Seven years after the government implemented the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday agreed to dilute the no-detention clause to allow state governments to detain children in classes VI, VII and VIII.
The Cabinet also cleared the UGC’s Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities Regulations 2017, aimed at creating an enabling architecture for 10 public and 10 private institutions to emerge as world-class institutions.
On the no-detention policy, Section 16 of the RTE Act, which came to effective in March 2010, currently states that no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled till he completes elementary education, which is Class VIII. The Cabinet is now learnt to have approved the HRD Ministry’s proposal to amend the law to provide state governments the freedom to draft appropriate rules under the Act for detaining a student in Class VI, VII or VIII.
However, no child will be held back in a class unless he/she has been given an additional chance to clear the exam after failing once, said sources. In between the first and second attempt, the student will be given remedial coaching.
The proposal was passed at the behest of various state governments. In August 2016, the Central Advisory Board for Education, CABE, the highest body advising the Centre and states on education, passed a resolution calling for scrapping the no-detention policy on the ground that students were no longer academically serious. Although the Parliament has already passed an RTE amendment Bill this session to extend the deadline for teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment by four years, the HRD Ministry will introduce another amendment Bill next session to change Section 16 of the Act.
The clearance for Institutions of Eminence comes in the wake of concerns that the country has little representation in international rankings of educational institutions.