Organizational structure, membership & procedures of All India Forum for Right To Education (AIFRTE) are laid down in this document. AIFRTE is presently taking shape. With the spread and intensification of the movement for Right to Education in the country, the various requirements of its organizational structure will become apparent and need to be given concrete forms as the process moves forward.
We also need to keep in mind that it is a Forum of various organizations, groups, movements and individuals. Its organizational structure, therefore, cannot be very rigid, specific and demanding which is normally expected of an organization.
Keeping these two considerations in mind, an interim structure for the present can be as follows:
- National Council: The National Council is formed with representatives of founding organizations and individual activists and educationalists. It meets once in a year. The National Council is the highest forum of the organisation. The National Council shall elect a Presidium, a National Executive and a Secretariat from amongst its members. However, between two meetings of the Council, the National Executive and between two meetings of the National Executive, the Presidium will be functioning on its behalf.
It is provided that the National Executive/ the Presidium can grant membership to new organizations and it is further provided that such grants are ultimately ratified by the Council. Member organizations can nominate two persons to be the members of the National Council. In addition, the National Executive/ Presidium will identify and nominate some activists and educationalists as members of the National Council in their individual capacity as the movement spreads which also requires to be ratified by National Council as and when it meets. Necessary efforts will be made to have, as far as possible, an adequate representation of women, the deprived and marginalized sections and those from different regions of the country in the national council.
- Presidium: In the organizational structure, the Presidium will play a leading role in building the vision of the Forum and its policy making. Normally, it will have from five to eleven members. It may elect a chairperson. It convenes the meetings of the National Council and National Executive. It has the power to invite individuals and representatives of new organizations to attend National Council and National Executive as observers. It has power to make changes in Secretariat not amounting more than 20% of strength of the secretariat to suit its changing needs.
- National Executive: In addition to the members of the Presidium and the Secretariat, some members of the National Council elected by the Council from among its membership will constitute the National Executive. The Executive will be primarily responsible for policy making and formulation of the program framework of the Forum along with the responsibilities assigned to it elsewhere in this document.
- Secretariat: It will comprise a minimum of five and a maximum of eleven Secretaries. They can nominate an Organizing Secretary from among themselves through consensus. The Secretariat will have the principal responsibility for co-ordination, implementation and communication of the Forum’s policies and programs. The Secretariat also nominates one Office Secretary from its membership. She/he shares the responsibilities of the organizing secretary. The Secretariat also nominates a treasurer from its membership.
- Advisory Board: The Presidium shall nominate eminent persons from the field of education and peoples’ movement as Advisors at its discretion.
- Meetings: The Presidium shall meet at least once every three months, the National Executive shall meet at least once in Six months and the National Council shall meet at least once in a year. The decisions at all such meetings shall be taken by the democratic method. However, all attempts will be made to arrive at a consensus. Presidium can also have its meetings through teleconference or by exchanging e-mails as may be facilitated by the secretariat on request by any member of the presidium. Secretariat shall have its meetings according to its needs.
- State and District Level Structures: Similar organizational structure may prevail at the State and District levels as well, as and when the respective units are formed.
- Manifesto: The Forum shall have a Manifesto which will lay down its basic premises, values and the aims and objects. [The manifesto is yet to be drafted and approved.]
- Membership: a) Only those organizations shall be made members of the All India Forum for Right to Education who agree with its Manifesto and are keen to take part in building a nation-wide people’s movement for the same. NGOs shall not be eligible to become members of AIFRTE.[However, if and when required, the Forum may work on specific issues of common concern with such NGOs or other groups and also undertake joint programs with them.] b) Members of the member organisations are considered to be the members of AIFRTE and individuals who are taken into National Council of AIFRTE in their individual capacity are also considered to be the members of AIFRTE
- Basic Positions: As long as the Charter is not finalized, only such individuals and organizations shall be eligible to become Forum’s members who agree with its following three basic positions:
There is no place for trade or profiteering, Foreign Direct Investment (F.D.I.), international funding and Public Private Partnership (P.P.P.) at any level of education.
Education is the Constitutional obligation of the Government (from Centre and States to local bodies) and there is no space in education for discrimination in any form whatsoever. Social justice to disadvantaged, disabled and marginalized is built into the education system. It is the responsibility of the state to establish a well founded nationwide, fully state funded, public education system at all levels (KG to PG). It means, among others, the replacement of the present ‘Right to Education Act, 2009’ by a genuine right to education act to establish a fully public-funded Common School System based on the concept of Neighborhood School – managed in decentralized, democratic and participative mode.
The aim of education is to build a democratic, socialist and secular society based on diversity, plurality and equality.
- News Letters and Publications: The National Executive/ Presidium can create appropriate bodies and positions and fill up the places for administering newsletters, website, email groups and publishing committees.
- Bank Account: A bank account will be maintained by AIFRTE preferably in the name of the organisation and will be operated by two or three persons jointly who include Organizing Secretary and Treasurer. Organizing Secretary approves proposed expenditure and treasurer maintains the accounts.