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Should underperforming students be held back before Class 9?

July 15, 2016 12:02 IST
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Is the 'no detention up to Class 9' policy encouraging performance anxiety among students when they reach Class 9?
Should underperforming students be held back and asked to repeat their exams?

Should students be detained up to Class 9

Manish Sisodia, Delhi's education minister, published a statement titled: 'Why are so many students failing in Class 9?'

Sisodia attributed the widespread failure of Class 9 students in Delhi to a clause in the Right to Education Act.

'The Right to Education Act states that no student can be detained in the same class upon failing in exams until Class 8. As a result many students don't take their studies seriously until Class 8. When they enter Class 9, they are suddenly confronted with tests and exams, which many fail to clear,' Sisodia, who is also Delhi's deputy chief minister, said.

'Last year,' he added, 'over 50 per cent students failed to clear the Class 9 examination. Depressed, some students even commit suicide.'

To counter this, Sisodia and his government feel that the no-fail policy before Class 9 is counter-productive and should be scrapped.

IMAGE: The Delhi government notice suggests the need to amend the no-detention clause in the Right to Education Act.

Last year, the Union HRD ministry asked state governments to submit their views on the RTE's no-detention clause.

Vinod Tawde, Maharashtra's education minister, voted in favour of the no-detention policy, but also suggested a variety of solutions to help underperforming students.

'If the no-detention policy is being interpreted as a no-tests policy by schools, and other stakeholders, it is very bad,' Tawde told the Indian Express in August 2015.

'We have passed a circular where we have insisted that each school should conduct exams to ascertain which student is weak in what subject,' Tawade added in his conversation with the Express. 'If the child is weak, the school needs to take additional classes or special coaching. But even after taking proper efforts, if the student fails then he or she should be asked to repeat (class).'

'If a student is repeatedly failing,' he said, 'we need to look at counselling and see what can be taught to the child to help him or her.'

Dear Students and Parents: What are your views on the no-detention policy?

Do you agree with Manish Sisodia that students should be held back before Class 9 and asked to repeat their exams and their grade?

Or is failing students at younger ages scarring and can result in the student losing confidence in his future abilities?

In many countries grade detention has been abolished or is not encouraged for this reason. What should the policy be in our country?M/strong>

What is the best way for schools to deal with those underperforming in school?

Please share your views, advice and experiences in the message board below.

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