Right to Free and Compulsory Education
The Act can be seen as culmination of the efforts that started during Pre Independence period. In the early nineties The Supreme Court had delivered two milestone judgements with regard to Right to Free and Compulsory Education, Mrs. Mohini Jain Vs. State of Karnataka and others in the year 1992 and in 1993 holding Free Education until a child completes the age of 14 years to be a right in the case of Unnikrishnan and others Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh and others. It is stated as “The citizens of the country haVfi a Fundamental Right to Education. The RTE flows from the Article 21, it is, however, not
an absolute right. Its content and parameters have to be determined in the light of Articles 45 and 41. It may be expressed as every child/ citizen of the country has a right to free education until he completes the age of fourteen years. Thereafter the right to education is subject to the limits of economic capacity and development of the state.”
The Supreme Court said in Mohini Jain Vs. State of Karnataka that, “The Right to Education flows from the right to life. The right to life and dignity cannot be assured unless it is accompanied by the right to education.”
The Act defines the schooling- related entitlements of a child and includes the norms in terms of making the child free from fear, trauma, sense of insecurity in all sense and anxiety and helping the child to express his or her views comprehensively. All these norms, standards and provisions are applicable to each and every school providing education from grade I to VIII whether run by government or private entities or jointly by government and private parties. Major chunk of our schools being located in the State sector they are not in a position to fulfil all these norms. It is really a huge thrust for accountability on the part of a state, which means Centre and State Governments both should strike to achieve the desired objective.