Laudable Indian move to educate all children

India has made a ground-breaking move by legalizing the right to free and compulsory education for all children between the ages of 6 and 14 in India.

The millions of Indian girls that are yet not attending school will, like these girls, soon be educated.


UNICEF estimates there are eight million children in this age group, mostly girls, who are out-of-school in India. “Tens of millions of children will benefit from this initiative ensuring quality education with equity,” said UNICEF Representative in India Karin Hulshof.

The Right to Education Act will “propel India to even greater heights of prosperity and productivity for all guaranteeing children their right to a quality education and a brighter future,” she added.

UNICEF, along with UNESCO and the International Labor Organization (ILO), said that without India, the world cannot reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of having every child complete primary school by 2015.

“This act is an essential step towards improving each child’s accessibility to secondary and higher education, bringing India closer to achieving national educational development goals, as well as the MDGs and Education for All (EFA),” UNESCO New Delhi Director Armoogum Parsuramen said.

The Indian move is laudable and since the bill was passed already in August last year to be implemented swiftly, presumably by now more Indian children are already attending school? If not, what’s the progress so far and when is it estimated that all children will start going to school?

It is my hope that more countries will follow in India’s footsteps and make sure all their young get basic schooling. If they do, it will be a huge step in the right direction that will eventually lead to a better world for all of us.

Photo: Flickr curlymay

8 thoughts on “Laudable Indian move to educate all children

  1. Dear Catarina,

    India is vast country and I am very proud to be an Indian that, India is doing many good jobs to develop its country. One of it is educating children upto 14 is mandatory. India is a developing country. In India, if you see in any field, everything is growing very fast. In many cities and towns almost everyone is concern about education. But India is the second largest in population and many other factors that affect childrens education at their early age. Indian Government is running many programmes to educate children. In many big cities and towns in India people are very concern about education and every year more and more people were become educating. In southern India even in villages (in states like kerala) you will find 100% literate people. But there are states where people are from poor families and cannot send their children to school, there government has to work little hard and awarness of birth control should also be followed with this programme. So that India can have 100% literecy.

  2. Catarina,
    Thanks for drawing attention to India's brave move to give children the legal right to education. It is truly an admirable step in the right direction. Other developing countries will be well served to follow suit.
    What Guy is saying is also an unfortunate reality in some of these Third World countries, but India, though has some hurdles to cross, and is not one of them. In India and many other poor countries one main obstacle to children's education is the poverty. Poor families rely on these young children for their daily bread. If these children are sent to school many of these families will go hungry.

    Other countries will be well served to follow India's example, but, unfortunately, many won't. In some of these countries the ruling mafia and their accomplices in the political opposition want to keep people poor, uneducated, and deprived of opportunities for economic and social advancement. In this way they can keep their hold on the vulnerable population and exploit them for their personal advantage.
    In any case, I think, Indian legislation is a step in the right direction. Now, all they (the Government) have to do is to make sure that these children's poor families can afford to let their children go to school, rather than working as child laborers.

  3. Catarina…Nice to read this post and thanks for posting this. Prior to read this post, I'm not aware mandatory education for this age group passed into law in india being an Indian and i must admit this at first instance.

    To some extent, I agree with Guy comments and in addition to that India is a vast majority of people and diversified. To bring education awareness / importance and enforcing a law is a good move but it will not have an immediate impact to the parents who wish to start sending their children to schools.

    The reason being parents are not willing to send their children to schools especially rural areas is due to lack of money and other secondary factors. From their perspective, to run a small / large family, money is vital factor which is why they encourage / enforce their children to do family business / child labour activities at very early stage. This happens primarily in rural areas eventhough alot of illiteracy campaigns has happened with the help of non-profit organisations in india.

    Like,'I dreamed a dream' song, I wish one day India will eliminate illiteracy and everyone will have basic level of education with ability to read & write.If not our generation atleast next generation this dream will come true.

    Best Wishes,

    1. Yes Krishna, there are difficulties but at least the law is a step in the right direction. Not least since half the worlds poor are on the Indian subcontinent. Hopefully in a not too distant future all children in your country will attend school. That would make a huge difference.

  4. Regretfully, making it law will not guarantee that it will actually happen. In India, and in many other parts of the world, religious and other dictates will prevent this.

    Yes – education is critical for all, as we who are fortunate enough to be educated will attest. However, there are a disturbing number who believe that keeping people ignorant makes them easier to control…

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