ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Half Measure on the Right to Education

Six decades after 1947 we have a law guaranteeing school education, but it is inadequate on many counts.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill (2008), which will provide the framework for realising the 86th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing universal elementary education, has been approved by both houses of Parliament.

The 2008 Bill generated a lot of debate among educators and activists across the country, some upset that it did not go all the way to realise a common school system and another equally vociferous group questioned the very purpose of the bill. There was a wide and large spectrum in between that passionately supported or opposed specific provisions of the bill. The tragedy is that no one is now happy with the enactment. There is a consensus that it is a diluted and toothless version of the draft prepared in 2005. Like many other legislations and amendments, this one as well has been a saga of missed opportunities.

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