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Reconsidering No Detention Policy

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August 07, 2017

What is the issue?

  • The union Cabinet has recently approved the introduction of a Bill scrapping the No-Detention policy in schools, provided by the Right to Education Act, 2009.
  • The move has led to demands from experts for bringing the policy back into force.

What is No Detention Policy?

  • It is an integral part of the Right To Education Act 2009, implemented in the year 2010.
  • As per this policy, students in schools are promoted automatically to higher classes every year till Class 8.
  • The Act mandates a process of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) to assess and evaluate the student’s learning instead of conventional examinations.
  • Under the recent proposal, states have been empowered to take decision on detaining the students in class 5 and 8. However, they will not be able to detain students at classes 6 and 7.
  • Certain safeguards such as remedial classes and an additional chance to pass the exam have also been introduced.

What is the concern with the policy?

  • The certainty that they would pass without any hindrance brought in laxity among some students in the effort to learn and to attend schools.
  • Some of the teachers too showed negligence towards teaching students on the pretext of the policy.
  • There were opinions that the policy led to high failure and drop-outs in classes 9 and 10 and an overall slowdown in the quality of education, especially in government schools.
  • This led to objections and demands from many states, especially Delhi, that the policy be scrapped.

Is scrapping the policy a right solution?

  • Experts believe that this move against no-detention policy is to free the government of the responsibility of enabling the students to learn.
  • They are against the general notion that provision of failing students would make them more competitive.
  • Moreover, the system of passing and failing was introduced by the British in India to screen Indians to be clerks.  This holds no relevance at present.
  • The need now is to produce curious minds to expose students to life skills, give them vocational training, strengthening their aptitude, etc.
  • There is also a question that how private schools do not show any decline in pass percentage or student attendance due to no detention policy.
  • Scrapping the no detention policy is like going back to a regime of early dropouts which could only facilitate the newly liberalised norms of allowing child labour under the guise of family enterprises.

What is to be done?

  • Issues such as neglect of teacher education, bad recruitment policies, low quality of classroom teaching, shortfall in teacher attendance and confusion over what the goals of schooling are should be addressed.
  • A progressive schooling system would open avenues for skills training after the elementary level for those who would prefer that over academic studies. 
  • This would prepare the youth for a skilled adult labour force that the country is in demand of.
  • Ultimately, the need of the hour is on part of the government to focus and improve the school education system and not to punish the students for the shortfalls in the system.


Source: The Hindu

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