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.
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