Right to Education

The RTE Act, 2009 provides for:

  1. The right of children to free and compulsory education till completion of elementary education in a neighborhood school.
  2. It clarifies that ‘compulsory education’ means obligation of the appropriate government to provide free elementary education and ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education to every child in the six to fourteen age group. ‘Free’means that no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her f ro m p u rs u i n g a n d co m p l e t i n g elementary education.
  3. It makes provisions for a non-admitted child to be admitted to an age appropriate class.
  4. It specifies the duties and responsibilities of appropriate Governments, local authority and parents in providing free and compulsory education, and sharing of financial and other responsibilities between the Central and State Governments.
  5. It lays down the norms and standards relating inter alia to Pupil Teacher Ratios (PTRs), buildings and infrastructure, school-working days, teacher-working hours.
  6. It provides for rational deployment of teachers by ensuring that the specified pupil teacher ratio is maintained for each school, rather than just as an average for the State or District or Block, thus ensuring that there is no urban rural imbalance in teacher postings. It also provides for prohibition of deployment of teachers for no educational work, other than decennial census, elections to local authority, state legislatures and parliament, and disaster relief.
  7. It provides for appointment of appropriately trained teachers, i.e. teachers with the requisite entry and academic qualifications.
  8. It prohibits (a) physical punishment and mental harassment; (b) screening procedures for admission of children; (c) capitation fee; (d) private tuition by teachers and (e) running of schools without recognition,
  9. It provides for development of curriculum in consonance with the values enshrined in the Constitution, and which would ensure the all-round development of the child, building on the child’s knowledge, potentiality and talent and making the child free of fear, trauma and anxiety through a system of child friendly and child centred learning.

RTE Roadmap

  • 1.5.1 The RTE provides a legally enforceable rights framework with certain unambiguous time targets that Governments must adhere to. For example, the Act mandates that every child in the six to fourteen age group shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighborhood school.
  • The Act also provides that if a school does not exist in an area or limit prescribed as the neighborhood, the Appropriate Government and the local authority shall establish a school in this area within a period of three years. Therefore, all children-girls and boys-children from disadvantaged groups and economically Weaker sections, children with special needs, children involved in child labour and so on, must be in a school within three years time starting from 1 April 2010.
  • This provision in the RTE Act is applicable to the SSA goals on access and universalisation of elementary education. The following timeframes, mandated by the RTE Act, become immediately applicable to SSA


Time Frame

Establishment of neighborhood schools

3 years (by 31st March, 2013)

Provision of school infrastructure
All weather school buildings
Office cum – store – cum – Head teacher room
 Toilets and drinking water facilities
 Barrier free access
Fencing/boundary walls

3 years (by 31st March, 2013)

Provision of teachers as per prescribed PTR

3 years (by 31st March, 2013)

Training of untrained teachers 5 years

(by 31st March 2015)

l All quality interventions and other provisions

With immediate effect

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