As classes go online, how can the Right to Education be guaranteed for students without net access? -Rohan Deshpande

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published Published on Jul 16, 2020   modified Modified on Jul 17, 2020

The expectation that students will buy devices to receive education at their own cost is contrary to the spirit of the RTE Act.

In April 2010, India brought into force the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, acknowledging the state’s responsibility to provide free and compulsory education to all children from the age of six to 14 years. The act was a consequence of Article 21A being inserted into the Constitution that made elementary education a fundamental right.

As the rights-based framework completed a decade earlier this year, elementary education in government schools, especially for children from rural areas and the urban poor, is witnessing unprecedented times due to challenges posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

With schools closed due to physical distancing norms, education has gone online. But can internet-based learning truly be an alternative for children studying in government schools, and can the education that they are guaranteed under the RTE Act actually be provided to those who lack access to technology and the internet?

According to UNESCO data, more than 143 million primary school children and more than 133 million secondary school children in India are affected by school closures due to the pandemic. Almost 60% of children in India between Class 1 to 8 received their education from government schools in 2016, statistics published by the Unified District Information System for Education show.

Please click here to read more., 16 July, 2020,

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