Restricting the no-detention policy up to Class 5 is regressive, said educators and child development specialists in consultations over the draft New Education Policy (NEP). They said if the automatic promotion of students till Class 8 is revoked, the number of failures and drop outs will increase.
Two consultations were held in the city on Friday and Saturday to discuss the draft NEP released last month by the ministry of human resource development. The draft is open to suggestions from stakeholders in the education sector till August 15.
The no-detention policy was introduced in 2010 under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009. It stipulated that schools cannot fail students from Classes 1 to 8. The NEP proposed limiting the policy to lower classes after teachers and parents opposed it. Educators said that the policy is needed to protect the children from stigma of failure.
“The effects of failing a child are far worse than that of promoting him to a higher class even though he didn’t pass the exam. They carry the tag of failure throughout their life,” said Basanti Roy, convenor of Shikshan Katta, an education forum and former divisional secretary of Maharashtra state board.
They argued that the policy failed because it was wrongly implemented in schools. “Schools blindly promoted academically weak children instead of holding remedial classes,” said Rekha Vijayakar, director, ADAPT-Able Disable All People Together NGO.