SIO National President Nahas Mala addressing in the media in Panjim raised questions over the implementation of ‘no detention policy’ by the state education department. He discarded the premise that children are not sduying as they are not afraid of failing grades.
He said “The reason behind the inclusion of ‘no detention policy’ in Right to Education Act – 2009 was to reduce the number of dropout students. Students from the marginalized community never came back to school when they were detained in the same class and therefore to overcome the situation No Detention Policy was envisaged, especially targeting the backward communities.”
However, contrary to the policy the number of drop outs has had adverse effect and the number of students failing class IX has increased across the country. “Goa has seen the failure rate at class IX this year at 34 percent, which is a huge number. One-third of the students are failing their grade just ahead of their crucial year of grade X”, he lamented.
Stating that the RTE is much more than just letting students upgrade from one class to another, he said that the policy also accustomed certain essential regulations such as one teacher for every 30 students, extra remedial classes for slow learners and continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) amongst others.
“The outcome of this act showed negligible response on other fronts and only no detention policy was effectively introduced and rest of binding clauses remained unimplemented”, SIO President reiterated.
Questioning the commitment of the government towards improving the standards of educations in the state, he said “While the RTE says employee one teacher for thirty students and implement CCE, we are seeing increasing number of vacancies in the primary school level and no full time heads of institutions in various schools and higher secondary schools in the state. This raises questions on the seriousness of the government towards the fundamental duty of a welfare state.”
Nahas Mala referring to the statement of Goa Board Chairman, said that it is unfortunate that a state like Goa which is amongst the most literate and educated states is facing teacher crisis. “It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that teachers are trained in respective subjects to infuse enthusiasm towards the subject. If the teacher is disinterested, how can we expect the students to show interest in the learning process”, he stated.
Speaking of higher education, he said that the Vice Chancellor of the only public university in Goa says that there is shortage of nearly half of faculty at the graduate and post graduate levels. “This raises serious concerns about the future generations of one of the most recognized states on the global platforms. If we do not have faculty at university level then we cannot expect good teachers at the lower levels and the vicious cycle adds to the downgrading of the whole education system”, Nahas Mala said.
He said that the student fraternity expects that with education portfolio in the hands of the country’s former defence minister, the functioning of the department would be at its best. “We are aware that education is something that is very close to the heart of the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. But we expect that the actions transcend the words”, he stated.