Some states have expressed concern over the controversial no-detention policy up to Class-VIII, saying it has led to a sharp fall in academic exercise, at a high-level meeting on the proposed National Education Policy, consultations for which are expected to be over by December.
At a meeting of state education ministers and secretaries here today, Madhya Pradesh Education Minister Paras Chander Jain argued that automatic class promotion has led to a situation where “a student neither fails up to Class VIII and nor gets promoted after that”.
Automatic class promotion up to Class VIII under the policy has led to sharp fall in academic exercise and students are unable to cope up with examinations in the upper classes failing in the process, Jain said at the meeting, chaired by Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani.
Some other states including Assam, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan are understood to have voiced similar concerns.
Reforming the school examination system is one of the themes for consultations on the new education policy.
Talking to reporters, School Education Secretary Vrinda Sarup parried a question on the government’s stand on the issue, saying the thematic groups are gathering views which may be complementary or different from that issue.
“Essentially, everybody is talking about quality of education. It is a structured discussion, not to say this has to be reverted. Quality has wide dimensions,” she said.
Last year a panel headed by then Education Minister of Haryana Geeta Bukkal had recommended re-introduction of class promotions in its report.
The controversial policy came into effect with the enactment of the RTE Act allowing students to get promoted up to Class VIII regardless of their academic performance.
The participants were hopeful that the new education policy would address the issue comprehensively.
The draft report of the education policy would be put up before various stakeholders and the Central Advisory Board of Education following completion of the consultation process.
Around 2.5 lakh consultation meetings would be held at the village level, about 6,600 meetings at the block level, 626 deliberations at the district level and 3,500 meetings in urban local bodies. The government has set up a task force to monitor the consultation process.
HRD Minister Irani said the comprehensive policy will reflect the aspirations and needs of the country and seek to meet the inherent needs of stakeholders, students and their parents.
She stressed that the meeting is for open consultation and the way forward for cooperative federalism.
Nodal officers would also be appointed for the states who can be a bridge between the Ministry and the states in holding the consultation exercise, she said.
Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said his state has planned to convene meetings of subject experts and eminent educationists right from primary education to higher education, ensuring inclusive and participatory approach from the village level.
Consultations would be carried out broadly on 33 themes, through states could add some more themes for deliberations.