Abolish no detention policy, demands private school body

Navhind Times
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PANAJI: Quoting the observation made in the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) that the learning outcome from school students has dropped by 18 per cent since the implementation of the Right to Education Act, the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) on Friday stated that most of the schools, especially budget private schools in the country are in a state of turbulence since three years ago, when the act came into force.

The NISA also maintained that a provision of the RTE Act namely no detention policy for students until class VIII has deprived the children with superior intellect of their assessment through examinations. “The education has to be compulsorily based on learning outcome evaluated at all levels,” it noted, demanding that the no detention policy should be abolished.

NISA is a platform that brings together budget private schools (BPS) from across the country. The NISA officials would be attending the Edu Vision India – 2020 event to be held at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium on September 26, at 4 p.m. The two-day event will have a number of deliberations on holistic qualitative education in the country and would be participated by renowned educationists including Dr Anuradha Sahasrabhddhe, Dr Harish Shetty, Theresa Almeida, Amit Chandra, and so on.

Founder of Art of Living Sri Sri Ravishankar would deliver keynote address at the inaugural session of the event, while the Speaker of Goa legislative assembly Rajendra Arlekar and the Vice Chancellor of Goa University Dr Satish Shetye will be the guests of honour. The event is organised by the All Goa Government Recognised Unaided Schools Association and the Art of Living. The NISA vice president (advocacy) Kulbhushan Sharma, addressing a press conference on the eve of the national conference on education, said that the population of Goa is less as compared to other states in the country, and therefore, Goa faces no major education-related problems as of now.

“However, once the population increases, such problems would slowly enter the state,” he predicted, pointing out that last year, around 300 government primary schools closed down in Goa, which is altogether a different kind of trend.

Sharma also informed that a memorandum with recommendations by NISA would be submitted to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Sri Sri Ravishankar. The memorandum includes providing monthly education vouchers of Rs 1,500 to the 25 per cent economically weak students under the Right to Education Act towards reimbursement of their fees.

The memorandum also demands that all rules framed under the RTE regarding infrastructure in private schools recognised before the Act, should be applied only prospectively and not retrospectively, as adjoining lands of many schools are not available, and therefore, the structure of schools cannot be changed. It also asks the central government to support one country, one educational board system so as to disseminate uniform education, wherein just as a student has freedom to join a school of his or her choice, a school after recognition from the state government should have a choice as to whether to get affiliated to the state educational board, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) or Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE).

The general secretary of the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, D Shashikumar, speaking on the occasion, said that the provision of the Right to Education Act, which prevents punishment to mischievous students, has created difficulties in maintaining discipline in the schools. “So has juvenile crime increased drastically,” he observed, pointing out that in spite of the RTE, there are still 4 to 5 crore students in the country, who are deprived of education. The co-convener of the event Aparna Palyekar was also present for the briefing.

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