The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill to amend the Right to Education (RTE) that abolishes the ‘no detention policy’ in schools. Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said that while the no detention policy has been done away with, it will be at the discretion of the states whether or not to continue with it. He further said that from now on, the states will decide at what level and who will conduct the examination.
Replying to a debate in the Lower House on The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (second amendment) Bill, 2017, Javadekar said that the current educational system is broken and we need to fix it. The Minister said that the “education system is like an inverted pyramid and adequate focus has not been given to primary education”.
“The current provisions under the Right to Education Act state that no student till class 8th can be detained and they will be promoted to the next grade without any problem.”
While moving the bill in the Lok Sabha, he further said, “It is a very important legislation and a majority of state governments supported this Centre’s proposal. It brings accountability to our elementary education system.”
While talking about the reason behind abolishing the ‘no detention policy’, Javadekar, according to a PTI report said that this bill has also been analysed by the standing committee and the panel also recommended bringing back the concept of detention in schools. He further added that the policy had been brought as it was felt that compelling children to repeat a class was demotivating, often forcing them to abandon school. He added that the bill provides for a regular examination in classes 5 and 8 and if the child fails, he or she shall be given an additional opportunity for re-examination in two months’ time.
While talking about the need for more accountable staff, Javadekar said that teacher training, quality and accountability are most important. He added that there was no shortages of teachers, however, the deployment of teachers was not right.
The bill was supported by Arvind Sawant of Shiv Sena and Saugat Roy of the TMC. While talking about the education system, Roy said that children often do not study if there are no exams and the education system is currently in a bad shape and learning outcomes were going down due to non-detention policy.