While the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) has asked the government to review the ‘no-detention’ policy, parents and students are against the scrapping of the policy as it would bring back exam-related pressure on students.
Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs) are also planning to write to the state government asking them to monitor the implementation of the policy rather than scrap it.
The no-detention policy mandating automatic promotions till Class 8 was implemented as part of the Right to Education Act, 2009. It was put in place in 2010, to make sure students do not take any drastic steps under pressure.
Parents said that scrapping the policy might once again trigger pressure on students and also increase the number of drop-outs. “This is a step backward. Not failing students actually helps reduce the dropout rate among children,” said Debi Guha, whose daughter studies in Class 7.
Educationists hold teachers responsible for the policy back-firing. “Many teachers are simply pushing students to higher classes without holding any retests till they achieve the basic marks,” said Arundhati Chavan, president of the PTA United Forum.
She said that scrapping the policy would be a dangerous move, as schools might misuse it to achieve 100% results in board exams. “As they used to do in the past, schools will just fail weak students and not bother to work on them,” she said.
On the other hand, some students were in favour of scrapping the policy, as it might prepare students to study hard from their early years. “In Class 9 or Class 10, students feel the actual pressure of studying. Students will put in more effort from the beginning if the government changes the rule,” said Sanjana Poddar, a Class 8 student of Lilavatibai Podar Senior Secondary School, Santacruz.
Ruhi Jain, a Class 9 student of Bombay Scottish School, Powai, said, “Students in primary classes do not understand the importance of studies. If the rule is scrapped, then they will understand the pressure of studying from an early age, which will help them later.”