Haryana Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal on Wednesday made a strong pitch for the re-introduction of the detention policy in schools, arguing that not having such a system had led to a sharp fall in the learning outcomes of students.
Bhukkal, who headed a sub-committee to review the 'no- detention policy' under the Right to Education Act (RTE), suggested that there was an urgent need to adopt a way to examine and assess learning outcomes. "She called for an urgent need to... improve the Learning Level Outcomes (LLOs) and also said that detention for low achievers should be reintroduced," according to a Haryana government release on Wednesday.
The statement was issued after Bhukkal had chaired the sixth meeting of the Sub-Committee of Central Advisory Board of Education here to review Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) and the 'no-detention' provision.
Earlier in the day, Union HRD minister Smriti Irani said in a written reply in Lok Sabha that the committee had held several rounds of deliberations and met different stakeholders before finalising its report.
The controversial policy came into effect with the RTE allowing students to get promoted right up to Class VIII regardless of their academic performance. The policy, however, triggered a controversy with a section of academicians and parents voicing their objection to it.
Bhukkal said that observations made on the implementation of the 'No-Detention Policy' and public perception had revealed that it was not helping to improve the achievement level of the students.
"Rather, the LLOs have steeply come down right from the academic sessions 2010-11 to 2013-14. The declining LLOs clearly reflect that there is something drastically wrong with the policy and system, which need to be remedied," she said.
Referring to the National Survey Report, she said that the trend in rural areas, where four-fifths of the population lives, shows that learning levels are steeply declining, especially at government schools. One of the root causes for the above is the 'No-Detention Policy' and lack of relevant assessment of learning levels, she said.
She also said that the sub-committee of the Central Advisory Board of Education had observed that prescribed courses were not properly covered, revised and practised, mainly because of the 'No-Detention Policy'.