Education Current Affairs - 2019
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The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched 70-Point Grading Index to assess the quality of school education in the states.
About the Grading Index
The salient features of the 70-Point Grading Index are:
- The 70-Point Grading Index will assess areas of deficiency in each state’s school education system so that targeted interventions can be made at every level from pedagogy to teacher training.
- The 70-Point Grading Index aims at helping states understand where they may be lagging behind and prioritise areas for intervention to ensure that the school education system is robust at every level.
- Under the grading index, 70 indicators will be used to grade state schooling systems on areas like number of existing teacher vacancies, number of direct entry recruitments especially at leadership positions, school infrastructure and so on.
- The index will assess states on a 1,000 point grading system with 10-20 points per parameter.
- The government will be setting up a separate fund over and above existing funding mechanisms to help states take up improvement exercises.
- The index will reinforce competitive federalism by giving the correct picture of where every state stands and inducing a fair competition to improve each other’s performances.
The Ministry has initiated the grading index to focus on quality improvement. The Ministry is also in the process of setting up a Central Institute of Assessment to strengthen Continuous and Comprehensive Education and handhold states in ensuring customised teacher training and work on pedagogical improvements.
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.