NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel on human resource development has endorsed a government bill that seeks to allow states to tweak the “no detention policy” under the Right to Education Act and hold class V and VIII examinations every year to assess the performance of students.
The standing committee headed by Rajya Sabha MP Satyanarayan Jatiya, however, has also suggested that HRD ministry should not discontinue the existing system of continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) of elementary school students, accepting the views of various stakeholders.
In the report on the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, the panel has also advised advised the ministry to take "every conceivable step" to strengthen and implement the CCE.
The panel asked the ministry to come up with "a common guideline" for all the states to ensure that the rights of children for free and compulsory education up to Class VIII remains protected after the passage of the bill.
The HRD ministry had introduced the bill in the parliament on August 11, 2017.
"The learning of children must be assessed through examinations in classes V and VIII. The committee, accordingly, welcomes the proposed amendment in the clause 2(1) providing for regular examination in Class V and VIII at the end of every academic year and hopes that learning of children would improve considerably in future," the panel said in its report to Parliament last week.
The proposed amendments to the RTE ACT seeks to empower states to take a decision to hold back a child in Class V or Class VIII class or in both classes till the completion of the minimum standard of academic performance of the students concerned.
At present, section 16 of the RTE Act, first brought in 2009 by the previous UPA government, does not allow states or union territories to detain a child in any class up to Class VIII. It provides for automatic promotion up to Class VIII standard.
In the Union budget presented this year, the Narendra Modi government has also proposed to expand the ambit of RTE to include pre-schoolers and students up to class XII.