Chotu is a child of a small village of majri in Rajasthan, he dreams to go school, he watches children going to school with there bags but he does not know that his this dream will never get fulfilled. He works on a roadside dhaba serving tea to tired people who come to his fathers stall, one night he asked his father “will I ever go to school, I want to learn to read and write”, I want to get educated his father slapped him hard and said what will you do in school it is meant for rich children not we poor people we are born to provide services to others and starve everyday. We are puppets in hands of those rich people who make us perform there tasks and exploit us. The child gets upset and starts crying, but all this conversation was heard by a person who had come to there dhaba to have tea he calls him and his father and tells them about RIGHT TO EDUCATION which means all children between the ages of 6 and 14 shall have the right to free and compulsory elementary education at a neighborhood school. Chotu felt happy and started asking him interesting questions –
What is right to education and why is it important?
Rights to Education the importance of learning is to enable the individual to put his potentials to optimal use. Education makes man a right thinker and a correct decision-maker. It achieves this by bringing him knowledge from the external world, teaching him to reason and acquainting him with past history, so that he can be a better judge of the present. With education, he finds himself in a room with all its windows open to the outside world. A well educated man is a more dependable worker, a better citizen, a centre of wholesome influence, pride to his community and honor to his country. A nation is great only in proportion of its advancement in education.
Why is the act significant and what does it mean for India and we Indians?
The passing of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 marks a historic moment for the children of India.
This Act serves as a building block to ensure that every child has his or her right (as an entitlement) to get a quality elementary education, and that the State, with the help of families and communities, fulfils this obligation.
Few countries in the world have such a national provision to ensure both free and child-centered, child-friendly education.
What is ‘Free and Compulsory Elementary Education’?
All children between the ages of 6 and 14 shall have the right to free and compulsory elementary education at a neighborhood school.
There is no direct (school fees) or indirect cost (uniforms, textbooks, mid-day meals, transportation) to be borne by the child or the parents to obtain elementary education. The government will provide schooling free-of-cost until a child’s elementary education is completed.
What is the role envisaged for the community and parents to ensure RTE?
The landmark passing of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 marks a historic moment for the children of India. For the first time in India’s history, children will be guaranteed their right to quality elementary education by the state with the help of families and communities.
Few countries in the world have such a national provision to ensure child-centered, child-friendly education to help all children develop to their fullest potential. There were an estimated eight million six to 14 year-olds in India out-of-school in 2009. The world cannot reach its goal to have every child complete primary school by 2015 without India.
Schools shall constitute School Management Committees (SMCs) comprising local authority officials, parents, guardians and teachers. The SMCs shall form School Development Plans and monitor the utilization of government grants and the whole school environment.
Further the person also told Chotu children are served lunch in schools so that your stomach get filled and you learn a lot this comes under mid day meal scheme. Chotu felt happy and rejoiced that now he will learn something and will be educated , but there are many chotu’s in this country whose dream of getting educated never get fulfilled due to several reasons such as-
- Illiteracy – as people in villages are not literate;
- Lack of awareness;
- Mind set of people there;
- Lack of resources such as electricity, poverty ;
- Myths and taboos etc;
“One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.”
— Barack Obama
We can make a change , and be the agents of change but for this we need take small steps to make a huge difference nothing in this world is impossible as the word itself means I’m possible lets all make a difference and change and help children to fulfill there this shattered dream as dreams of only those people get fulfilled who can see dreams , I hope that we all can make a difference.
Student, St Paul’s School
[Submitted as an entry for the MightyLaws.in Blog Post Writing Competition, 2011]