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This study looks at how although India had implemented the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act in 2009 (so that all children aged 6-14 years old have free education), the Act has not been fully engaged to support children until the age of 18. Although this paper states that there are flaws in the RTE Act, it must not be dropped entirely – instead changes must be made hand in hand with local communities to allow for a strengthened and more successful implementation of the Act at both local and national levels.

The paper outlines what community participation involves, what forms of community participation are available and appropriate in education, and how the Act began and has evolved. It offers authentic case studies involving members of different Indian communities engaged in the movement. The paper finally proposes five ways forward: policy changes; capacity building and training; improving quality of education; linkages and networking; and accountability and transparency.

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