The HRD ministry may decide as early as next week to scrap the schooling policy that automatically promotes children to a higher class every year till the eighth grade with a panel announcing on Wednesday that it forwarded the suggestion to the Union government after taking inputs from states.
The no-detention policy put in place by the Right to Education Act has been blamed for falling standards among schoolchildren so much so that surveys in Delhi found half of sixth graders in government-run schools being unable to read at all.
In its report to the HRD ministry, the committee said the policy should be reviewed and recommended “commencing fifth and eighth standard exams independently as was the case earlier,” said the chairman of the central advisory board of education (CABE) sub-committee Punjab education minister Daljit Singh Cheema.
The sub-committee had been tasked with taking final inputs on the no-detention policy after the CABE — the primary education advisory board comprising education ministers of all states — last year expressed concerns on the no-fail policy. If a decision to scrap it is made after the review, a process will begin to amend the RTE act.
Cheema said the 189-page report also “recommended spending more on elementary/primary education besides having a head for every school compulsorily”.
Significant aspects of the recommendations made in the report were also considered in the meeting with the HRD minister, Cheema added.
The recommendations of the report would be debated in the annual meeting of CABE on October 25 in which school education and higher education ministers of all the states will take part.
The committee recommended that a recruitment calendar is needed to be prepared in advance in order to ensure that no post remains vacant in the wake of superannuation.
“The committee has also recommended the constitution of a committee of academic experts to review the course syllabus, duration of course and practical training in vogue at present to become a teacher,” he pointed out.