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Education - Now a Fundamental Right

Man is the wisest of all animals by virtue of only one thing-his extraordinary power of thinking and emoting. Stripped of this power, he will be no better species than multitudinous than other ones. Except knowledge, all other animals have the same basic necessities as man has-food, shelter and covering. The third, of course, is naturally provided to them in the form of long hairs and furs to enable them to face adverse conditions. In other words, we can say that man’s basic necessities are four in number and those are food, shelter, clothing and education. Education-both formal and informal-accounts for all his endeavours. That is why; the sensible and knowledgeable have been laying a lot of stress on its access to all human beings, though in varying degrees, throughout the various phases of recorded history. As the modern world is completely propelled by knowledge acquired by all means, education to all has become the focus of attention all over the world. Those countries, which cannot provide it equitably to all their citizens, are considered backward, however affluent and resourceful they may be materially. Illiteracy is defined as the root cause of most number of social evils. No human effort can address many of the problems, if education plays no role. It is keeping this in mind that the 86th amendment in the Indian Constitution was made in 2002. our country has really come of age by enforcing the Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education(RTE) Act, 2009 from April 1, 2010. The enforcement of this right has a very symbolic and historic value, because it is a step ahead in the century-long struggle for universalizing the elementary education.
Now that the act has been enforced, we should be aware of the facts that go in favour of, as well as against it. . The percentage of out of schools Muslim students being 23.4, however, presents a sad picture. And some people have also expressed the apprehension that the scheme will fail as the states were not consulted in setting up of the schools in every neighbourhood. Nor were they consulted on the fiscal commitment. According to them, the uncertainty deepens with the states reluctant to bear more than ten percent of the expenditure. They are also apprehensive because of the fact as the Act mandates 75 percent members of School Management Committees should be parents. The most famous education NGO”pratham” however, thinks positively. According to it, the Act will definitely prove a success. It is law that can change country’s future, provided it is implemented in letter and spirit by one and all. We should also look forward to it in the same way. Given that a majority of poor parents are not aware that education is now the fundamental right of their children, the Government, on its part, needs to launch a massive awareness programme. The parents of children must be made aware of the Act and take advantage of it. Everybody knows that implementation holds the key to its success.

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