28 August 2015, New Delhi, RTE Forum. Civil Society organizations, educationists and NGOs have demanded to retain NO Detention Policy and strengthening of RTE Act, 2009 to avoid drop outs and increase the number of children out of schools. A collective meeting of different organizations was held today at Durga Bai Deshmukh Hall, Lodi estate, New Delhi. Meeting has resolved that “this is a myth that quality of education is compromised due to the introduction of policy of No Detention of children in the same class till completion of class 8 otherwise termed as elementary education. Such a view has been expressed by few members of CABE and Bhukkal Committee. But it is important to note in this context that several studies reveal that even after five years of the enactment of the RTE Act, 2009 less than 10% schools are RTE complaint; CCE is not implemented in true sense, 1.2 Million teacher posts are vacant across the country, teacher training institutes are paralyzed and more than 8% schools are single teacher school. Then, how can one claim that learning level is not improved while complete implementation of the RTE Act in letter and spirit is still miles away from its goals?”
Mr. Ambarish Rai, National Convenor of Right to Education Forum, a civil society coalition of 10,000 organisations, said that RTE Forum will send its representation through its State Forums to all State Education Ministers in the country submitting them signatures of thousands of educationists and ask them to write MHRD in favor of No Detention Policy and for the implementation of RTE Act. He said that the clause 16 of RTE Act, which states “no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from schools till the completion of elementary education”, is a child friendly and progressive policy. In this clause, there is no mention of any examination of the child during the course of his elementary education. What it states is that the child shall not be held back in the same class. At the same time the RTE Act is not against assessment of children mentioned in the clause 29 (2) (a-h) of the RTE Act which clearly spells out the procedure for evaluation for elementary education. In any case the child’s assessment is being done through the process of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE). Under the CCE the students are continuously evaluated on small portions of content. It is student centric in which teachers are to employ a variety of remedial measures of teaching based on learning needs and student potential. In such a system there is no competition, reduces the pressure of getting good marks and emphasizes on learning, there is no stress of ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ and therefore does not damage the motivation or self-esteem of the student. Also such a system would give confidence to the child to move from one class to the next without any disruption and anxiety in the early age. There is also no evidence that detention in the same class has ever improved the child’s learning. It’s worth mentioning here that No Detention Policy was brought in the Act with the intention to avoid discrimination and prevention of children belonging to weaker section and disadvantage group which is core principle of an inclusive education system.
Mr. Rai warned against the failing of a child saying that the non-performance of a child is not the fault of child rather a systemic failure. He said that after the rollback of this policy, the idea of fundamental right to education will be damaged and the number of drop out children increased. Further, he added that creating a strong Public System of Education should be the first priority of the government and it must revive the teacher training institutes to ensure good quality education in the government schools. He hoped that CABE will take necessary steps to address these concerns.
53, Sangha Rachna,