Save our Children from Being Failed & Pushed Out Withdraw scrapping of No Detention Policy
Failing a child or reintroducing stressful Board exams will not improve the elementary school education system or help children learn better. Our past experiences show that failing children only discourages them and develops a low self-esteem. Following a child-centred approach the RTE Act 2009 introduced the No Detention Policy (NDP).
NDP rejects elimination of children who obtain poor marks through a competitive examination system. Instead, the Act mandates a process of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) that assesses student’s progress in multiple ways and uses the feedback in the teaching-learning process. The basic idea of the policy along with CCE, was to ensure stress free and conducive learning environment for children and to check the high number of dropouts, especially among the socially and economically disadvantaged sections. It was aimed towards overall personality development of a child in a fear-free child-friendly inclusive educational environment. This has helped retain children who gain confidence and aspire to continue education.
During the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, the Rte Act Amendment Bill for scrapping of No – Detention Policy (NDP) was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 11th August, 2017 through The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2017 (Bill No. 166 of 2017). This Bill has proposed to allow states to detain students in Class 5 and Class 8, if they fail the year-end exam. This decision of the government can impact the lives of about 250 million children between the age of 6-14 years in India.
We request you to write to:
1. Mr Prakash Javadekar (Union Cabinet Minister of Human Resource Development)
2. Ms Maneka Gandhi (Union Cabinet Minister of Women and Child Development)
3. Ms Stuti Kacker, (Chairperson of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, NCPCR)
to support a fear free education system by withdrawing this Bill. Withdrawing the bill will save children from a regressive system which fails and eliminates children simply on the basis of low grade/marks.
The two arguments put forth in favour of scrapping the no-detention policy are firstly, unless children have fear of failing they are not motivated to learn. However, there is no evidence to establish this. Second argument is that since children were not detained in early grades due to the no detention policy, they fail in grade 9th and 10th. This argument defies logic and is purely to showcase good secondary results on the basis of filtering out children at an early stage. In either case (failing in 5th or 9th) there is no improvement for the child. It is important to know that the RTE Act is not against assessment of children. In fact, it introduces the concept of “Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation” (CCE) with the sole purpose of assessing a child’s performance and assisting the child to perform better in subjects where he/she is lagging behind”.
While framing the RTE in 2009, the MHRD had asserted that children are failed most often because the learning environment is inadequate to help them learn and develop their potential. “It is a failure of the system, rather than of the child. This requires addressing the improvement of the quality of the system rather than punishing the child through detention. There is no study of research that suggests that the quality of the learning of the child improves if the child is failed. In fact, more often than not the child abandons school/ learning altogether.”
There are thus several factors that affect a child’s learning in their primary years. The fact that their parents cannot tutor them at home or they come from economically weaker sections, non-availability of proper textbooks, lack of trained teachers, over-crowded or inadequate classrooms and poor school infrastructure. Detaining such poorly provided children will lead to massive drop-outs, especially among the first generation learners without giving them ample opportunity to grow, to identify their diversified talents within the constitutional provisions of the educational system.
“Rte Forum represents a coalition of individuals/organizations/institutions who strongly advocate for an equal, safe, fear free and stress free education for every child as their fundamental right. We request you to sign this petition and help children have a joyful and quality learning experience in schools.”