ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reversing the Twin Ideals of Right to Education

No Detention and Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation

The Right to Education Act mandates no detention and continuous and comprehensive evaluation at the elementary school stage. These twin provisions aim to address the problems of high dropout rates, inequity, educational load, and lack of democratic educational environments for children. Ever since they were implemented in 2010, the two mandates have been criticised by many stakeholders as neither practicable nor desirable given the realities in India. These claims are not researched and yet, there are moves towards overturning the no-detention provision. Extreme positions for and against the provisions have been taken, without adequate discussion and thinking on implications, especially on schoolgoing children.

This article has been written with substantive inputs from the members of The Forum for Deliberations in Education: A Collaborative Initiative, coordinated by the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

The no-detention provision (NDP) and continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RtE) Act 2009 have become arguably the act’s most controversial clauses. A subcommittee of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) formed for the “Assessment and Implementation of CCE in the context of NDP in the RtE Act, 2009” (chairperson, Geeta Bhukkal, former Minister of Education, Haryana), submitted its report in July 2014, with a major recommendation for reintroduction of detention in elementary classes beyond primary (as indicated in the media reports). Newspapers have also reported that Delhi Government has written to the Ministry of Human Resource Development seeking an amendment in the RTE Act that would allow for detaining children after Class III.

While this matter has attracted a lot of public and media attention, there has been little informed discussion on the specific and deeper issues involved with regard to the policy provision of no detention in the RtE Act. Extreme positions for and against the policy provision have been taken, and the government is thinking of changing the provision without adequate discussion on the implications

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