Nagaland revises non-detention education policy, students with poor performance to be detained

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Kohima, April 15: Nagaland is the state that has witnessed a staggering indication of deteriorating education. In a recent survey, during the year 2013, 35000 students appeared in Class 9 out of which 15,000 failed. In 2014, 4000 students in class 9 dropped out of school in Nagaland.

The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) Nagaland on Tuesday announced the revision of the Non-detention policy (NDP) under the Right to Education (RTE) Act in the state. The revised guidelines will come into force with immediate effect.

In Nagaland, 51% of class 5 students cannot read textbooks of class 2, while 71% of class 5 students do not know how to apply basic arithmetic such as multiplication, division and subtraction (Source: SCERT).

NDP may be one of the major factors for the poor performance of students, states Kesiezie. The revised guideline will ensure that students are enabled to learn and provided with remedial teaching and improvement with the help of teachers.

“What is the purpose of continuing a system that has failed? Too many rights have been given to the students but hardly any rights for teachers. Students have abused and misused their rights,” concluded Vipralhou Kesiezie.

The issue was first taken up by the Angami Students’ Union (ASU) in March 2014 where a representation was sent to the state government to revoke the policy. It gained momentum when the District Planning Development Board (DPDB) Kohima set up a research committee to analyze the intensity of the policy’s effects. Meanwhile, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) conducted a tour to 7 districts to review the policy.

The negative impacts submitted by the organizations led the SCERT to take up the issue and tour all 11 districts, conducting consultations with teachers and parents. The review of the negative impacts of the policy led to the revised guidelines of the NDP.

The Director had confirmed to the Morung Express last month that the NDP would be soon lifted or revised. “The reasons are simple. The students, knowing fully well that they are not going to be detained, many students have stopped taking their studies seriously.

The quality of learning has been undermined to a great extent. It has impacted the teaching community. Many teachers have also started maintaining a very casual attitude towards students,” stated Vipralhou Kesiezie, Director, SCERT, Nagaland.

Under the revised policy, three evaluations/exams will be held every year and students will either be declared as “Qualified” or “Need Improvement” (passed or detained respectively).

Continuous & Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) will be continued with emphasis on cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains for all round development of each child. The revised guideline also directs schools to implement remedial teaching and improvement of students who fail to attain the minimum qualifying marks of 40 per cent.

For final result, there will be provision for improvement examinations for those who are graded “Needs Improvement,” so that they are eligible for promotion to the next higher class. The school will conduct these improvement examinations within a week’s time after the declaration of final result.

However if students fail to qualify despite the provision of improvement exams, they will be detained in the same class. Clarifying on the detainment on students which contradicts the NDP, Kesiezie stated that under the RTE Act, Section 4 of Chapter 2 indicates remedial teaching to be arranged for students who are not able to catch up, which can vary from 2 months to 2 years.

An official also stated that the need for modification has come because there has been a “blatant and blind misuse of the policy,” misuse not only in the part of students but teachers as well. The official further stated that total revocation of the policy might take place in the future as it is affecting the entire country and the “damage that is being caused is too great.”

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