Primary and Secondary Education – RTE, Education Policy, SEQI, RMSA, Committee Reports, etc.

[op-ed snap] The reversal of no-detention policy is regressive


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE)

Mains level: Possible effects of scrapping of no-detention policy (NDP) and why it is needed


No detention policy scrapped

  1. Parliament has recently amended the RTE to effectively cancel the NDP and allow for detention of children in classes III, V and VIII
  2. This amendment enables one of the most regressive actions possible in education
  3. The education policy in this country has taken many steps forward in the past few decades. This is one big step back

NDP a ray of hope

  1. Till the no-detention policy (NDP) of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE) came into force, failure and detention were an intimate part of the lives of students
  2. Detention didn’t help any of them learn any better in the slightest; it made things worse

Impact of detention

  1. The effects of flunking are immediately traumatic to the children and the retained children do worse academically in the future, with many of them dropping out of school altogether
  2. Among students at similar achievement levels, those who are detained do not learn more than those who are promoted
  3. Detained children are almost four times more likely to be from disadvantaged backgrounds
  4. The threat of detention is not a motivating force in any way for children to learn
  5. Detention has deeply damaging social and psychological effects
  6. Detention is completely dysfunctional educationally and deeply corrosive psychologically

Addressing issues of children should be the priority

  1. School education is often an intense struggle for many children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds
  2. The system fails in addressing the issues of these children and teaching them well

Way Forward

  1. Punishing children with no power to protest for the failure of everyone else in the system is just a convenient and cynical transfer of culpability
  2. It would be difficult to find another educational practice on which the evidence is so unequivocally negative
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