State May Retain 'No Detention' Policy in Schools

Published: 08th September 2015 05:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2015 05:57 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: The state government is likely retain the ‘no detention’ policy for children in elementary schools.

The Centre had proposed revisiting this policy, and the proposal was discussed in detail at a recent Central Advisory Board for Education (CABE) meeting. A decision is likely after seeking the opinion of all the states.

However, the state government is unlikely to change the ‘no detention’ policy. Responding to a representation submitted by the Centre for Child and the Law (CCL), National Law School of India University here, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Kimmane Rathnakar said the state would retain the policy.

The representation said: “The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, hereby referred to as RTE Act or the Act,  introduces the ‘prohibition of holding back and expulsion’ under clause 16, which essentially means no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education. The introduction of this clause in the Act is often questioned with the argument that this clause compromises the quality of education in government schools.”

The representation said though the clause states that the child should not be detained, it is not against assessment of children. The clause introduces the concept of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) to assess a child’s performance and to help him/her perform better. This would do away with unnecessary competition, reducing the pressure to get good marks and the stress of pass or fail, it said. 

According to experts, detaining a child in the same class affects the child’s psyche and has an impact on his/her self-esteem. It often demotivates children from continuing in school, resulting in drop-outs.

Dr Niranjanaradhya, programme head of Universalisation of Equitable Quality Education Programme at NLSIU, said there is no evidence that states that allow detention have brought about any improvement in the learning of a child. Most of these children are generally from the marginalised sections of the society and are often, first-generation learners, he said. “Quality of education begins with treating all children as equals and respecting first-generation learners,” he added.

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