Apr 012010

There is a time to talk about how this Fundamental Right can be implemented better. And, there is a time to celebrate the fact that it is a fundamental right !

For now, i will feel good about the fact that a system cares enough to make this a Fundamental Right !

One of the things that you notice when you travel into India, is that communities that have traditionally been deprived formal education, bend over backwards to ensure that their children get educated. Often this is a daily struggle.

Can I Come In ?
a child outside a balwadi in Udgir, Maharashtra – waiting to get into school. The child is from a Dalit family and faced discrimination in the main school. Dalit women set up a SHG and from their profits set up a school where their children can learn without discrimination.

Pardhi School

This is the Pardhi school – the yellow plastic bag in the foreground contains all the educational material. Pardhis are a tribe in India who traditionally hunted for a living. However, in a more modern setup with the kings owning land – Pardhi’s were declared as criminals – hunting from the kings’ land. Ostracized they began to survive through minor crimes – poaching, making away with livestock and so on. Very often caste, class and social systems ensured that the Pardhi’s could not assimilate with main stream society, and their dependance on crime increased. The British Raj declared the Pardhi’s to be criminal tribes.

Post independence the term cirminal was dropped and attempts were made to bring the tribe in line with mainstream society. However, it hasn’t been easy. Even today the police will look for a Pardhi at the first hint of a crime. Villages don’t want Pardhi’s settling down near them – because of their past. Many settle illegaly on Forest Land and their settlements are torn down at regular intervals. All this leaves the children in dire straits. A nomadic lifes tyle is not condusive to education, and social ostracization means that they are wary of going to the local schools. NGO’s have set up a number of projects that help educate Pardhi children, Using volunteers it ensures that basic education skills are imparted to these children.

Hopefully, the fundamental right to education means that getting access to education is no longer a struggle. Now, all that remains is to put the teachers and infrastructure in place ! Given that this is now a Fundamental Right citizens can be more empowered to demand the supply of education in their neighbourhood…. What i would like to see now is a military like campaign that drafts teachers to give the new law a leg up. Maybe the State can start with those who have retired over the last 10 years and see if they can teach again !

It is not often that one has the opportunity to laud the Government – here is one. Well done !

  9 Responses to “The Fundamental Right to Education”

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  3. […] Right To Education | Hopefully, the fundamental right to education means that getting access to education is no longer a struggle. Now, all that remains is to put the teachers and infrastructure in place ! Given that this is now a Fundamental Right citizens …Tags: Right To Education , Right To Education Constitution, Right To Education United States, Right To Education Project, Read MoreThe Fundamental Right to Education » POV. […]

  4. Just making law is not enough

  5. I would agree with Tarun. India’s governing follies are replete with good intentions followed by a lack of implementation. How exactly are we going to put the infrastructure and teachers in place and how are we going to fund it? I’m sure no one disagrees with the fundamental right to education but I don’t think lack of stating the obvious was keeping children out of schools.

  6. Interestingly, an NGO claims that India would need 12 lakh teachers to make a reasonable student to teacher ratio. Currently, it stands at 75:1 I believe and it needs to reduce drastically. The government aims to have an elementary school at every kilometer and a secondary school at every four kilometers, easier said than done.

  7. I think a law is a good start, if not enough. What needs to change are the mindsets of some assholes sitting in the education department of respective states. My mother is a teacher, and she tells me when it comes to pay revision for all government employees, the state says “Teaching is a non-profitable profession, we can’t increase their salary.” How can the government say that teaching is non-profitable? Why do we try to get the fastest results always? Is there no patience? Since when did the government start expecting that returns from education will be seen in a couple of months or years? It takes atleast a generation for the returns to be visible and obvious!

  8. I am a little confused by the wording of the bill “to provide for free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years.”

    How can something be “free and compulsory“. Does that mean that I am required to send my kid to a government approved school until the age of 14? Also does it mean that private schools can no longer charge fees?


    What does the word “education” mean to the state of India?

  9. Should you pay attention to your fears, you’ll die never being aware what a fantastic person you could have been.
    It’s known as a pen. It’s just like a printer, hooked straight away to my brain.

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