Standing Committee Report Summary
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017
- The Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (Chair: Satyanarayan Jatiya) submitted its report on the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017 on February 9, 2018.
- The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on August 11, 2017. It was referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development on August 22, 2017. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 prohibits detention of children till they complete elementary education i.e., class 8. The Bill seeks to amend this provision to state that a regular examination will be held in class 5 and class 8 at the end of every academic year. If a child fails the exam, he will be given additional instruction, and take a re-examination. If he fails in the re-examination, the relevant central or state government may decide to allow schools to detain the child.
- Reinstating examinations: The Committee observed low learning levels among school children. It noted that with the no-detention policy there is no pressure on the children to learn and on the teachers to teach. Therefore, there is a need for policy change so as to improve the learning of children at the elementary stage of education (classes 1 to 8). In this context, the Committee upheld the Bill’s provision which states that learning of children must be assessed through examinations in classes 5 and 8.
- Flexibility of states: The Committee supported the Bill’s provision wherein states have the discretion to detain or not to detain. If they choose to detain, they can do so in class 5 or class 8 or in both classes. As there are diversities amongst states, it would be appropriate that they are allowed to take a decision as per their circumstances and needs. With the discretion resting with the states, there is a possibility that they make different rules under this provision leading to repercussions on the uniformity of elementary education system results. The Committee recommended that common guidelines may be issued to all states with respect to detention of a child.
- Implementation of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation: Under the RTE Act, 2009, Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) is the evaluation mechanism for elementary education. The Committee noted that the inadequate implementation of CCE under the Act has contributed to poor learning outcomes. The Committee recommended that CCE should be implemented properly for providing quality education at the elementary level.
- Teacher capacity: The Committee observed over engagement of teachers in non-teaching activities like census, invigilation duties, among others. In this context, it recommended enhancing the academic and professional standard of teachers. It suggested making efforts to build teacher capacity by providing professional teacher education, and pre-service and in-service training to teachers.
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