Parliament watch: The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017 is scheduled to be tabled in the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, needing assent from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

The Bill seeks to amend Sections of the Act which prohibit detention of children enrolled in elementary education — classes 1 to 8. It provides for for detention of students enrolled in class five, class eight, or both classes. The Central and State governments are empowered to decide the manner and conditions subject to which a child could be detained on failing examinations held at the end of an academic year, and subsequent re-examinations. The re-examinations prescribed are to be held within two months of the aforementioned year-end examinations.

The amendment leaves ambiguity with regards to the authority conducting the examinations — whether it shall be the central government, state government, or the school. It also does not specify the quantum or the nature of syllabus of the aforementioned examinations.

The amendment leaves ambiguity with regards to the authority conducting the examinations — whether it shall be the central government, state government, or the school. It also does not specify the quantum or the nature of syllabus of the aforementioned examinations

It may be argued that detention upon failure prevents the addressal of the causes of the failure such as the lack of quality pedagogy or the non-standardised testing methods. As a counter point, guaranteed promotion too can be seen as a hindrance as it eliminates all impetus for teachers and students to put in effort towards learning.

The Leaflet