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Indian Polity

Remedial training will be provided to students whofail in the examinations.   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

With some Bills pertaining to education already passing muster in either House of Parliament this session, the Ministry of Human Resource Development is looking to introduce a Bill to amend the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, to enable States to do away with the no-detention policy if they wish.

The Cabinet has cleared the introduction of the Bill and the Ministry wants it introduced in this session itself and passed in the next session.

Twenty-five States had recently agreed with the idea of doing away with or tweaking the no-detention policy — wherein a child is not detained till Class 8 — to give a boost to levels of learning.

Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra did not ask for a rollback of the policy, however.

The Centre has thus decided to allow States to take the call and to tweak the RTE Act to enable them to do so. The Bill is expected to permit States to introduce exams in Classes 5 and 8.

Students who fail in the exams — to be held in March — will be given remedial training and offered another chance to pass in May. Those who still fail will be detained in the same class.

Officials say there were complaints that the no-detention policy — aimed at retaining students in school and giving a fillip to education — led to learning levels taking a dip. The planned modification in the RTE Act is expected to arrest this trend.

“Dropout rates till Class 8 are just 4%, but they rise to above 20% after that. This is because of the no-detention policy,” said a top HRD Ministry source.

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