With Madhya Pradesh deciding to scrap the no-detention policy in schools, experts on Friday expressed concern that the move might trigger high dropout rate and more suicide by students over failure.
After the Central Advisory Board of Education – a body of the union human resource development ministry – gave states the authority to decide on the policy, Madhya Pradesh on October 25 revoked it.
The no-detention policy under the Right To Education Act allows students to be automatically promoted till class 8. The policy was introduced in the state in 2010.
From January until the board results were out, more than 45 students committed suicide and more than 15 attempted suicide in the state.
According to the latest data of state crime records bureau, 625 students committed suicide in Madhya Pradesh in 2015.
Authorities said they have made appointment of counselors mandatory for every school affiliated to Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education from next academic session to address stress-related problems among students.
Minister of state for school education Deepak Joshi said, “I believe that the removal of no detention policy would help students to be prepared for competition from a very young age. It will also restore quality education.
“For students, who are under stress and depression, we have made appoint of counselors compulsorily in schools. Scrapping the examination system did more harm than good.”
Educationists blamed the state government for not implementing the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) properly in the state board.
Academician M Zamiruddin said, “The CCE pattern was a very good method of internal evaluation. Children were tested all round the year rather than a 3-hour paper deciding their performance. It’s just that it could not be followed well in state board affiliated schools.
“Changing the system will not help in improving the quality of education. For that, sufficient numbers of well trained teachers have to be hired. The removal of no detention policy can only increase stress among students.”
Psychiatrist Satykant Trivedi said, “Once you scrap the no-detention policy, dropout rate will increase… and then came CCE because of which students were assessed differently. The policy was never really a problem. Its implementation was.”
The state government revoked no-detention policy till Class VIII on October 25