Monsoon Session of Parliament: Lok Sabha passes bill to amend RTE Act, scraps ‘no detention policy’ in schools

New Delhi: A bill to amend the Right to Education (RTE) Act to abolish the ‘no detention policy’ in schools was passed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Replying to the debate in the Lok Sabha on The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (second amendment) Bill, 2017, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said that it will be at the discretion of the states whether to continue with no detention or not.
The states, he said, will decide at what level and who will conduct the examination, the minister said.“It is a broken education system. We have to rebuild our education system,” he added.Representational image. Getty ImagesRepresentational image. Getty Images
Under the current provisions of the RTE Act, no student can be detained till Class VIII and all students are promoted to the next grade.
The minister said that in some of the states like Sikkim , Kerala and Telangana, the students, who were studying in private schools, have come back to government schools.
“Teacher training, quality and accountability are most important,” Javadekar said.Stating that there was no shortages of teachers, the minister, however, added that the deployment of teachers was not right.
While moving the bill in the Lok Sabha, the minister said, “It is a very important legislation and a majority of state governments supported this Centre’s proposal. It brings accountability in our elementary education system.”Referring to the no-detention policy in the Act, the minister said “schools have become only schools for mid-day meal as education and learning are missing”.
This bill has also been analysed by the standing committee and the panel also recommended bringing back the concept of detention in schools, the minister added.
The policy had been brought as it was felt that compelling children to repeat a class was demotivating, often forcing them to abandon school, he said.
This bill provides for a regular examination in Classes V and VIII and if the child fails, he or she shall be given additional opportunity for re-examination in two months’ time, Javadekar said.
Speaking on the bill, Congress MP KC Venugopal said that the proposed legislation lacks “clarity”.
“This bill needs clarity. It should be clarified that whether the Centre or the states will conduct the exams,” Venugopal said.