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Edu policy:States raise concern over no-detention till Class 8

New Delhi, March 23: Some states have expressed concern over the controversial no-detention policy up to Class-VIII, saying it has led to a sharp fall in academic exercise, at a high-level meeting on the proposed National Education Policy, consultations for which are expected to be over by December.

At a meeting of state education ministers and secretaries here today, Madhya Pradesh Education Minister Paras Chander Jain argued that automatic class promotion has led to a situation where "a student neither fails up to Class VIII and nor gets promoted after that".

Automatic class promotion up to Class VIII under the policy has led to sharp fall in academic exercise and students are unable to cope up with examinations in the upper classes failing in the process, Jain said at the meeting, chaired by Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani.

Some other states including Assam, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan are understood to have voiced similar concerns. Reforming the school examination system is one of the themes for consultations on the new education policy.

Talking to reporters, School Education Secretary Vrinda Sarup parried a question on the government's stand on the issue, saying the thematic groups are gathering views which may be complementary or different from that issue. "Essentially, everybody is talking about quality of education.

It is a structured discussion, not to say this has to be reverted. Quality has wide dimensions," she said. Last year a panel headed by then Education Minister of Haryana Geeta Bukkal had recommended re-introduction of class promotions in its report.

No-detention till class 8. Right or wrong?

The controversial policy came into effect with the enactment of the RTE Act allowing students to get promoted up to Class VIII regardless of their academic performance. The participants were hopeful that the new education policy would address the issue comprehensively.

The draft report of the education policy would be put up before various stakeholders and the Central Advisory Board of Education following completion of the consultation process.

Around 2.5 lakh consultation meetings would be held at the village level, about 6,600 meetings at the block level, 626 deliberations at the district level and 3,500 meetings in urban local bodies. The government has set up a task force to monitor the consultation process.

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