the right to education has become a fundamental right in india from april 1, 2010. it is a positive development of far reaching implications for the country. our leadership was aware of the importance of education. but considering the feasibility and complexities of the issue, educational needs of the country were addressed in the directive principles of the state policy of the constitution of india.
it took almost 62 years to come to this stage to give due importance and weight to the right to education. it is a matter of satisfaction that we are on track. even in the UK, a relevant case for india, free compulsory education was introduced in 1870. traditionally, in europe, education of children was the responsibility of parents and the church. neither the american declaration of independence (1776) nor the french declaration of rights of man (1789) protected the right to education as a basic right. but in the wake of these important declarations, education was established as a public function and involvement of the state in education was considered necessary. with this, today education is considered an important function of the state and it is seen as its chief provider through allocation of substantial budgetary resources as enshrined in the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights of 1966. the realisation of the right to education may be achieved through compulsory or more specifically free compulsory primary education as stipulated in the universal declaration of human right 1948.
keeping in line with these requirements, right to education has been made a fundamental right in india. it is yet another mile stone in development and progress of india. the primary education of children of 6-14 years of age will be taken care of by the state. it is estimated that 93 % investment in this regard will be made by the government. a substantial amount of rs.25000 crores over the next five years have been ear marked for the purpose. it is a good beginning. but at the same time, it is a huge task to address the issue of 100 million children who are never enrolled or drop out and do not complete 8 years of compulsory education. there is scepticism. there are reservations. but if there is a will, nothing is difficult for india. india will be more empowered in the years to come with these progressive inputs.
one of the important provisions of the right to education is that unaided and special schools will have to admit 25 % children at class 1 level from the deprived sections of the society from their neighbourhood for their education till class 8. it is further stipulated that no school can charge capitation fee nor it can use any special admission procedure like interviews of children and their parents. these provisions would tend to integrate the society at the grass root level. the private sector and all stake holders are to join hands with the government in realising the educational goals as was visulalised in the world declaration on education for all, adopted at the 1990 world conference on education for all states that " partnerships between government and non government organisations, the private sector, local communities, religious groups and families" are necessary.
the importance of education was underlined by prime minister manmohan singh in his address to the nation on the subject on april 1, 2010. he said " i was born to the family of modest means. in my childhood, i had to walk a long distance to go to school. i read under the dim light of kerosene lamp. i am what i am today because of education"
majority of the 100 million children who are unable to make to school belong to the under privileged and economically and socially marginalised segments of the society, the right to education will go a long way in addressing the educational needs and empowering them to get a dignified space in the society. dr. b.r. ambedkar, father of the indian constitution and champion of the rights of the suppressed and oppressed in india, attached great importance to education in his struggle and plan of action as stressed in his famous message to the community "Educate, Organise and Agitate." dr. ambedkar realised that the education was the first step to move forward.