A vibrant education system is the cornerstone of a developed and progressive nation. Several Legislations have been passed to change the face of education towards betterment. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE), an Act of the Parliament of India enacted on 4 August 2009 is one visionary act, which describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010 barring Jammu and Kashmir as Jammu and Kashmir enjoys the special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. Central laws are not automatically applicable to J&K state under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and have to be passed via state legislature.
Right to Education act contains a number of positives that can really change the dynamics of education sector Of Jammu & Kashmir. Right to Education Act makes education makes it a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 and specifies minimum norms in elementary schools.
The Right to Education Act also aims to contain undue influence of private schools as It requires all private schools to reserve 25% of seats to children from poor families (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan). It also prohibits all unrecognized schools from practice, and makes provisions for no donation or capitation fees and in added brighter paradigms no interview of the child or parent for admission.
Pertinently, the non-implementation of Right to Education Act in Jammu and Kashmir has worried many sane voices who point out that when we are at forefront of getting draconian laws implemented why not brighter legislations like Right to Education Act. Despite assurances government has not implemented this visionary act.
“Considering the poor educational status of our state. Right to Education Act is a very bright act as It envisages that all private schools to reserve 25% of seats to children from poor families (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan). It also prohibits all unrecognized schools from practice, and makes provisions for no donation or capitation fees and no interview of the child or parent for admission. when we are at forefront of launching the black-laws why can’t we have the bright laws like right to education act ,” states Faizaan Bhat, a columnist on education issues.
Sheikh Sameer, Educationist states – “Right to Education act should be without any ifs and buts implemented in Jammu and Kashmir. As we are very well aware that this historical legislation has been implemented across India except J and K pending passage by Assembly. This act makes elementary education fundamental right from six to 14 and also tames the monopoly of private education system. Education is cornerstone of every civilization. It will be panacea for child labor also. Some capitalistic and hegemonic private schools associations might try to scuttle the implementation of this act as it envisages some reservation for deprived sections and thus we have to remain focused to get this act implemented soon .”
Certainly the opinion shapers, masses and intellectuals in unison are calling for immediately implementing Right to Education Act in Jammu and Kashmir.