The Pioneer | 30 December 2017
The Delhi High Court has granted last opportunity to municipal bodies to file replies on a PIL alleging that the no-detention policy in corporation and Government schools till Class VIII has led to a situation where over 70 per cent students are unable to read Hindi or English.
The plea has contended that this situation is a result of misinterpretation of the policy, under the Right to Education Act, by these schools in the national Capital.
Taking note of the seriousness of the issue, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also imposed a fine of Rs 2,500 each on them after noting that despite repeated opportunities given to them since February 2016, they have failed to file their replies.
The Bench has directed them to file counter affidavits in three weeks and fixed the matter for further hearing on April 23 next year.
The Union Cabinet has approved the scrapping of the no- detention policy in schools. Citing the “abysmal” learning level outcomes for children studying in classes VI-VIII in Government schools, the PIL filed by the Centre for Civil Society said studies by NGO Pratham in 2014 and the Delhi Government had shown that “more than 62 per cent students in classes VI-VIII in Government schools cannot read a sentence in English and more than 72 per cent cannot do basic division”.
The PIL has sought court orders for implementation of section 16 of the RTE Act, which allows for assessment of students at all levels by teachers or an outside agency.
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