Did you know that some activities teachers and school administrators commonly practice as an ERP protocol are punishable offenses? The most common example is corporal punishment. The number of physical offences committed by unprofessional teachers has gone down by great percentages recently due to emerging digital technologies. LMS portals allow teachers to go as far as assigning an extra set of work or pushing students to online detention classes.
Apart from the general fundamental rights of the citizens of India, there are some important rights for students to protect them from discrimination, misinformation, and any other form of suppression.
Rights Of Indian Students
Here are some rights of students which give them the right but not the obligation to force government authorities;
Right to education
According to the compulsory education Act passed in 2009, children of age groups 6-14 have the right to seek elementary-level education from government schools. This right was validated and immediate actions were taken by the state authorities to fill in vacant spots of assistant teachers mostly, and other educators who were lacking in some government-registered schools.
This is where it gets complicated; students having the right to education means they must enroll themselves in schools and be regular. They also have the right to receive well-trained professional teachers. Hence, programs prioritizing B.Ed and other teachers’ training were encouraged for all teachers to take up. We have come a long way since then with equal efforts from both the government and the citizens the country was able to increase its enrolment rate of students, at least for elementary levels.
Right to freedom of thought and expression
This fundamental right is one of the most recently added to the Indian Constitution. It was brought up to the supreme court in 2012 by Shreya Singhal, fighting for the rights of students. It was an important decision to follow and hear over although the verdict and final decisions were given almost five years later. Accordingly, it eliminated an act from Section 66 which put restrictions on the freedom of speech on online mediums.
As India is a democratic country, it values the thoughts of every individual, and gives them the right to freely express these thoughts and expressions of ideas in real life and over online platforms. Hence, students are free to voice their opinions in and outside a classroom (as long as they are not involved in physical actions for or against the educational authorities), either in the form of advice or feedback. It validates the students’ opinions and gives them an equal ground or stand as a part, that too a major one, of the education system.
Right to equality
Students have the right to not be discriminated against their caste, creed, religion, sex, class, etc. The right to equality is emphasized when admission procedures take place every year. Apart from the reservations allotted for SC, ST, and OBC students, general students should not be discriminated against. Not in the time of admission and not in any other circumstance while they remain in the institution.
Right to information
This right was included as a part right to speech and expression, yet it came to light to the supreme court in 2011 that the right to information must be included as an important part of the constitution since students demanded to be informed about their marks, and verification of whether rightful decisions were made by teachers in how the students were marked in their exams. Keeping the interest and security of the state separate, Supreme Court included the right to information with some limitations and exceptions. (For example students would have the right but, they would have to pay some extra fees for all the inconveniences and extra services availed from teachers to collect this information).
Awareness about the rights of students must be spread to ensure that students and parents are well informed about how they can protect and safeguard themselves against violation of their rights and can follow a proper procedure in a case such an occurrence takes place. Teachers are usually trained professionally and informed about their rights as a rule of thumb, yet exceptions are always present. By being informed and aware everyone can avoid shortcomings and focus more on important parts of school education, prioritizing learning and progression.