The Education department of the Maharashtra state government is prepared to propose an amendment to the current ‘No-Detention Policy’ present in schools today. The ‘No-Detention Policy’ was prescribed under the Right to Education (RTE) Act and policy prohibits the detention of students between classes I to VIII. The proposal seeks to alter the policy to be able to detain those students who are not able to meet the prescribed learning level between the classes of V and VIII.
According to Education Minister Vinod Tawde, this policy has a “negative impact” for its students, rather than helping. He has stated that he is not recommending discontinuing the policy but propose two stages where detention is possible. Stating some of the drawbacks of the policy, he said that several schools have interpreted the ‘No-Detention Policy’ to be a no-exam policy which is not a provision of the RTE Act. He is of the view that schools need to conduct exams to be aware of their student’s learning levels. The result of not being aware of the students’ learning level often means that they are not able to cope with the learning level in classes 9 and 10.
The modification recommends marking the milestones of a school education i.e. Class V – when secondary education begins and Class VIII which is the last stop before preparing for the final Class X board exams.
Tawde suggested that those students who are not able to manage with Classes V and VIII should be provided remedial coaching to ensure that he/she is able to cope before being promoted to the next class.
The recommendation for this modification was made by Tawde at the CABE preparation meeting on 18th October,2016 and will also be presented at the CABE meeting on October 25th.
Maharashtra is not alone in this view, Rajasthan and Delhi have also opposed the ‘No Detention Policy’. In 2015, 18 state committees sent recommendations to the central government to annul this policy and more recently, the Delhi Assembly passed a bill to revoke the same.
Several reports have stated that failing classes contributes to the high rate of dropouts in primary schools. This is especially prevalent amongst children from underprivileged backgrounds. The ‘No-Detention Policy’ was put in place as outlined in the RTE Act and was initially introduced to avert students from dropping out of school. It has been effective since April 1st, 2010.