The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the amendment seeking revocation of ‘no detention’ policy in classes 5 and 8, enabling states now to allow schools to fail the child if he/she fails in either or both classes and withhold their promotion to the next standard.
Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday moved the ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017’, which sought for regular examination and revocation of ‘no detention’ policy in classes 5 and 8. This will now enable states to allow schools to fail the child if he/she fails in either or both classes and withhold their promotion to the next standard.
While the original Act stipulated that no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education, the amended Act will now have provisions not only for examination in both these classes, but will also extend powers to the state to hold back children, if they fail in re-examination– also provisioned in the amended Bill.
Moving the Bill, Javadekar said that the amendment was necessary to improve the “learning outcomes” and that the demands for repeal of ‘no detention’ policy were made by many states and Union Territories in recent years which observed students scoring “poor marks”. “I am very happy that 24 members took part in its (Bill’s) discussion and most spoke in its favour. I have sent you all the results of the National Achievement Survey for your districts, you will see how grave the situation is. It has deteriorated between 2012 and 2016.
“What is its cause? The cause is that there’s no accountability anymore. Neither on part of teacher, nor on student,” the Minister said. He said that the ‘no detention’ has taken to be meant as an exemption from studying and that it has led to a “broken” schooling system.
“This (no detention policy) turned out be like an exemption from studying. That is why this was supported by most states, parents, students association. In CABE (Central Advisory Board of Education) all but four-five states supported the amendment…. I brought everyone in confidence by leaving the decision to the states. “If a class 4 student doesn’t know the sums of class 2, then it’s a broken school system. We have to change this,” he said. In a situation of a student failing the exam, the Bill, he said, provisions for two more attempts at clearing it and remedial training.