The no-detention policy till Class 8, which was introduced four years ago for all schools, might be scrapped from the next academic year.
The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), the country most important recommendatory agency on education, has recently asked the ministry of human resource development to review the policy that allows for automatic promotion of students.
The recommendation was made after the board found that 60% students in Class 3 from across the country were unable to read textbooks studied by Class 1. Some states, such as Karnataka, have already announced that they will not follow the policy.
The state government has decided to take a call after meeting various stakeholders. “We will consult principals, teachers, educationists and students before deciding on the state’s stand,” said education minister Vinod Tawde. “There are different opinions on scrapping the policy — it might benefit a few, but also harm others.”
Most school principals are in the favour of doing away with it, saying the policy has had negative effects on students, brought down learning levels and encouraged absenteeism. “The standard of students and their commitment to academics has gone down,”said Freny Mehta, principal, Alexandra Girls’ English Institute, Fort.
Schools are seeing low-attendance during exams. “Since we can’t detain them, many students skip their exams,” said Prashant Redij, principal, Hilda Castelino High School, Kandivli.
Some academicians said the policy was misunderstood. “It doesn’t mean you can’t fail students,”said Meenakshi Walke, principal, Indian Education Society’s Sane Guruji Vidyalaya, Dadar. “Schools must hold retests and remedial classes for those who failed, but this is not being done everywhere.”