Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018

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The Parliament has given its approval for the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

What was the amendment proposed?

The features of the amendment proposed are:

  • The amendment bill does away with the no-detention policy mentioned in the law.
  • The amendment bill now leaves it to the states to decide whether they want to continue the no detention policy.
  • The states can choose to hold a regular examination either at the end of Classes 5 and 8, or both.
  • Students who fail this test will be provided with additional instructions and the opportunity to appear for a re-examination within two months of the declaration of the result.
  • If the student still does not pass the exam, the state government may decide to detain the student.
  • If a state decides to continue with the no-detention policy till Class 8, the amendment bill makes it clear that no child can be expelled from school before they complete elementary education

No detention Policy

The features of the No detention policy are:

  • The no detention policy was introduced in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. The act prohibited schools from detaining students till they complete elementary education.
  • The no detention policy banned the practice of making under-performing children repeat classes in elementary school to ensure they do not drop out.
  • The no detention policy was brought in to reduce the emphasis on year-end examinations and replace it with a form of evaluation that would track students’ progress through the year.

Why the no detention policy was withdrawn?

The Parliamentary Standing Committee had made the following observations:

  • The RTE act focused on the quantitative expansion of education. As a result, the quality aspects of teaching and learning were relegated to the backburner.
  • The committee noted that there was no pressure on the children to learn and on the teachers to teach.  Therefore, there was a need for policy change so as to improve the learning of children at elementary stage of education.
  • The NCERT’s National Achievement Survey and the ASER report consistently pointed towards the abysmally low learning levels among school children.

To address these anomalies, a decision was made to leave it to the states to decide on the no detention policy to address the issue of deteriorating quality of education.