The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed after a brief discussion the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that seeks to scrap the "no detention" policy up to Class 8th for improving "learning outcomes". However, the Bill empowers the state governments to either scrap the "no detention" policy or keep it intact.
The Lok Sabha has already passed the Bill.
As per the old policy, children could not be failed in examinations, and their promotion to next class could not be withheld up to Class 8.
Replying to the debate on the Bill in the upper House, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar said that Education Ministers from 25 states were in favour of scrapping the "no detention" policy while four states said they would keep it.
"The Bill is leaving it to the states to either end the no detention policy or keep it," Mr Javadekar said, as he underlined that "driving out" children from schools was not the objective of bill.
"It says there should be examination. Competition is not a killer. When children play, they also participate in a competition of sorts. So, they should take school examinations in the same spirit," he said.
Mr Javadekar said the apprehension that school dropout rate would increase was unfounded.
"There are no dropouts up to Class 8 as there is no examination. But there is 20 per cent dropout rate at Class 9 and another 20 per cent at Class 10. But 'you have not learnt what you have studied' is no education," he said.
The minister said that if a child fails in a class, it would be the teacher's responsibility to give him/ her "remedial" classes for two months and then again the child will appear for the examination.
He also clarified that there would be no board examination at Class 5 and Class 8 levels but a normal examination in the school itself.
The Bill will become a law after the President's assent.
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