Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009

Right to Education Act (RTE) 2009

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE), enacted on 4 August 2009 is an ACT of Indian Parliament to provide free and compulsory education for children between the age of 6 to 14 years in India.

The act was enacted based on the modalities of described in Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. On 1 April 2010, India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the RTE act came into force.

According to RTE Act, no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education. This rule does not apply to those children, who has been admitted by his or her parents to a school which is not supported by the Government.

The ACT casts a legal obligation on the Central and State Governments to provide and ensure admission, attendance and completion of elementary education by all children in the 6-14 age group.

Apart from ensuring free education from class 1 to class 8, the act also provides rules on pupil-teacher ratio, teacher vacancies, penalties for conducting screening tests and punishing children.

This Act only applies to children between the ages of 6 to 14. However, children who are more than 14 years old but have not been able to attend school till class 8, can get free education till class 8 under this Act.

Under the act it is illegal to beat up or harass a child, forcing the child to give tests for getting admission and asking the child to leave the school or to force to repeat a class.

Under the act every private school has to keep 25 per cent of it's seats in class 1 for children from 'disadvantaged groups' and 'weaker sections' and give free education to these children till class 8.

Amendment to abolish the 'no detention policy' in schools

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (second amendment) Bill, 2017, was passed in lok sabha to abolish 'no detention policy' in schools, however it would be at the discretion of the States whether to continue with no detention or not.

Under the current RTE Act provisions, all students are promoted to the next grade with no student can be detained till class 8.

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