Right To Education - Implementation And Challenges
Updated: Nov 19
The Right to Education is a fundamental human right that ensures every individual has access to
quality education without any discrimination. In India, the Right to Education (RTE) Act, of 2009,
enshrines the right to education as a fundamental right under Article 21A of the Constitution.
While the provision of free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of 6 and
14 is a commendable step towards achieving universal education, its implementation has been
marred by challenges. This essay aims to explore the implementation of the right to education
under Article 21A, discuss the challenges faced, and present an opinion on the way forward.
Implementation and Challenges
The implementation of the right to education under Article 21A has faced several challenges
since its enactment. One of the significant challenges is the lack of infrastructure and resources.
Many government schools in rural areas lack basic facilities like classrooms, libraries, and toilets,
making it difficult to provide a conducive learning environment. Additionally, the shortage of
trained teachers and a high student-teacher ratio affects the quality of education imparted,
hindering effective learning outcomes.
The issue of access to education is another challenge that needs to be addressed. While the
RTE Act mandates free and compulsory education for all children, but the reality on the ground is
different. Many children, especially those from marginalized communities, still face barriers such
as poverty, social exclusion, and lack of awareness that prevent them from attending school. The
dropout rates remain high, particularly among girls and children from economically weaker
sections, further exacerbating the inequality in access to education.
Furthermore, the issue of quality education poses a significant challenge. The RTE Act
emphasizes the importance of providing education that promotes holistic development and
enables children to reach their full potential. However, the quality of education in many
government schools remains subpar, with a focus on rote learning and a lack of emphasis on
critical thinking, creativity, and life skills. This hampers the ability of students to compete in a
globalized world and limits their opportunities for higher education and employment.
Relevant Case Laws
Several landmark case laws have addressed the challenges and gaps in the implementation of the
right to education. In the Unni Krishnan JP v. State of Andhra Pradesh (1993) case, the Supreme
Court emphasized that the right to education is a fundamental right and held that the state has a
duty to provide quality education to all children. This judgment laid the foundation for
recognizing education as a fundamental right and highlighted the importance of ensuring its
Another significant case is the Pramati Educational & Cultural Trust v. Union of India (2014)
case. The Supreme Court, in this judgment, emphasized the need to regulate the process of
teacher recruitment and training, as well as the importance of teacher accountability. The court
recognized the pivotal role of teachers in imparting quality education and directed the
government to ensure that only qualified and trained teachers are appointed.
The implementation of the right to education under Article 21A has undoubtedly faced several
challenges. Addressing these challenges requires a multi-pronged approach that focuses on
improving infrastructure, increasing access, and enhancing the quality of education. The government must allocate adequate resources and prioritize investment in education to ensure that
every child has access to a quality learning environment. Efforts should be made to bridge the gap
in access to education by targeting marginalized communities and addressing the barriers they
face. Additionally, reforms in teacher recruitment, training, and accountability are necessary to
improve the quality of education. By addressing these challenges, India can make significant
progress toward achieving universal education and empowering its citizens.