LUDOVINA MENEZES, VELIM
I strongly feel that no-detention policy adopted for the students studying from Standard V to Standard VIII has been the main reason for the pupils failing when they reach Standard IX. The no-detention policy has drastically brought down the quality of education in Goa. The policy would have worked had it been implemented effectively; but it was executed just for the heck of it so as to ‘honour’ the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. The concerned authorities have not bothered to check whether the students studying from Standard V to Standard VIII are promoted factoring in ‘minimum level requirements’. This is the truth about the no-detention policy and some may find it hard to digest it. Can the ‘minimum level requirements’ under the RTE Act be imparted to the Standard IX students within a year? Certain headmasters must have detained some Standard IX students in order to get 100 per cent results for the schools in SSC examinations. Detaining a student deliberately in any class is wrong, and only heartless headmasters and teachers must have detained the students intentionally. But the moot question is: when the implementation of the policy has itself been faulty then how can headmasters and teachers be blamed for the detention of the Standard IX students? Would teachers teach the syllabus meant for the Standard IX or strive to impart the ‘minimum level requirements’ into the students? The authorities should assess the levels of understanding, comprehension and proficiency of Std IX students from rural areas, and especially of government schools. These weak Standard IX students are detained, not intentionally but considering their inability to understand and comprehend fundamental concepts: some of the students cannot even read basic words. I must say that detention of any student in any class is not bad per se. It helps students to improve and work upon their weaknesses.