“Introduce Pass-Fail from Class 1”
It was under the UPA government in 2010 that the no-detention till Class 8 policy was introduced. The justification was to reduce academic stress on children and promote healthy, holistic growth in budding minds and bodies.
However, according to many, the policy was flawed from its inception as it did not address the real problems of education, which were the utter neglect of different learning abilities and styles of children, and apathetic teaching methods.
The All India Save Education Committee (AISEC), with chapters in most states of the country, too opposed the move and continues to do so. It met at Jantar Mantar to highlight this problem. Educationists, parents, and students, assembled to make the government aware of the deteriorating condition of education across the country.
Arti and Kamlesh, home-makers from Shashi Garden in east Delhi participated as well. “We all want our children to get a good education, but it’s very hard to actually get it. It is the primary responsibility of the government, why is it not focussing on this?”
According to AISEC members and workers, like Sandhya, the no-detention policy has spoilt an entire generation of children as it makes them demotivated and lazy, and teachers indifferent.
“Rising crimes and social problems can be directly linked to falling standards and attention towards education,” says Professor Narendra Sharma of the Delhi Chapter and formerly with Zakir Hussain College.
School drop-outs still continue to be staggeringly high in the country. “We had 47 million children dropping out of school according to a report published by UNESCO in 2016, so these are not our figures but official statistics, and they are shocking, yet our government is hardly doing anything,” says Sandhya.
(Arti and Kamlesh, participants from Shashi Garden)
She adds that many parents had felt relieved and happy when the no-detention policy was first introduced, but over the years most have understood that it does not work in the absence of rigorous and accountable teaching methods. “But it doesn’t matter because education has become a business and the government is only interested in promoting rich, private schools.”
Earlier in October, AISEC was one of 10 organizations that came together to form a front to focus on government failure in addressing core issues in the education sector.
‘Save Campus, Save Education, Save Nation’ was the theme of their first national convention.
They intend to make this an important poll agenda for the elections this year.