In line with article- 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) as well as article- 45 of the Constitution of India, it is envisaged that education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. This is further strengthened by the “Right of the Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RCFCE) Act 2009” to meet the longstanding need of child education in India. This study attempted to explore the status and preparedness on the part of schools and concern authority to provide free elementary education to the children aging between six to fourteen years of old in the state of Odisha. The basic objectives of this study are: to examine the status of implementation of RTE in 20 government schools operating within 10 kilometer radius of Bhubaneswar city and to examine awareness and understanding of the provisions of RTE amongst parents of children studying in government schools in and around Bhubaneswar.
The major findings are as follows: head masters are not very clear about the procedures for admission laid down in the Act; in terms of responsibility, majority of the schools admit students without birth proof; all parents are aware of free elementary education in the government school; majority of the study schools are lacking the basic infrastructure; all the sample schools have pupil-teacher association; most of the parents feel that the syllabus needs to be reviewed.
However, the study, conducted at the school level sheds light on some important issues relating to the operational part of the Act. Hence, it reflects an understanding of the provisions and challenges regarding the effective implementation of the Act and to ensure ‘good quality’ education in Odisha.

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