Does the Draft National Education Policy 2019 Signal the End of the Right to Education Act in India?
Free Public Lecture
Yasuko Hiraoka Myer (YHM) Room Level 1
Sidney Myer Asia Centre
T: (03) 9035 6691
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Question Marks Seminar Series: Education
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), passed in 2009, is an ambitious effort to ensure that every child in India between the age of six and 14 has access to a free, quality education. Although education access and quality have long been policy concerns, the significance of this Act was that it was rights-based, and made the government responsible for ensuring that the right was realised.
Over the last 10 years, however, efforts to implement the RTE have met various challenges. In particular, the obligations placed on the government to regulate private schools and the obligations placed on private schools to enrol students from disadvantaged groups have been particularly problematic.
This presentation explores how the rights-based ‘mode of ordering’ focusing on social integration and the rights of the child have struggled to establish themselves, and how the RTE has been diluted over the last decade. It examines the Draft National Education Policy for India (2019) (NEP 2019), which raises a number of concerns with the provisions of the Act as well as with its implementation, and proposes a review of the Act. It considers how the RTE Act is being framed in the Draft NEP 2019, and asks what the future holds for RTE’s rights-based agenda, and whether NEP 2019 signals the beginning of the end of the RTE Act.