Experts want ‘no-detention’ policy under RTE Act reviewed

Experts and academicians in the state have sought a review of the 'no-detention' policy under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

A sub-committee of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) under HRD Ministry had isued a notification recently calling for suggestions from the public by September 20 for effective implementation of the 'no-detention' provision.

No child can be detained/failed up to Std VIII under RTE. Several academicians and policymakers have criticised this provision, saying it is affecting the quality of students.

All India Federation of Parent-Teachers Association president Jayant Jain, who has made a slew of suggestions to the CABE panel as well as the Maharashtra government, said no detention till Std VIII could harm certain children and parents.

"They will take success for granted and might not concentrate on studies. This will lead to more than 20 per cent dropouts after Std IX," said Jain, also president of NGO Forum for Fairness in Education.

He has suggested at least two objective-type exams in standards IV and VII over and above the comprehensive and continuous system of assessment.

"These exams will indicate how children are studying and help teachers identify weak ones for corrective measures. This can also help evaluate teachers."

Jain recommended drives to create awareness about RTE and identification of children who need to be covered under the Act with the help of corporators, social activists and NGOs.

Avnita Bir, principal of R N Podar School, Santacruz, also said the no-fail policy needed to be looked at again. "It should be reconsidered. Children will have to face competition at some stage," she said.

Revathi Srinivasan, principal of Sulochanadevi Singhania School, Thane, said students of a particular grade must be given the opportunity to attain "curricular competencies".

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