The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (the Act) ensures free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of six and fourteen years.
It is an act passed to amend the Children's Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. On January 10, the President of India approved the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act 2019, which was passed by Parliament on January 3, 2019. In the Gazette of India, it has now been notified. The bill aims to abolish the principle of no-detention in schools.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019 has received the President of India's approval. In the upper house of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, the motion for the passage of the bill was approved by a voice vote. The motion to amend the name of the bill to reflect that it was approved in 2019 was also agreed by voice vote by Union Minister for Human Resources Development Prakash Javadekar. By July 2018, the Lok Sabha had already passed the resolution. The bill mainly seeks to do away with the no-detention policy in schools.
No Detention Policy : According to this clause, 'a child admitted to the school in any class shall be detained.' Each year until Class VII, this translates into automatic promotions to the next year. Instead of assessments, for every pupil, schools should hold Continuous and Thorough Evaluations (CCE).
Objective : The main objective behind the change is to restore the country's education system, which according to the HRD Minister of the Union, is currently broken. The Minister claimed that in some states, such as Sikkim, Kerala and Telangana, many students have moved from private schools to government schools.
He added that teacher preparation, quality and transparency are most critical, and he said that their deployment is not right, while mentioning that there is no shortage of teachers.
Need for amendment : The question of adverse effects on children's learning levels has been posed by the States and Union territories in recent years, as section 16 does not enable the continuation of children in any class before completion of elementary education.
The amendment to the section was therefore proposed to improve the outcomes of learning in elementary classes and to empower the appropriate government to decide whether to hold a child in the fifth or eighth class or both classes or not to hold a child in any class until elementary education is completed.
Amendment Bill Provisions : In the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (hereinafter referred to as the “Principal Act“), for Section 16, the following section shall be substituted,
“16. (1) there shall be a regular examination in the fifth class and the eighth class at the end of every academic year.
(2) If a child fails in the examination referred to in sub-section (1), he shall be given additional instruction and granted opportunity for re-examination within two months from the date of declaration of the result.
(3) The appropriate government will allow schools to maintain a child in the fifth or eighth class or both classes, in the manner and under the conditions specified, if the re-examination referred to in the sub-section fails (2).
Provided that the appropriate government may decide not to keep a child back in any class until elementary education is completed.
(4) No child is expelled from school before elementary education is completed.
Furthermore, in sub-section (2) of Section 38 of the Principal Act, the following clause is inserted after clause (f), namely:
'(fa) the manner and conditions in which in compliance with subsection (3) of section 16, a child can be kept back;".
The bill's requirements relating to evaluation and detention vary from what most states have requested. In this sense, the question is whether Parliament should take these decisions or leave them to state legislatures. It is uncertain who will administer the test - centre, state, or school - (which could lead to detention). It could be argued that various factors affect the implementation of RTE and consequently have a bearing on the low quality of learning outcomes. The existing education system is not sufficiently prepared to completely incorporate the RTE. These include teacher problems, school transparency, evaluation characteristics, and age-appropriate preparation.