforced.
Implementation of the Act
Implementing the Right to Education Act requires huge funds. Initially, state governments claimed that additional funds were needed. In Orissa, the government insisted on creating a special category to provide free education to its citizens. However, the right to education requires different funding levels for different demographics. The aim of this study is to provide input to teachers and policy planners to improve the awareness level of teachers and improve the access of underprivileged children to quality education.