Come April 1, children in the 6-14 age group will finally get their right to education.
Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday took the decision to notify The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, signalling the end of his Ministry’s wrangling with the Finance Ministry over budgetary allocation for implementing the Act.
The notification will bring to a close the long journey which has its first official milestone in December 2002, when the Fundamental Right to Education was enacted. While the efforts to bring compulsory education for children in the age group of 6-14 out of the Directive Principles of State Policy and making it a Fundamental Right predate 2002, the governments in subsequent years made several attempts to pass the Right to Education Act — law to operationalise the Fundamental Right to Education.
It was enacted in August 2009 after several abortive attempts. Though the Act was gazetted soon after its enactment, a separate notification was mandated in the body of the legislation for it to actually come into effect.
According to Section 1(3) of the Act, “it shall come into force on such date as the Central government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.” That date has now been fixed for April 1, 2010.