What is RTE?

RTE is the ‘Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Compulsory Act or Right to Education Act (RTE)’, is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted on 4th August 2009. It describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between ages 6 to 14 years of age in India under Article 21a of the Indian Constitution. It requires all private schools to reserve 25% of seats for underprivileged children. This provision of the Act is aimed at furthering social inclusion for a better India.

We believe in the intent of the RTE policy for social inclusion; however implementation at the grass root level has been a major challenge. At various levels, the policy needs to be reviewed.


  1. As per the policy, governments are required to reimburse schools for RTE children however the Maharashtra government has not paid schools for the past 3 years.

  2. There are various loop holes, for e.g. if a school is registered as a minority school they are exempted from the act.

  3. Children feel out of place when they come to school and interact with other children.

  4. There is a lack of good quality teachers and special educators who can understand their needs.

  5. Schools are moving towards digitalisation, homework now requires a lot of research to be done online, which means they need access to technology at home. This may not be possible as these children may not have internet access after school hours.


Today it has been 8 years since the Act was introduced, however if you study various reports they clearly state that the implementations has failed. Once such report by KPMG states that :


The Right to Education (RTE) Act is still a mirage in a number of cities and towns. Though enrollment rates have improved, learning outcomes have not shown much progress.


We value the goal of the government to ensure that all the children of our country have a right to education; however the implementation at the cost of social adjustments for the children has not been taken into account.


There are various ways in which the RTE act can be implemented:

  1. Educational Institutes should adopt municipal schools and provide their curriculum and the required support to implement the same.

  2. The school facilities and infrastructure can be used after regular school gets over for running special batches for RTE children.

  3. Schools should be allowed to take entrance tests to ascertain which class the child should go to and then provide additional support. (It should not be according to the age specified.)

  4. Schools can offer special training sessions for government aided school teachers to help them teach children, to improve learning outcomes.

  5. Involve various stakeholders like private players, NGOs, corporate foundations and civil society organizations to ensure effective implementation of the Act.

  6. Allow private schools to charge higher fees to meet the cost of salaries and other overheads, which will in turn help inclusion.

  7. In order to improve the educational standards, the government ought to introduce a national school standard of education which is a practice globally.

  8. We have government aided schools that the government already funds (teachers salaries, infrastructure etc). With the RTE Act they also need to fund children that take admission under the RTE act. This is an overspill of costs for the government. Ideally the government should fill all seats in the aided schools to optimize their resources and then utilize the seats in private schools.