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

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Will Detaining Children Ensure Learning?

A proposed change in the Right to Education Act could kill its intent.

The rollback of the no-detention policy (NDP) is a classic example of one step forward and two steps backward in envisioning and implementing reforms in school education. An amendment bill to scrap the NDP in schools till Class VIII under the Right to Education (RtE) Act was recently cleared by the union cabinet. It proposes an enabling provision that will allow state governments to detain students in Class V and Class VIII, if they fail in the year-end exam. They will be given a second chance before they are detained but no class is specified after which detention will be legal, implying that children can be held back from the entry level itself. 

Under the existing provisions of the RtE Act, students are automatically promoted to the next class till Class VIII. This provision, popularly called the NDP, was hailed by most educationists and practitioners as being the most progressive component of the RtE Act. However, the public perception of this provision was contrary and it soon came under criticism, and began to be contested. The uproar eventually culminated in a decision by the Central Advisory Board of Education to roll back the policy and restrict it to Class V. Interestingly, the decision is understood to represent the concerns of parents and teachers, and resolve the problem of “reported” non-learning of children, especially those studying in government schools.

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Updated On : 4th Sep, 2017

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