Should no detention policy be Scrapped

Context

  1. It has been debated from long that the no-detention policy should be scrapped as it has negatively impacted quality of basic education in the country. Recently, Union Cabinet has approved the scrapping of the no-detention policy in schools till Class VIII.
  2. Various states, including Delhi, have raised serious objections against the no-detention policy, citing it as a reason of high failure and drop-outs in classes 9 and 10.

What does it mean?

  1. It means that an enabling provision will be made in the Right to Education Act which will allow states to detain students in class 5 and class 8 if they fail in the year-end exam.

What is no detention policy?

  1. As per the No Detention Policy, no student can be failed or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education covering classes 1 to 8. All the students up till Class VIII will automatically be promoted to next class.

Analysis

Reasons why ‘no detention policy’ should be scrapped:

1. Negative impact on standard of education: It has led to increased failure rate in classes 9th and 10th. Hence, if the ‘no detention policy’ continues, it will leave a negative impact on the standard of education and force the children to face more harsh future.

2. This policy has led to students developing a casual attitude, with there being no risk of failing. The teachers have also become lethargic & started showing lesser interest towards academics.

3. With the policy in place, the Education Department does not take steps to revamp itself and the teachers do not take the pain to ensure a good education to the children.

4. Dark future of students: Students will face problem in their coming life because of no good education in the schools as their learning level would be very low.

5. Zero academic outcomeIf no merit is checked while giving promotion to another class, the children will never learn the importance of studying and acquiring knowledge. It will lead to poor academic outcome in classes.

Reasons why no detention policy should be continued

  1. Reducing dropouts from the schools due to peer pressure was the main reason the Right to Education Act included the no-detention provision, if it is reversed many students would stop going to schools when they fail due to pressure from peers and family.
  2. Section 29 (2) (h) of the RTE Act makes comprehensive and continuous evaluation (CCE) mandatory, wherein schools are expected to use test results to improve teaching and learning of the child and visualise evaluation as a diagnostic tool to improve learning. So scrapping the policy is not a solution, infact it should be modified and corrected.
  3. If a student is made to repeat a grade, there’s a strong chance he or she will discontinue learning.
  4. There can be modification such as each school should conduct exams to ascertain which student is weak in what subject rather than scrapping the whole policy.

Way forward

  1. The phenomenon of poor learning outcomes is the product of many factors which influence learning, and should not be conveniently pinned to the door of the no-detention policy. The steps that can be taken to improve learning outcomes can be:
  2. measuring learning level outcomes of all children on a regular basis,
  3. catalysing a “performance-driven culture” and rewarding high performers at every level,
  4. changing stakeholders’ mindset and preparing them for new provisions, in which parents are made responsible or accountable for full attendance of their children.
  5. The policy should be implemented in a phased manner and a scale-up to all classes should be undertaken only after the critical infrastructural, teacher strength and teachers’ skill-set requirements are fully met.

Conclusion

Rather than addressing the core issues that affect quality of education in the country, the entire focus seems to be shifting to bring back the pass/fail model. It is high time steps are taken to remove the other flaws that exist.

Hence, the policy should either be renovated with adequate changes to neutralize the ill effects or replaced with a new policy that would take a balanced approach.

Source

https://scroll.in/latest/845915/cabinet-approves-scrapping-of-no-detention-policy-in-schools

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/right-to-education-act-no-detention-policy-ndp-school-students-4785429/

http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/simply-put-the-no-fail-policy-may-have-failed-what-now/

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/no-detention-policy-works/article3429830.ece

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