Detention no cure

Detention no cure


  1. Recently, the Lok Sabha passed amendment to RTE Act to re-introduce ‘pass-fail’ system in schools.

Important facts:

2. The amendment allows states to hold a regular examination at the end of Classes 5 and 8.

3. 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.

4. This examination must be held within a period of two months from the date of the declaration of the result.

5. If the child still does not pass the exam, the state government may decide to detain them.

6. However, no child can be expelled from school before they complete elementary education, the amendment bill states.

7. Criticisms of the amended Bill:

  • Many educationists argued that amendment will hamper the one of the key feature of the RTE Act, which is guarantee during the formative learning plan in schools.
  • The proposed change will allow state boards to declare a student failed and detain on the basis of an examination, although section 30(1) of the RTE act holds out the assurance that no child shall be required to free any board examination till completion of elementary education.
  • Detaining already disadvantaged children will break it further.

8. There are some concerns on learning outcomes of students. These concerns are determined by:

  • Quality of teachers
  • Students efforts
  • Process for continuous assessment
  • Active engagement of parents and the community.

9. The sub-committee of the central advisory board of education was set up for the purpose.

10. But, its assumptions were faulty because:-

  • It concluded that the crucial guarantee could be implemented only under ideal conditions, and these were not available, while the RTE act wanted to extend it all grades within its purview.
  • Tinkering with the RTE Act without sufficient thought will erode a major constitutional achievement.

11. The amended Bill have following positive aspect:

  • Enable all children to attend schools
  • In 2016 the NITI Aayog based on Punjab study found that bringing back detention in elementary schooling would increase the dropout rate, impacting the poor and Dalits the most as they depended on government institutions.

12. No detention policy is recommended by T.S.R Subramanian Committee.

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