ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Beyond the Oxymoronic Idea of No-detention Policy

The periodic debates on continuous and comprehensive evaluation and no-detention policy in media are completely futile, given the current class-wise structure of schools and curricula. As a result, elementary education gets defi ned by the number of years spent in school. The examination system thwarts all attempts at bringing reforms in pedagogy, curriculum and textbooks. Therefore, discarding both examinations and detention is necessary, and an alternative imagination of schools and curriculum organisation is imperative for the success of educational reforms.

The supporters of the no-detention policy (NDP)1 have started their lamentations yet again after newspapers reported that the T S R Subramanian Committee report had recommended reinstating the detention of students beyond Class 5 (Ambast 2016). This is a periodic fever from which Indian educationists suffer. Whenever there is a push from the government to do away with the NDP, instilled by the Right to Education (RTE)Act, educationists tend to suggest how retrograde this step would be and how failing children does not ensure learning. Though the educationists are right, their analysis is faulty and the twin reforms of continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) and NDP cannot succeed in the Indian education system as it is organised today.

Dropping the CCE and NDP will not, in any way, improve the learning levels among children. Therefore, in the current form, this is a futile and misguided debate. On the issue of the NDP, there are two kinds of problems that have to be solved in order to make it successful. One of these problems, often discussed, is that our system does not show enough willingness and commitment in terms of providing resources and preparing teachers with capabilities to carry out sophisticated reforms like the NDP and CCE. This criticism of the system and its administrators is true enough and lack of commitment is further debilitating. This is simply because without understanding the concept and mastering the complex pedagogical procedures of the CCE, the teachers can neither implement it nor can they make its contingent NDP successful.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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