• An amendment was passed by the Lok Sabha under the Right to Education Act.
• It gives States the power to detain students who fail an examination in Class 5 or 8.
• The proposed change will allow State Boards to declare a student failed and detain her on the basis of an examination.
• Section 30(1) of the RTE Act states that no child would be required to face any Board examination till completion of elementary education.
What are the problems?
• Many educationists argue it would weaken guarantee to the continued presence of the child in school during his/her learning phase.
• The replacement of no-detention provision with examinations in grades 3, 5 and 8 was recommended by a sub-committee of the Central Advisory Board of Education.
• However, the provision of no detention is the key focus of the RTE to check dropouts and enable all children to attend school in order to derive benefits that go beyond rote-learning.
• A study in Punjab by NITI Aayog shows that bringing back detention in elementary schooling would increase the dropout rate.
• This impacts the poor and Dalits the most as they depended on government institutions.
• In India’s social scenario where parents are unable to ensure regular attendance of children, detaining them for non-performance will act demotivate further.
• There are genuine concerns on learning outcomes produced by India’s schooling system.
• However, number and quality of teachers, processes for continuous assessment and active engagement of parents and the community in encouraging excellence is the only solution.
• Detaining already disadvantaged children can only weaken the RTE.