1. It Is Compulsory And Free!
Compulsory – It is obligatory for the Government to provide free and compulsory elementary education, up to Class 8th, to each and every child in India in a neighbourhood school within 1 km.
Free – It means that no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education. The free education includes the provision of textbooks, uniforms, writing materials, special materials for children with disabilities, in order to reduce the burden of school expenses.
2. Minimum Standards Are Set
RTE Act lays down norms and standards relating to Pupil-Teacher-Ratios (number of children per teacher), classrooms, separate toilets for girls and boys, drinking water facility, number of school-working days, working hours of teachers, etc. Each and every elementary school (Primary school + Middle School) in India has to comply with these minimum standards set by the RTE Act
3. Admission For All
RTE Act mandates that an out of school child is admitted to an age appropriate class and provided with special training to enable the child to come up to age appropriate learning level.
4. Quantity And Quality Of Teachers
RTE Act provides for rational deployment of teachers by ensuring that the specified Pupil-Teacher-Ratio is maintained for each school and there is no urban-rural imbalance.
The Act mandates appointment of appropriately trained teachers, i.e. teachers with the requisite entry and academic qualifications.
5. No Discrimination And No Harassment
RTE Act prohibits physical punishment and mental harassment; discrimination based on gender, caste, class and religion; screening procedures for admission of children; capitation fee; private tuition by teachers and running of schools without recognition.
6. All-Round Development
RTE Act provides for development of curriculum, which would ensure the all-round development of every child. Build a child’s knowledge, human potential and talent.
7. No Detention
RTE Act mandates that no child can be held back or expelled from school until Class 8th. The Act has mandated the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) method to ensure grade appropriate learning outcomes.
8. By The People, For The Children
School Management Committees (SMCs) play a crucial role in strengthening participatory democracy and governance in elementary education. All schools covered under the Act shall constitute a School Management Committee consisting of head teacher, local elected representative, parents, community members, etc. The committees have been empowered to monitor the functioning of schools and to prepare school development plan.
RTE Act is justiciable and is backed by a Grievance Redressal (GR) mechanism that gives opportunity to people to take action against non compliance of various provisions of the Act.
10. Private Schools Included
RTE Act mandates all the private schools to reserve 25 per cent of the seats for children belonging to socially disadvantaged and economically weaker sections. This provision of the Act is aimed at furthering social inclusion for a better India.