Indian Education Series – Right to Education Act and Its Impact on K-12 Schools

Education in India is treated as a service for public good and not as a commercial enterprise. In view of this object, the State Education Acts require only a non-profit entity to run a school with certain restrictions and regulations concerning its operations. Even if the schools are private un-aided schools, they are, to a certain extent, governed by the State Education Acts of the respective States where the schools are set up.For purposes of providing free and compulsory education and equal opportunity to all children of the ages of six to fourteen years, Indian Parliament has enacted the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 and Rules thereto (“RTE Act and Rules”). In terms of the RTE Act and Rules, every school, other than a school established, owned or controlled by the Central Government, appropriate government or the local authority, shall be established after obtaining a certificate of recognition from the Director of Education (“DEO”), by making an application/self declaration confirming compliance with the prescribed norms and standards and fulfillment of the following conditions:(i) the school shall be run by a society, or a public charitable trust;(ii) the school shall not be run for profit to any individual, group or association of any individuals or any other persons;(iii) the school shall conform to the values enshrined in the Constitution of India;(iv) the school buildings or other structures or the grounds shall be used only for the purposes of education and skill development;(v) the school shall be open to inspection by any officer authorized by the appropriate Government or the local authority; and(vi) the school shall furnish such reports and such information as may be required from time to time and shall comply with such instructions of the appropriate Government or the local authority, as may be issued to secure the continued fulfillment of the condition of recognition or the removal of deficiencies in working of the school.Subject to compliance with the above norms and verification by onsite inspection of the school premises, a certificate of recognition is issued by the DEO which is valid for three years from the date of issue. Any school that does not conform to the norms, standards and conditions stated above within a period of three years of commencement of the RTE Act and Rules will cease to function. Any person that establishes or runs a school without obtaining certification of recognition or continues to run a school after withdrawal of recognition would be liable to fine which may extend to Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lac) and in case of continuing contravention, to a fine of Rs. 10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand) for each day during which such contravention continues.The RTE Act makes certain fundamental changes to the Indian education system and makes the recognition subject to fulfillment of the following conditions:(i) Education for All: Reservation: It is mandatory for every unaided school to admit in Class I or such pre-school class, as the case may be, to the extent of at least 25% of the strength of that class, children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighborhood and provide free and compulsory elementary education till its completion. The unaided school providing free and compulsory elementary education, as aforesaid, will be reimbursed expenditure so incurred by the school, to the extent of per-child-expenditure incurred by the State, or the actual amount charged from the child, whichever is less.(ii) Capitation Fee: While admitting a child, the trust/school is not permitted to collect any capitation fee and subject the child or his/her parents or guardian to any screening procedure. Any school or person receiving any capitation fee will be punishable with fine which may extend to ten times the capitation fee charged. Further, if any school or person subjects a child to screening procedure, it shall be punishable with fine which may extend to Rs. 25,000/- (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand) for the first contravention and Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand) each for subsequent contraventions.(iii) Detention of Students: The school is obligated not to deny admission to any child for lack of proof of age and no child admitted will be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education. The child would not be required to pass any board examination till the completion of elementary education in a school and be subjected to physical punishment or mental harassment.(iv) Pupil-Teacher Ratio: Every school would need to maintain the pupil-teacher ratio stipulated under the RTE Act and Rules. Additionally, the RTE Act and Rules also prescribe certain norms and standards pertaining to number of teachers; school building requirements; minimum number of working days/instructional hours in an academic year; minimum number of working hours per week for the teachers; teaching learning equipment library requirements; and play material, games and sports equipment, to be complied by the school for continued recognition of the school.Failure to comply with the prescribed norms and standards can result in withdrawal of recognition granted to such school.The primary focus of the Government of India for enacting RTE Act and Rules is to make good elementary education available to each and every child irrespective of his/her socio-economic background and private un-aided schools are being made to play an active role under the public-private participation in achieving this objective.Seema Jhingan

