The Supreme Court of India recently gave the green light to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, better known as the Right to Education (RTE) Act, ensuring free education for children between the ages of six and 14 who belong to economically weaker segments of society. The main provision of the RTE directs all schools to reserve 25% of their seats for students from underprivileged backgrounds in their neighborhoods. Effecting with the 2012-13 academic year, any school that does not comply with the RTE rules will be de-recognized by the government.
The government expects the RTE to provide a level playing field to the vast number of children who are unable to access quality education because of economic and social constraints. The RTE, however, has raised concerns among private schools, especially around financing.