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AAP govt brings Bill to scrap ‘no-detention’ policy in schools

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New Delhi: Delhi government today tabled a Bill seeking to do away with the no-detention policy till Class VIII by amending relevant sections of the Right to Education Act, which it said are “prohibiting” quality education in schools.

The tabling of the Bill comes a week after Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia introduced two other legislations relating to reforms in the education sector, mainly aimed at reining in private schools by doing away with donations and screening process for nursery admissions.

Tabling the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015, Sisodia cited statistics of children failing in classes VI, VII and VIII. However, they could not be detained due to the said provision of RTE.

The clause, “Provided that if a child has not achieved class appropriate learning level in a class, he may be held back in that class” is sought to be added to Section of the principle Act.

“No child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education,” it says.

The deputy CM also called for systemic overhaul of the teachers’ training programme saying the six months or two years course were not sufficient for them. “Teachers build human beings unlike engineers or doctors who focus on say body parts or machines.

“Going by the implications of the policy one feels that it needs to be reviewed. The policy is good but was introduced without preparation which is damaging it. Our government is focusing on preparation before implementing it,” he said.

14, 18 and 25 per cent Delhi government school students of class VI failed in 2011-12, 12-13 and 13-14, respectively. In class VII, 14, 16 and 24 per cent and in class IX, 12, 13 and 21 in the corresponding years, Sisodia said.

The RTE came into force in 2010, thus limiting the government’s role to detain them in spite of the students’ faring badly. The amendments to Section 8 and 16 of the Act seek to undo that.