The father of modern education—John Amos
Comenius proposed – “all persons should be educated, so we could have peace in
the world”. Visionaries of the world understood that peace meant guaranteeing
every person certain rights that are conditional for humanity—education being
one of the most important.
The addition of the Right to Education
(RTE) in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 was the beginning of
a remarkable expansion of educational opportunities around the world. The
parliament of India enacted the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory
Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE) on August 2009. The same got
enforced on April 1st 2010.
As per the act, education is a fundamental
right of every child who is between 6 and 14 years old. The act also states
that until the completion of elementary education, no child shall be held back,
expelled or required to pass a board examination. There is also a provision for
special training of school drop-outs to bring them up to par with students of
the same age.
As a charity for child rights, Smile
Foundation has been providing education to marginalized children in poor rural
and urban communities in 25 states of the country. Its flagship programme –
Mission Education exemplifies the global struggle for universal education. The
programme has succeeded in bringing more than 200,000 children to school since
its start in the year 2002.
Underprivileged kids lag at all stages of
education. When earning a livelihood and taking care of the members of the
family becomes a primary matter of concern in one’s life, education stands a
little or, very often, no chance of pursuance. For the millions of
underprivileged people in India, education is a high-priced luxury, and this
negative outlook continues on with every new generation. Poverty damages
childhood with significant effects on a child’s physical and mental health, as
well as educational achievement. It limits the expectations of the child’s
ability to perform well in school, constantly reminding him/her of the
miniscule chance he/she has to overcome adversity and poverty.
its development interventions that are focused on social welfare of children,
Smile Foundation has raised those expectations among the hardest-to-reach
children. Recent mark-sheets of the students in all ME centers has shown Smile
Foundation primary school students outperforming their peers, with a very high
passing rate. Last year, 51% of the total beneficiaries in Mission Education
centers across India were girls. Also, 87% of the total eligible students are
successfully mainstreamed in private and government schools.