After conducting various surveys on the no-detention policy, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has decided to define what students should know in terms of reading, writing and arithmetic at a certain age, across all school-level classes. The surveys proved that the learning outcomes of students were drastically decreasing due to no examinations till class VIII.
However, they have also decided to not completely do away with the no-detention policy. The decision on whether exams will be conducted after class VIII or class V has been left to the states' discretion. As reported earlier by DNA, most states that have agreed to no-detention policy want it till Class V only.
The decision was taken by the Ministry in the meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) that comprises of education ministers of all the states and various stakeholders on education.
"In the meeting of CABE, we discussed upon the various issues related to no-detention policy. We realised that the learning level outcomes of students have drastically reduced in the last few years. Therefore, the government has now decided to codify learning outcomes of students," said Prakash Javadekar, HRD Minister.
He also said that students will get two chances to clear exams in states that are doing away with no-detention policy. So, if the students fail while appearing for annual exam they will get another chance to clear the annual examinations. A point Javadekar's predecessor Smriti Irani had also agreed to, if the policy be scrapped.
With no-detention policy there was a system of Continous Comprehensive Evaluation that was supposed to assess students at every level, despite no examinations. However, that was not taken seriously by schools and hence the learning outcomes dropped, a survey by NCERT submitted to the Ministry stated.
The decision on what a student should know in each standard will be taken by the officials in the ministry based on suggestions received from various stakeholders. "The recommendations made will be presented before the Cabinet for its approval," the minister said.
The minister also clarified that if at all a state is scrapping no-detention policy and starting to hold examinations, they can only do it starting in the academic session 2017-18. The ministry has also decided to fix accountability of various stakeholders for improving the learning outcome. "Teachers will have to accountable for learning outcome of a student if we have to improve the quality of education," said a senior ministry official.