OPEPA (Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority) came in to existence as a registered society on 30th January 1996. The School & Mass Education(S & ME) department in the Government of Odisha has the responsibility to achieve the goals of Universal Elementary Education (UEE). The S & M E deptt. operates through two agencies namely Directorate of Elementary Education (DEE) and Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) to realize the goals of UEE. While DEE manages the entire manpower of teachers, inspectors & administrators, OPEPA implements the flagship program of SSA in the entire state. There are about 65.29 lakhs children studying in about 65712 educational institutes.
The Article 21-A in the Constitution of India is to provide free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which represents the consequential legislation envisaged under Article 21-A, means that every child has a right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school which satisfies certain essential norms and standards. The RTE Act, 2009 passed by the Parliament in 2009 and came into effect in Odisha on April 01, 2010.
The Right to Free & Compulsory Education Act, 2009 provides a justifiable legal framework that entitles all children between the ages of 6-14 years, free and compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education. It provides for children's right to an education of equitable quality, based on principles of equity and non-discrimination. Most importantly, it provides for children's right to an education that is free from fear, stress and anxiety.