The Right to Education Forum (RTE Forum) is a platform of national education networks, teachers' unions, peoples’ movements and prominent educationists with a combined strength of 10,000 NGOs from all over India. The Forum has been working towards building a people’s movement to achieve the goal of equitable and quality education for all children through the realization of the Right to Education Act, 2009- in its true letter and spirit. The Forum envisions realizing the goal of universal education for all through a strong public system of education, funded by the state.
The Forum considers the RTE Act, despite its limitations, a progressive step which provides opportunities to millions of children in India. The six broad thematic areas of its work include:
- Systemic Readiness & Redressal Mechanism
- Issues of Teachers
- Community Participation
- Quality of Education
- Social Inclusion
- Privatization of Education
The major thrust of the Forum’s work has been to strengthen, expand and sustain a national level campaign on the RTE Act, involving state level groups and networks, and creating a sustained pressure on the government for an effective roadmap (at Centre and State level) for the implementation of the Act. The Forum has brought together people from different groups in 19 states and created state level RTE Forums in Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Pondicherry. Additionally, it is in the process of expansion in Himachal Pradesh and North- Eastern States. The state chapters in turn are also collective alliances of organizations and networks working for the rights of children.
Some of the notable achievements of the Forum in the last five years include:
- Constant tracking of the implementation of the RTE Act since its inception
- Making education a political agenda in the General Elections, 2014
- Initiating work with Parliamentarians across parties and brining them together on the common agenda of education
- Working with both Teachers and School Management Committee Members and trying to build synergies among them
- Continuing dialogue with the MHRD and NCPCR/ SCPCR
- Quick reaction and prompt responses on issues as and when they have come up- No Detention Policy, New Education Policy, School Closure/ Merger, Review of RTE and so on.
- Bringing together people working in the field of education at both the centre and the state level along with building alliances with other networks and forums