HYDERABAD: A rollback of the ‘no detention’ policy will have a negative impact on the financially deprived students in government schools, city-based educationists and child rights activists have cautioned.
Speaking at a meeting organised by Balala Hakkula Sangham, Telangana Parents Association and Students Federation of India at a hotel in Kachiguda here on Wednesday, they said that nearly 86 per cent of students in government schools were from marginalised communities and any revival of the detention system would make their future uncertain.
They said that the proposed bill would not have any impact on students of private schools as they had access to better facilities in schools and additional aid in the form of tuition after school hours.
Achyuta Rao, president of Balala Hakkula Sangham, suggested a legal recourse to stall the government’s move. Detentions would only raise the dropout rate, force young boys and girls to become child labour and, worse, might even encourage child marriages, he said.
“If 220 days of schooling cannot make students secure 36 marks out of 100, the problem is not with the students but with the method of teaching and syllabus. Our suggestion to the government is to focus on improving the basic facilities and filling the vacancies in teaching posts rather than detain students,” said the child rights activist.
The participants defended the ‘no detention’ policy on the ground that Section 16 of the Right to Education Act, 2009 proposes education of all children till Class 10 and therefore failing students for any reason is against the RTE Act.
They also objected to the clause in the policy that states that a student who fails twice in the same class would not be allowed to continue studies in that school.
“The erstwhile united AP state had decided to usher in ‘no detention’ policy in 1969. We have followed it till now. And to aid the education of dropout girl students, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas were set up.
With such schemes in place, where does the question of detention arise?” asked Sudhakar Reddy, MLC. A memorandum demanding continuance of ‘no detention’ policy will be submitted to Centre.