No consensus amongst states on no-detention policy
The Ministry of Human Resource Development's plan to scrap the no-detention policy will take time to be implemented. This is because the states have split views on this issue. Instead of completely doing away with the policy, the government is expected to lower the age of no-detention policy to 5th standard instead of current 8th standard.
No detention policy meant that students till class VIII were automatically advanced to the next class without being held back. The policy was executed as part of the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) under the RTE Act in 2010. The concept focused on assessing a child throughout the year, and not just based on achievement in one or two term examinations.
While the No Detention Policy was implemented to counter the growing rates of dropouts, it was soon revealed that the measure was faulty. Assessing 'minimum levels of learning' became a challenge. The schools complained that this policy promoted a 'lackadaisical attitude'. Furthermore, a survey revealed that every 2nd "Class V student in rural India can't read the text of a class three levels below."
In 2012, a sub-committee set up by the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) came up with the determination that the no-detention policy has had a "very bad" impact on the Indian school going children. A Centre-appointment panel in December 2015 then prescribed retraction of the 'no-detention policy'. The panel had asked the opinion of "22 states, of which 18 favoured revoking the policy."
The NDP can be abolished only by an amendment to the RTE Act. The Class X board examinations which were scrapped along with the introduction of NDP can be "re-introduced through an executive order."
While most states wanted the NDP revoked, it's a complicated process. HRD minister Javadekar spoke to the Attorney General to ascertain how the 'no-detention' clause could be revoked through an executive order. The government opined: "Waiting for amendment in the RTE Act will take very long". Moreover, BJP doesn't enjoy a majority in Rajya Sabha, the amendment bill might fail.
Sources added that the government will re-introduce the class X examinations for CBSE students. The announcement for the same is likely to be made by HRD Minister Prakash Javedekar on 25 October. The exams are likely to be back by 2018.