Right Policy on Education in India
Currently, India is celebrating at least six decades of independence that have been marked with advancements in various realms including the education sector. However as indicated by research experts, the condition of the quality of primary education is yet to reach the satisfactory level, especially in the state schools. In the Indian educational system, state schools comprise of the primary school classes. With the aim of upgrading the quality of education, the Indian government in 1964 selected a commission that would serve the advisory role to the government. The aim of forming the committee was to advise the government on the national educational patterns. The committee would also serve an advisory capacity with regard to the policies and the plans that would foster the holistic development and improvement of education across all levels.
The Indian government, in 1968, created special provisions that would ensure that there was free as well as compulsory education for all the children that were below 14. However, this policy was withheld till April 2009 when the Right to Education (RTE) act was enacted in the country. Following the Act, elementary education was made compulsory for the children that fell between the ages of 6 and 14. The Indian government, during this era invested in the relevant efforts that would guarantee an improvement on the quality of education. The Act would also increase the accessibility of education across the nation through the introduction of special programs among them the NPE 1968 and the NPE 1980.
Essentially, the right to free education as stipulated in the RTE Act represented the legislation that had been foreseen in Article 21 A. The Act meant that all the children in India would be entitled to the right to have full time education. The quality of education would be satisfactory and equitable in terms of quality, to match the basic educational norms and standards. The specific provisions of the RTE act are as discussed below.
The first provision of the Act is that all children need compulsory education until they finished elementary education in any school that is within their neighborhood. The Act also makes the clarification that compulsory education will translate to the obligations of the local government. This move would ensure that teachers provided the education and additionally ensure that there is compulsory admission, attendance, and the ultimate finishing of elementary education. In this context, the word free means that no child should be expected to pay any type of charge or expenses that might hinder them from pursuing the elementary education.
The RTE act also provides that the children that fall between the stipulated age group and have not yet been admitted to school be admitted to the appropriate class according to their age. The Act is also specific about the roles and the overall responsibilities of the relevant local authorities and parents as far as the provision of the elementary educations is concerned. According to the Act, there should be equitable sharing of the financial roles a between the central government and the state government.
Aside from the provision above, the RTE also defines the norms as well as the standards that are required in terms of the ratio between the pupils and the teachers. This would ensure that there are no cases of overburdening the teachers that are assigned too many pupils, a actor that would otherwise comprise of the quality of education. The definition of the ratio also ensures that each child gets the necessary attention from the teacher which improves the equality and the manner in which the content is understood. Along similar lines, the RTE Act makes the provision that there should be a rational deployment of the teachers such that there is an effective as well as the rational ratio between the pupils and the teachers for all schools. This method works effectively compared to the traditional methods that deployed the same number of teachers across all Districts that resulted in imbalances between the urban and rural postings of the teachers,. The provision also ensures that there is no chance of deployment of the teachers for work that is not educational such as disaster relief.
To ensure that the quality of education is maintained, the RTE provides that there should be a detailed and thorough appointment of teachers that are well trained. This means that the selection of the teachers should be based on specific criterion like the ones that have the requisite entry and the proper academic qualifications.
The Act is also specific about the prohibition of physical punishment also referred to as corporal punishment and any form of mental harassment for the pupils. This is in line with the international rights of children that prohibit any form of physical punishment and harassment of children. The provision will ensure that the children learn in a safe and friendly environment which in turn will improve the quality of education. Along similar lines, the RTE Act makes the stipulation that there should be proper screening procedures that are conducted during the admission process this will ensure that the children are in the right physical and mental states for learning therefore improving the learning outcomes. Having the proper learning environment can positively influence the learning outcomes and the general performance of the pupils.
Finally, the RTE Act specifies that there should be constant curriculum development that is in line with the values that have been enshrined in the Indian constitution. The developments should also ensure that the children get all round growth and add on the knowledge of the pupils as well as their potential and talent. The curriculum should also free the pupils from negative feelings among them fear, trauma as well as anxiety by creating a systems that is child-centered and friendly.
Since the introduction of the free elementary education that is also compulsory for the children below 14, the Indian government has witnessed major shifts in the admission of children into elementary schools. Among the reasons for the lack of admission in the past was the fact that most households were not able to afford the fees and charges associated with learning. The other reason was that some of the parents did not find it necessary to admit their children into school. By making learning free as well as compulsory, the RTE Act tackled the two factors and also improved the accessibility of education.
Since the implementation of the RTE Act, education in India has continued to develop and become more diversified as other evolutionary steps are made across other realms such as industry and economic growth. The RTE Act has fostered the educational development in India by increasing the quality of education and the accessibility by both urban and Rural children; leading to stronger socio-cultural diversity that has played a leading role in making the economic outcomes more positive. In the Indian tradition, a human being is considered an asset that needs proper nurturing to become a fulfilled individual. Education is one of the effective ways of nurturing the individual and has been accepted as a factor for all round growth. The RTE act plays an acculturating role that will refine the perceptions that the children have, and ultimately build national cohesion and economic growth.