October 11, 2013
PANJIM/NEW DELHI: Agreeing that the quality of education will decline if some of the current clauses of the Right to Education Act of 2009 are persisted with, the State Education Department has supported the move for review of the no-detention policy.
The no-detention, no-examination provision in the Act enabling automatic promotion of students could be tweaked or dropped, with a high-level government panel headed by Haryana Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal recommending its urgent review.
“There was opposition to the system right from the beginning,” Director of Education Anil Powar said, adding that the
no-detention, no-examination system will have an impact on students’ performances and would also result in lack of interest from teachers in imparting quality education.
He said that the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation system, which was meant to supplement the education system in lieu of the no-detention, no-exam system was also not effective and that a review of the present system was the need of the hour.
In a report submitted by Bhukkal at the 62nd meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), the highest decision making body on school education in India having the State education members on the Board, the panel has recommended introduction of screening of students at some level of the elementary level. It says that the RTE Act’s norm of automatic promotions till Class VIII is severely hampering the quality of children reaching Class X and also diluting the critical mass entering higher education.
The panel was set up in June 2012 following a score of education ministers from states like Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Assam and Haryana and educationists objecting to the automatic promotion causing a decline in the quality of students in higher and senior secondary levels as also for teachers' loss of interest in serious teaching.
According to Bhukkal, 20 state governments have officially opposed the no-detention provision on the ground that the pass percentage of students at Class X was dipping dramatically. She said students and parents, interviewed by the panel, also demanded screening to ensure academic instructions are taken seriously and hardwork incentivised.
A Parliamentary panel had also recently expressed its concern over the students not motivated to work hard because they know their promotion to the next grade is guaranteed under the RTE Act.
Educationists say this policy of automatic promotion and no examination in the primary classes was in vogue in Uttar Pradesh much before the RTE Act was enacted and the government should have examined its impact on those coming out from schools in the education not able to even count or write properly before incorporating such a provision in the RTE Act. They point out that schools in UP are producing illiterates in the name of education.