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Choosing Educational Toys

How do you ensure that the educational toy you buy will be right for your child? As with everything there are no guarantees with children. There are a couple of things to consider when selecting children’s educational toys that can improve the chances that your choice will be well received. First, evaluate the developmental stage that your child is at. Select educational toys that target skills and abilities for that stage. An educational toy that is too advanced may cause frustration, and one that is too simple will not be challenging enough to warrant attention. Below is a general guideline for what types of children’s educational toys are better suited for developmental stages from newborn through 3 years old. This is only meant to be a guide to start you thinking in the right direction. Use these guidelines and your knowledge of your child’s interests to you help make your educational toy purchases.Newborn to 3 Months: Babies cannot do much at this stage but their senses are eager for stimulation. Children’s educational toys with high-contrast patterns and bright colors will capture little ones’ attention. Babies can see color from birth but have difficulty distinguishing between similar tones. Educational toys designed with bright and distinctly different colors like red, green, black and white help babies differentiate shapes and patterns. Babies spend a good deal of time on their backs and sides at this age making colorful mobiles that play music a great educational toy choice. Babies are fascinated by their reflection in safety mirrors. They are not able to recognize themselves but the activity is great visual stimulation. Baby gyms are excellent educational toys because of the variety of stimulation they offer. Baby gyms have bright colors, a variety of attachments with different shapes, textures, and sounds. Most gyms now play music and have lights as well. These educational toy gyms require baby to pull, kick, or bat something to set off the stimulus helping to develop motor skills.Suggested toys for this age: Galt Paynest and Gym, Busy Bear Mirror, 2 in 1 Smart Gym, Farm Friends Mobile, Jumbo Gym, and Farm Linkies.3 to 6 Months: During this stage your baby will gain better head control and have better movement of arms and legs. They generally grip onto anything they can get their hands on and put it directly into their mouth. Educational toys like rattles promote motor development and provide sensory stimulation. Since everything ends up in the mouth, educational toys that are chewable or soft plush are favorites. Babies need to experience different textures so vary the materials educational toys are made of. Activity centers provide lots of stimulation at this age. These educational toys normally have lots of buttons that produce sounds, lights, and give a variety of textures to explore. Hand-eye coordination will improve as babies explore the activity center. Parents are often on the move more with babies at this age. Activity bars that fit across a stroller, car seat, or bouncy chair that have dangling, squeaky toys and mirrors keep baby stimulated while on the move. Motor skills develop as baby reaches, hits, pulls, and kicks at the accessories on these educational toys.Suggested toys for this age: Tummy Play Trainer, Curiosity Cube, Toe Time Infant Car Toy, Musical Arch ‘N Play, Jungle Pals Pushchair Arch.6 to 12 Months: Your baby has much better control over arm and leg movement. By 9 to 10 months, your baby should be able to move around by some means- either pulling, crawling, or scooting. By 12 months they should be able to stand by themselves and many will even start walking. Educational toys including wooden blocks that baby can stack and knock down, throw, or bang together to make noise are good choices. By 12 months, educational wooden blocks can be used for early construction play to promote development of motor skills, cause and effect, sensory and visual stimulation. Educational toys like the Sensory Ball from Edushape, provides great stimulation with different textures. Once babies learn to sit up, they will enjoy rolling a ball and trying to catch it as you roll it back. Letting your baby chase the ball will encourage movement. Trying to figure out why a square block won’t go through a round opening will help develop problem solving skills- though it may cause some frustration in the beginning. By the time your baby is 12 months, they will start to enjoy stacking activities, though they will need help in trying to get the right order. More interest in books will be noticeable now. Try to buy books that have pages with different textures and simple flaps. This will help to develop their sense of touch.Suggested toys for this age: Frog in the Box, Activity Cube, Farm Friends Stacker, Soft Books, Hug a Bug, Textured Blocks.1 to 2 years: With each step your baby becomes more independent and confident. Little ones at this age spend every waking hour exploring and experimenting. For those still a bit unsteady walking, educational toys that promote mobility such as a walker or push car are great choices. Pushcarts and wagons are a great way for children to tote things around- another favorite activity at this age. Educational toys including soft plush toys and dolls remain favorites at this age. Children often become very attached to one or two and use them in creative play. Toddlers can find many ways to make loud sounds. Musical instruments like drums, maracas, and tambourines are educational toys that will help them learn to appreciate music while they make noise. Inset puzzles require toddlers to lift out pieces and find the right places to put them back. These first puzzles improve problem skills and fine tune motor skills. Puzzles are educational toys that your children will play with over and over again.Suggested toys for this age: 4 in 1 Walker, Galt Wooden Baby Walker, Little Hands Music Band, Mini Edublocks, First Blocks, Baby Puzzles, Wooden Shaped Puzzles, First Puzzles.2 to 3 Years: Your toddler’s motor skills are now well developed. They can run, jump, and climb. The area of explosive development in this stage is speech and language. Imaginative play becomes the focus for this age group. Educational toys that children use as props in pretend play help build language and communication skills. Great educational toy choices for this age include character toys, puppets, dolls, toy vehicles, and animal figures. These educational toys foster creativity and imagination by allowing your child to create wonderful adventures, model adult behavior, and role-play. Large piece puzzles are great educational toys for this age. Children at this age should be able to complete a 4 to 6 piece puzzle on their own. Puzzles are a great activity to build hand-eye coordination, problem solving, and fine motor skills.Suggested toys for this age: Table and Chairs, Wooden Stacking Train, Airport Blocks, Maggie’s Friends, Shaped Puzzles, Play and Learn Puzzles.

