ALL INDIA FORUM FOR RIGHT TO EDUCATION
— Evolution and Development of the Organisation
The All India Forum for Right to Education (AIF-RTE) was constituted at the Osmania University campus in Hyderabad during a seminar on ‘Right to Education and Common School System’ organized by the A.P. Save Education Committee in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights, University of Hyderabad on 21-22 June 2009. Based upon its Hyderabad Declaration (June 2009), AIF-RTE built up a nation-wide campaign to resist the ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2009’, then pending in the Parliament and for an alternative genuine right to education Bill and a democratic nation-wide debate. However, the flawed anti-Constitutional, anti-education and anti-child Bill became ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009’ (henceforth referred to as ‘Right to Education Act, 2009’ or simply the RTE Act) on 26th August 2009. This is in spite of sustained democratic protest and steadily emerging public critique for more than a decade
The Hyderabad Declaration also implied that the present ill-funded multi-layered school system embedded in inequality and discrimination would not only expedite the pace of privatization and commercialization but also result in making education increasingly more expensive. This means that vast sections of Indian society will continue to be excluded from the education system, thereby being denied equal opportunity to benefit from development. The Hyderabad Declaration further presented an alternative vision of moving towards a fully public-funded Common School System based on Neighborhood Schools from pre-primary stage to senior secondary stage (i.e. Class XII) which alone can guarantee free education of equitable quality to all children without any discrimination whatsoever.