The Eighty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution of India provides Right to Education for the children from the age of six to fourteen years and early childhood care until the age of six. It has inserted Article 21A (Right to Education as a Fundamental Right ) & replaces Article 45 (Early Childhood Education) of Directive principles of State policy and amended Article 51A (Fundamental Duties) to add new duty of parents for providing education to his child between the age of six and fourteen years.
THE 86 AMMENDMENT SAYS THE FOLLOWING-
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-third Year of the Republic of India as follows:
1. Short title and commencement:
(1) This Act may be called the Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002.
(2) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
2. Insertion of new article 21A: After article 21 of the Constitution, the following article shall be inserted, namely:-Right to education-
“21A. The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.”
3. Substitution of new article for article 45:- For article 45 of the Constitution, the following article shall be substituted, namely:-Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years.
4. Amendment of article 51A: In article 51A of the Constitution, after clause (J), the following clause shall be added, namely:-“(k) who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.”
“45. The State shall endeavor to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years”.
The full text of Article 45 of the Constitution, after the 86th Amendment, is given below:
45. Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years: The State shall endeavor to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
Need for the 86th Constitutional Amendment in India
The 86th Amendment was established so that children under the age of 14 have access to free and compulsory formal education. Article 21A outlines the commitment of the state to provide children with free and compulsory education. This article, on the other hand, also requires the state to offer a child aged 6 to 14 years suitable schooling and education, which will be delivered by the state utilizing whatever methods are available.
This article also stipulates that such children must have access to schools within a reasonable distance of their homes and that it is the responsibility of their parents to ensure that their children attend school. According to the Act, every child aged 6 to 14 has the right to an environment that provides early childhood care as well as the opportunity for quality education.
The 86th Amendment has the effect of strengthening and developing the Indian educational system. This has allowed all children to finish their primary school education with their parents and guardians. This legislation is essential not only for young children but also for obtaining an education regarding children’s rights, such as the right to proper schooling in a nearby location and access to quality education. The Act was passed to achieve these goals by ensuring that every child obtains quality education and has access to basic amenities such as classrooms, skilled teachers, and a safe environment for children. Instead of dropping out of school, children who do not complete elementary education by this age will be able to catch up later.
Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009
The ‘Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009,’ also known as the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, was passed to put the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002 into effect. The act is arranged into seven chapters and 38 sections. The title of the RTE Act includes the words ‘free’ and ‘compulsory’. Free education means that no child, excluding those enrolled by their parents in a school not funded by the applicable State Government, would be asked to pay any fee, charge, or expenditure that may prevent them from pursuing and finishing primary education. The phrase ‘compulsory education’ implies that the responsible government and local authorities must provide and ensure that all children aged 6 to 14 have access to and complete primary education.
Features of the Act
The main features of the Act are as follows:
- The Act mandates that the state must provide free and compulsory primary education in the neighborhood for all children aged 6 to 14 years old, beginning immediately.
- No child is compelled to pay any fee, charge, or expenditure that might prevent the child from completing elementary school.
- Children who have dropped out of school or have never attended one will be enrolled, and no school will be permitted to deny them admission.
- It specifies that no school shall refuse a child’s entrance for whatever reason.
- Private and independent educational institutes will have to reserve 25% of seats for students from economically disadvantaged and disadvantaged parts of society (SCs and STs, Socially Backward Classes, and Differently Abled People) in order to be accepted to class first (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan).
- The Act provides for the development of a curriculum that adheres to the ideals stated in the Constitution, as well as the overall development of the child.
- With the exception of government schools, all schools must be recognized within three years by meeting the specified criteria and conditions, or risk a fine of up to Rs. one lakh. It also prohibits the use of unregistered schools and stipulates that no contribution or capitation fees be charged, as well as that no child or parent be interviewed at the time of enrolment.
- The implementation of the Act will be overseen by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and State Commissions.
- The Act mandates the improvement of educational quality by establishing specific norms and standards for teacher-student ratios, infrastructure, teacher qualifications and training, curriculum, assessment, and access, as well as the precise distribution of roles and responsibilities among various stakeholders. Current private schools must complete all of these standards within the time limit allowed to avoid unfavorable consequences.
- The child’s mother tongue will be used as the medium of instruction, and the child’s performance will be evaluated in a comprehensive and continuous manner.
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