Education To Unheard
Most of the people in India, especially the poor, are unaware of the free Legal Aid Policy which is established under Article 21and 39-A of the Constitution of India.
Stefy Maria Sebastian, St. Joseph’s College of law, Bangalore
Every person must have the opportunity to receive a quality education.The word “educate” is derived from a Latin word ‘educere’, which means “to lead out”, “to bring out”. To educate means to bring out from the student, that spirit of learning and wonder, the desire to know and that thirst for knowledge. According to Aristotle “Education is the process of training man to fulfill his aims by exercising all the faculties to the fullest extent as a member of society”. Education enhances an individual’s personality and provides him confidence to reach out to the world.
In 2001, the total literacy rate in India was 64.84% out of which 75.26% were males and 53.67% were females. The highest literacy rate was in the state of Kerala in which 90.86% persons were literate and the lowest literacy rate was in Bihar in which only 47% of the persons were literate. For the year 2011 the literacy rates were 74.04% in which 82.14% were males and 65.465% were females.
According to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “Everyone has the Right to Education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and Fundamental stages. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
RIGHT TO EDUCATION IN INDIA
Article 21A of the Constitution of India contemplates that “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age four to sixteen years in such manner as the state, by law, determine”.
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Article 45 of the Constitution of India commemorates that “The State shall endeavor to provide, within a period of 10 years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.”
Article 51A(k) of the Constitution of India deals with “to provide opportunities for education by the parent, the guardian, to his child, or a ward between the age of 6-14 years as the case may be”.
Section 3(1) of The Right of Children for Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 states that “Every child of the age of six to fourteen years shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighborhood school till completion of elementary education”.
In Mohini Jain v. State Of Karnataka the Supreme Court held that the right to education is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The right to life includes the right to education because the right to life cannot be fully appreciated without the enjoyment of the right to education.
In Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Vedic Vishwa Vidyalaya v. State of MP, the Court held that our nation is under obligation to implement article 26 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which India is also a consenting party. The right to education will be meaningful only if all the levels of education reaches all sections of the people.
In Environment and Consumer Protection Foundation v. Delhi Admin, the Court took note of the fact that the absence of toilet facilities in schools is one of the main reasons for parents not sending their children (particularly girls) to school is a violation of right to primary education under Article 21A. Direction was given to all States and Union Territories to provide toilet facilities in schools.
OBSTACLES FACED IN ACHIEVING A GOOD QUALITY EDUCATION
- Many schools do not follow the stringent rule of no screening procedure.
- Even though there is a provision of 25% reservation of seats in the private schools for poor students, much effect has not been given to this provision.
- Many students lack motivation and encouragement to study and are unable to pay their transportation and education fees which serves as a hurdle in the way of children’s education.
- Increase in school drop out rates especially children of age groups between 6-14yrs.
- Electricity and toilets are in a very poor state within the premises of Indian government schools.
- Family issues like divorce, single parents, poverty, violence and many other problems play a negative impact in the child’s education.
- Lack of funds have created huge problems for most government schools in recent years.
STEPS TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT TO IMPROVE THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN INDIA
- Special scholarship programmes are provided by the government to socially and economically weaker sections of the society.
- The government also provides school uniforms, textbooks and stationery to students and adults in order to encourage them to take education seriously.
- In the proposed budget 2020 the Government is to provide Rs 99,300 crore for the educational sector in FY21.
- In order to improve the standard of education for children in India many NGOs have been set up. For example “Eklavya Education Foundation”, its mission is to work towards bringing about a revolution in the field of education through a multi -pronged approach.
- The Mid-day Meal Scheme has been designed by the Government of India to improve the nutritional standing of school-age children nationwide.This programme supplies free lunches on working days for children in primary and upper primary classes in government and government aided schools
Samagra Shiksha has been designed to ensure equitable quality education from preschool to senior secondary stage in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal for Education.
COMPULSORY EDUCATION TO ALL THE CITIZENS OF INDIA
There are few important issues and laws that have to be addressed compulsory to all the citizens of India. Some of them are:-
- Legal Awareness
Most of the people in India, especially the poor, are unaware of the free Legal Aid Policy which is established under Article 21and 39-A of the Constitution of India. Legal awareness means empowering individuals regarding issues involving law and also to demand justice and effective remedies at all levels. In India 30.9% of the people are illiterate, thus it is necessary that every person must be aware of the basic laws of the country. Thus the key to a successful free legal aid system is increased awareness among the populace and more efficient delivery processes.
- Health Education
All citizens must be educated on the various diseases presently the ongoing Coronavirus, its causes, symptoms and treatment for the protection of humanity. Children and adults should be informed about the ways to remain hygiene, fit and make them aware about healthy eating habits. This can be done by telecasting in televisions, radios, social media etc.The Government of India has launched a “School Health Program” under Ayushman Bharat to strengthen health promotion and disease prevention intervention.
- Sex Education
Sex Education has to be ensured to all including school children and adolescents.It is an instruction to various physiological, psychological and social aspects of sexual response and reproduction.It can be done by establishing seminars, public health campaigns in rural areas etc.It is necessary that children must know the various child sexual abuse laws in India like the POSCO Act, 2012. According to this Act, every crime of child sexual abuse should be reported. Children must also be taught how to deal which issues of sexual abuse in order to protect them from further harm. Every working women in India must be educated about the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, a legislative act that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their work place.
- Education on Human Rights
Every citizen must be educated on the basic human rights available to them by birth regardless of where they live, their gender or race, or their religious, cultural or ethnic background. It is universal and inalienable, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated.
EDUCATION AS A GOAL OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
By 2030, the main targets to be achieved are:-
- Free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.
- Learning opportunities should be increased and diversified, using a wide range of education and training modalities.
- Equal access to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university and to provide lifelong learning opportunities for youths and adults.
- Eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations.
Education is the most powerful tool to compete over the world’s day-to-day development. Without education being provided to the citizens of this country, the objectives set forth in the preamble of the Constitution cannot be achieved.A true democracy is one where education is universal where people understand what is good for them and nation and know how to govern themselves. Education helps us to bring our dreams into reality. It leads the people to the right path and gives a chance to have a wonderful life. Thus to conclude education is the special manifestation of man, a man without education is equal to an animal.