Know Your Rights – Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, India

Have you left your children to basic schooling in India? Have you assessed the “law on the right of children to free and compulsory education and the right to education”, which came into force on 1 April 2010 in India? The law on the right to schooling is the first law in the world that puts the responsibility to ensure the enrollment, attendance and completion of basic education for children aged between 6 and 14 on the government. It is the responsibility of parents to send their children to school for basic education in the U.S.If not, how you will follow the legal course to solve problems arising from the “law on the right of children to free and compulsory education and the right to education”? Very few countries are serious about promoting right to basic education for their children and help their jurisdiction, if it did not protect the rights of children to education. Do you know why many poor children do not use the free education available since independence in India? Do you know why the number of poor children could not get a quality education? You know, all these issues have been corrected by accepting reimbursement for private school quality education for children?Being a student of the Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Rights, have attempted to summarize what is “The Law of children to free and compulsory education and the right to schooling in India”?On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in India and since he has accepted. Under Article 26 rights, children have the right to education. Education shall be free, at least at the base. Constitution of India also offers free education to children.The quality of schooling provided to children by public schools in India is still in question. Many Muslim children resist distant schools for education. The education of children in public schools remained riddled with absenteeism and poor management and appointments based on political expediency. Despite the lure of free food served in public schools, children prefer private schools for education. Poor children do not go to private schools for schooling and the high cost structure and education in local languages has been denied. Many poor children have been examining a fraud on their right to education. There is no free education or quality education.The kids know the highlights of the Act the right to education?Child’s Right to Education Act made education a fundamental right for all children aged 6 and 14 and specifies the minimum quality of education in public schools. It requires all private schools for basic education to reserve seats by 25% for children of poor parents (to be reimbursed by the State under the terms of public-private partnership). Child’s Right to Education Act also provides that no child shall be detained, expelled, or required to pass a State Council until the completion of basic education. There is also a provision of children’s right to education for the right to special training for school leavers to make them equal with students of similar age.Child’s Right to Education Act requires that investigations that will monitor all districts to identify children who need education, and establish facilities to provide it. Specialist education of children should be involved.”The law on children’s right to free and compulsory education and the right to education” is the first law in the world that puts the responsibility to ensure the enrollment, attendance and completion of government. It is the responsibility of parents to send their children to school in the most developed countries.The right of disabled children up to age 18 has also been made a fundamental right. A number of other provisions concerning the improvement of school infrastructure, teacher-student ratio and teachers are made to the law.State Children’s right to education Act provides a special organization, the National Council for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, an independent body to monitor the implementation of the law, and commissions to be established.Have you tried to find the right of children to the law of schooling? Have you ever tried to know that the right to basic schooling for children is covered your rights universal? Have you ever tried to know why poor children are denied teaching? I demand to know and support the right of children to free and compulsory teaching in the world?