- Ms. Surina Rajan, JS, Defence and Member CABE committee (former Principal Secretary, Government of Haryana)
- Dr. Disha Nawani, Associate Professor, TISS, Mumbai
- Ms. Ameeta Wattal, Principal, Springdales School, Delhi
- Ms. Suman Bhattacharjea, Director, ASER Centre, New Delhi
- Mr. Firoze Ahmad Primary School Teacher, MCD, Sant Nagar, Burari
Chair: Professor Nargis Panchapakesan, Member, CABE Sub-Committee (former Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Delhi).
The provisions of non-detention and Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) in the RTE Act, 2009 [Section 30(1)] and Section 29 2(h) respectively] have become arguably the most controversial clauses in the Act. The reportedly wide spread criticism of the clause from across the spectrum of policy makers and administrators led to the constitution of a sub-committee of CABE in July, 2012 under the Chairpersonship of Smt. Geeta Bhukkal, Education Minister, Haryana, ‘for assessment and implementation of CCE in the context of the no-detention provision in the RTE Act, 2009’. The sub-committee submitted its report in July, 2014.
More recently newspapers have reported that the Education Minister of the Government of Delhi, Mr. Manish Sisodia, has written to the HRD Minister, Ms. Smriti Irani seeking an amendment to the clause pertaining to non-detention in the RTE Act, 2009. Sec. 30(1) of RTE Act, 2009 states that “No child shall be required to pass any Board examination till completion of elementary education.” This clause is preceded by Section 29 on ‘Curriculum and Completion of Elementary Education’. It is therefore important to read Section 30(1) along with the preceding Section. More specifically, Section 29(2)h includes the “comprehensive and continuous evaluation of child’s understanding of knowledge and his or her ability to apply the same” as one of the sub-clauses laying down the curriculum and evaluation procedure under the Act.
The amendment sought is to permit schools to detain children from class three onwards. This amendment is being sought without considering the related clauses and sub-clauses of the Act.
While this matter has attracted a lot of public attention, there has been very little informed discussion on the issue, including a lack of meticulous reading of the Bhukkal Committee Report that presents nuanced views on both sides. Therefore, extreme positions for and against the move are being taken; and drastic changes advocated to amend the law and overturn the policy without due discussion and thinking through the implications for the education and development of children.
In order to have a more informed debate and dialogue around this issue, a Collaborative Seminar Series Initiative is planning to hold a panel discussion on Thursday, 30th April, 2015. The panel discussion seeks to present diverse perspectives, representing policy, academia, research and the teaching community.
A background paper on no-detention and CCE will be prepared for the panel discussion. The paper will deal with the evolution of the ideas and how they came to be incorporated in the RTE Act. The paper will also highlight some of the implementation bottlenecks being faced on the ground especially in the design and use of CCE. In addition, a dossier of research papers on CCE and official documents on no-detention will be circulated at the event.