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Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019

Topics Covered:

  1. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

 

Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: RTE Act- key features, no detention policy.
  • For Mains: Significance and the need for amendments.

 

Context: The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019 has received the assent of the President of India. The bill mainly seeks to do away with the no-detention policy in schools.

Significance: The legislation is significant as it brings accountability in the elementary education system. The proposal received the support of a majority of state governments.

 

RTE amendment Bill- Key features:

  • The Bill seeks to amend the Right to Education (RTE) Act to abolish the “no-detention” policy in schools. Under the current provisions of the Act, no student can be detained up to class VIII.
  • As per the amendment, it would be left to the states to decide whether to continue the no-detention policy.
  • The bill provides for regular examination in classes V and VIII, and if a child fails, the amendment bill grants a provision to give her or him additional opportunity to take a re-examination within two months. Such children will be provided with two-month remedial teaching to perform better in the re-examinations. If the students still do not pass the exam, the state government may decide to detain them.

 

Right to Education (RTE) Act:

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (the Act) provides for free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years.

 

What is no detention policy?

According to this provision “no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class”. This translates into automatic promotions to the next class every year until Class VII. Instead of exams, schools are supposed to hold Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluations (CCE) for every child.

 

Need for removal of this clause:

The provision had attracted criticism with several states and schools complaining that it compromised on academic rigour and learning levels and quality at schools.

  • The TSR Subramanian committee for formulation of the National Policy on Education has also suggested that ‘no detention’ policy should be discontinued after Class V. It had recommended restoration of detention provision, remedial coaching and two extra chances to each student such to move to a higher class.
  • A sub-committee of the Central Advisory Board of Education also studied the issue closely and recommended a provisional detention clause at Classes V and VIII. In 2013, a parliamentary panel had also asked the ministry to ‘rethink’ on its “policy of automatic promotion up to Class VIII”.

 

Sources: toi.

Mains Question: In the light of abolishing the “no-detention” policy, critically analyse success and failures of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or the Right to Education Act (RTE).