GUWAHATI, Oct 9: With the Lok Sabha recently passing a Bill to amend the Right to Education (RTE) Act to abolish the “no detention” policy in schools, majority of the north-eastern States have started preparations for reintroduction of the pass-fail system from the coming academic year.
No student can be detained up to class VIII under the current provisions of the RTE Act. The proposed amendment seeks to leave the issue to States to decide whether to continue the no-detention policy or not.
“If the Rajya Sabha passes the amendment Bill this year, we’re ready to reintroduce the pass-fail system in Assam from 2019. Most of the schools have also expressed their desire to abolish the no-detention policy as it is going against the academic interest of students in the long run,” an official in the State Education Department told The Sentinel.
On the other hand, barring Mizoram all other NE States have already told the Union Human Resource Development Ministry that they will abolish the no-detention policy once the Parliament passes the Bill to amend the RTE Act.
Referring to the no-detention policy in the present RTE Act, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar recently said, “Schools have become only schools for mid-day meal as education and learning are missing.”
A Parliamentary standing committee that analysed the amendment Bill has also recommended bringing back the concept of detention in schools, Javadekar said. The policy had to be implemented as it was felt that compelling children to repeat a class was demotivating, often forcing them to abandon school, he said.
But experts and academicians are still divided on the no-detention policy.
“Children always don’t gain if they repeat the same syllabus. Schools have to be careful while reintroducing the pass-fail system. Mechanical repetition at times doesn’t help in the improvement of students,” Sanjib Goswami, who teaches English literature at Kamrup College in Nalbari, told this reporter.
At the same time there are children who become complacent as they get promoted and it all accumulates when they reach Class IX, and are unable to cope, Goswami said.