Lok Sabha passes bill to scrap 'no detention policy' in schools
The Lok Sabha has passed a bill to amend the Right to Education (RTE) Act to abolish the 'no detention policy' in schools. The bill provides for a regular examination in classes 5 and 8, and if the child fails, he or she shall be given additional opportunity for re-examination in two months' time.
Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, while replying to the debate on this 'Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017' said that it will be at the discretion of the states whether to continue with the 'no detention policy' or not.
Moreover, 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, as reported by IANS.
Discretion to decide no detention policy:
The states will decide at what level and who will conduct the examination, the minister said. "It is a broken education system. We have to rebuild our education system," Prakash Javadekar said in a recent PTI report.
Current provisions of the RTE Act:
Under the current provisions of the RTE Act, no student can be detained till class 8 and all students are promoted to the next grade.
Meanwhile, Javadekar said that in some of the states like Sikkim, Kerala and Telangana, the students, who were studying in private schools, have come back to government schools.
Speaking on the issue of deployment of teachers, Javadekar said:
"Teacher training, quality and accountability are most important."
Why this policy is necessary
"It is a very important legislation and a majority of state governments supported this Centre's proposal. It brings accountability in our elementary education system," Javadekar added.
Further, talking about the no-detention policy in the act, the minister said that schools have become only schools for mid-day meal as "education and learning are missing".
The policy had been brought as it was felt that compelling children to repeat a class was demotivating, often forcing them to abandon school, as noticed by the HRD minister.
The proposal lacks clarity:
During the session, Congress MP KC Venugopal said that the proposed legislation lacks "clarity".
"This bill needs clarity. It should be clarified that whether the Centre or the states will conduct the exams," Venugopal said
He also demanded a hike in the allocation for Centre's flagship programme, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan.
Furthermore, BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab also said the government should form uniform guidelines for conducting exams and leave it to the state on how the exams should be conducted.
sources : India Today