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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Delhi govt clears policy allowing detention of students in class 5 and 8 in select cases

It means, the city schools — both government and private — can now detain students in these classes in certain circumstances.

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2019 07:32 IST
Fareeha Iftikhar
Fareeha Iftikhar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The Delhi government has approved recommendations of the advisory committee formed to amend the no-detention rules for classes 5 and 8.
The Delhi government has approved recommendations of the advisory committee formed to amend the no-detention rules for classes 5 and 8.
         

The Delhi government has approved recommendations of the advisory committee formed to amend the no-detention rules for classes 5 and 8 in the national capital and is set to implement them from this academic session onwards, officials familiar with the development said.

It means, the city schools — both government and private — can now detain students in these classes in certain circumstances.

The advisory committee had submitted its report in March this year, wherein it had recommended detaining the students in class 5 and 8 only if they failed to get 40% marks in their reassessment. The committee was set-up to advise the government on the no-detention policy. In January, the Parliament had amended the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, doing away with the no-detention policy under which no student would be failed till class 8.

The states were asked to decide if they want to continue with the policy or not. This year, the Punjab education board detained over 3,000 students in these classes after they failed to get minimum required percentage in these classes in their re-examination.

In Delhi, the government said it will also do away with the term “detention” and replace it with “extension”, as suggested by the committee.

Chaired by Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) member Anurag Kundu, the committee had recommended against “unconditional scrapping” of the no-detention policy in classes 5 and 8. It had recommended that 30% weightage should be given to attendance of students (15 marks), their participation in co-curricular activities (10 marks) and their parents’ attendance in parent-teacher meetings (5 marks).

An official in the education department said that the government has made minor changes in the recommendation. “The committee had recommended 85% attendance to get full 15 marks. It has been reduced to 80% now keeping the interest of students in mind. All other recommendations have been approved as is,” said the official. The government will notify all city schools by the end of this month.

Officials said that the remaining 70% of assessment will be broken into three parts— 10% based on minimum competency to be attained at primary and upper primary levels and 30% based on generic assessment that will be done on the basis of questions about a passage, picture or diagram from each subject. The rest of the 30% assessment will be based on the standard subject-wise testing currently being practised in schools.

The overall score of the students will be counted out of 100% in class 5 and 8. If the student scores less than 40%, then they appear in a re-examination. “The re-examination will be conducted only of the 70% assessment part within 45 days. The remaining 30% marks of attendance, co-curricular activities and parents’ presence in the PTMs will be carried forward. If the students failed to score 40% overall marks after the re-assessment, then only they will repeat the class,” stated the recommendations report submitted by the committee.

Principals of both government and private schools appreciated the recommendations. Principals of government schools said that it will bridge the “learning gap” among students. AK Jha, Head of School of Sarvodya Vidyalaya in Rohini said that the move will improve the performance of students in class 9. “Under the no-detention rule, students suddenly come under pressure in class 9 and it becomes difficult for them to cope. It will help to bridge the gaps in learning levels because students and parents will start taking studies seriously up to class 8 as well,” he said.

The pass percentage of students in class 9 considerably declined in Delhi government schools after the introduction of the no detention policy. Last year, only 58% students passed in class 9 in Delhi government schools.

Jyoti Arora, principal of Mount Abu School, a private establishment, said that the parents and students should take the second chance “positively”. “There are students who do not even have the quality of the basic learning levels till class 5 and it is important to bring them there. Otherwise, it becomes impossible for them and the teachers to bridge that five-year gap. So, there should be some evaluation method and parents and students should take it positively,” she said.

First Published: Aug 15, 2019 21:28 IST

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