Maharashtra Education department to propose modification to no-detention policy in schools

The no-detention policy under the Right to Education (RTE) Act prescribes that no student is detained in the same class from Class I to VIII.

Written by Dipti Singh | Mumbai | Updated: October 19, 2016 12:03 pm

The state education department will propose a modification to the existing “no-detention policy” in schools at the upcoming Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), seeking to detain students who are unable to accomplish a set learning level in Class V and VIII.

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The no-detention policy under the Right to Education (RTE) Act prescribes that no student is detained in the same class from Class I to VIII. Education Minister Vinod Tawde, however, has found that the policy has  had a “negative impact” among students.

Clarifying his stand on the issue, Tawde told The Indian Express that he has not recommended discontinuing the no-detention policy, but instead proposed two stages where detention may be possible. “Today, most students have stopped fearing exams and they don’t take it seriously. Furthermore, many schools have presumed no-detention policy as ‘no-exam policy’, whereas nowhere in the Right to Education Act it is said exams should not be conducted. In fact, exams should be conducted so that schools are aware of learning levels of students. If this is not done then after Class VIII, we see that students cannot cope with studies in Class IX and X,” said Tawde.

To correct this situation, a recommendation has been made to mark major milestones in school education — Class V, the stage where a student starts secondary education, and Class VIII, after which preparation for board exams begins — with the possibility of detention.

Tawde added: “Those students who fail in Class V and VIII should not be promoted to next class and the schools must provide them help in the form of remedial coaching. Only after ensuring that the student is capable to cope with the next level, he/she should be promoted to the next class. The no-detention policy can be as it is for other classes.”

Tawde made the recommendation at the CABE preparation meeting on Tuesday involving education ministers of all states. The same will be presented at the CABE meeting on October 25.

Many states, like Delhi and Rajasthan, have already opposed the no-dentition policy — a policy introduced to reduce the pressure on students and prevent them from dropping out off schools.

Read: Little demand for teacher training courses in Maharashtra

Last year, the 18 state committees had also sent recommendations to the central government to revoke the policy under RTE. Recently, the Delhi Assembly had passed a bill to scrap the no-detention policy. According to the state government, the policy was hampering the quality of education in schools and needed immediate amendment.

The no-detention policy came into effect on April 1, 2010 under the RTE Act with a view to provide free and compulsory education to every child between the age of six and 14.

According to reports, failing was one of the reasons for high dropout rates in primary schools, especially among underprivileged children.

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