The Maharashtra government is in favour of scrapping of the no-detention policy, but with a rider that schools must hold re-exams for students failing in Classes 5 and 8.
Vinod Tawde, education minister, presented the state government’s views to Prakash Javadekar, HRD minister, on Tuesday, ahead of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) meet on October 25.
The ‘no-detention policy’ under the Right To Education (RTE) Act, which prescribes that students will be automatically promoted to the next class, will be one of the key issues discussed at the meeting. Javadekar held a video consultation with education ministers of all the states on Tuesday to know their views on the policy.
Tawde said that Maharashtra’s stand on the policy is different from other states. While several states have expressed their dissatisfaction over the policy saying it has affected the quality of learning, Maharashtra wants schools to rethink before failing students in Class 5 and Class 8.
“If students fail at these stages, schools must examine their weaknesses, hold remedial classes and give them a second chance by conducting re-exams,” said Tawde. “Students should be failed in Class 5 and 8 only if they are unable to clear the re-exam.”
The HRD ministry has been considering making changes in the policy. In its meeting last year, CABE had recommended scrapping the policy and had called for views from different states.
City schools and parents remained divided over the recommendations. Some principals said that the no-detention should be retained for lower classes, instead of being scrapped. “Class 3 onwards test-based promotion is necessary,” said Raj Aloni, principal, Ram Sheth Thakur Public School, Kharghar.
However, parents said that revoking these policies will stress students. “Going back to the old system would be regressive,” said Lata Parekh, a parent from Goregaon. “Other countries are already have no-detention in place to make learning stress-free.”