NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed an amendment to the Right to Education Act, doing away with the no-detention policy that prohibits schools from detaining students till they complete elementary education.
The amendment allows states to hold a regular examination at the end of Classes 5 and 8. According to the amendment bill, a child who fails in the examination held after Classes 5 and 8 will be given additional instruction and the opportunity to appear for a re-examination.
This examination must be held within a period of two months from the date of the declaration of the result. If the child still does not pass the exam, the state government may decide to detain them. However, no child can be expelled from school before they complete elementary education, the amendment bill states.
The proposed amendment was introduced in August last year and referred to a Standing Committee of the Rajya Sabha. The committee submitted its report to both the Houses of Parliament in February, endorsing the amendment bill "in its present form".
The no-detention policy of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, banned the practice of making under-performing children repeat classes in elementary school - Classes 1 to 8 - to ensure they do not drop out of school. It was meant to reduce the emphasis on year-end examinations and replace it with a form of evaluation that would track students' progress through the year.
However, the present government feels that the lack of "pass-fail" system has led to deterioration in quality of learning in schools as evident in the poor results of the National Assessment Survey carried out by the Union Human Resources Development Ministry and NCERT.