Education Current Affairs - 2019
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The Parliament has given its approval for the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
What was the amendment proposed?
The features of the amendment proposed are:
- The amendment bill does away with the no-detention policy mentioned in the law.
- The amendment bill now leaves it to the states to decide whether they want to continue the no detention policy.
- The states can choose to hold a regular examination either at the end of Classes 5 and 8, or both.
- Students who fail this test will be provided with additional instructions and the opportunity to appear for a re-examination within two months of the declaration of the result.
- If the student still does not pass the exam, the state government may decide to detain the student.
- If a state decides to continue with the no-detention policy till Class 8, the amendment bill makes it clear that no child can be expelled from school before they complete elementary education
No detention Policy
The features of the No detention policy are:
- The no detention policy was introduced in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. The act prohibited schools from detaining students till they complete elementary education.
- The no detention policy banned the practice of making under-performing children repeat classes in elementary school to ensure they do not drop out.
- The no detention policy was brought in to reduce the emphasis on year-end examinations and replace it with a form of evaluation that would track students’ progress through the year.
Why the no detention policy was withdrawn?
The Parliamentary Standing Committee had made the following observations:
- The RTE act focused on the quantitative expansion of education. As a result, the quality aspects of teaching and learning were relegated to the backburner.
- The committee noted that there was no pressure on the children to learn and on the teachers to teach. Therefore, there was a need for policy change so as to improve the learning of children at elementary stage of education.
- The NCERT’s National Achievement Survey and the ASER report consistently pointed towards the abysmally low learning levels among school children.
To address these anomalies, a decision was made to leave it to the states to decide on the no detention policy to address the issue of deteriorating quality of education.
On 15 December 2018, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has dedicated India’s first railway university to the Nation in Vadodara. The Railway University will be first of its kind institution in the nation and the third in the world after Russia and China.
- It is named as the National Rail and Transportation Institution (NRTI).
- It will be a deemed university which will offer professional courses in technology and management of transportation networks.
- The chairman of Railways Board Sh. Ashok Lohani has been named the Vice Chancellor of the University
- It will host visiting faculty from renowned institutions like XLRI School of Management and Indian Business School, Hyderabad and others.
The National Rail and Transportation Institution (NRTI) started its operation on September 5 earlier this year. The first batch of the university has already been shortlisted and consists of 103 students – 62 for BSc in Transportation Technology and 41 in BBA in Transportation Management. Both the courses are the flagship three-year programmes offered by the university.
The first batch of students has been awarded 50 per cent scholarship in the yearly course fee of Rs 75,000. The actual annual fee of NRTI for one year is Rs 91,000, including all other charges.
There are plans to start Master Degree programmes from the academic session 2019-20 in Transportation and Systems Design, Transport Systems Engineering, Transport Policy and Economics, and others.
The Railways Ministry has sanctioned Rs 421 crore for the NRTI and its curriculum development for the next five years. A greenfield campus is also under development for the university. Indian Railways has identified a 110-acre plot of land for the NRTI campus at Pipaliya village in Waghodiya Taluka, District Vadodara