Friday, 4 September 2015

Right to Education | Admission in Age Appropriate Class (AAAC), Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE),No-detention policy (NDP)

Why in news?
The national press is abuzz with reports on whether to re-introduce the old pass-fail system or continue with the current automatic promotion (referred to as “no-detention policy [NDP]”) to the next class, brought in as part of the implementation of the Right To Education Act (RTE, 2009). 

RTE and its 3 main ideas:

  • They are: admission in age appropriate class (AAAC), continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE), and no-detention policy (NDP)
  • All three ideas come from what could be broadly called the progressive education movement in the West that entered India under the name of “child-centred education”.  
  • These ideas demand that children work together and progress in rational enquiry in a free atmosphere.
    • AAAC - It is assumed that interaction and collaboration with children of similar age will help them in this progressive meaning making. Therefore, the need for the AAAC.
    • CCE - Similarly, children progress with varied speeds and not necessarily through the same conceptual routes; therefore, one periodic examination on fixed questions for all becomes inappropriate and leaves much of the child’s progress in scholastic as well as moral and emotional development un-assessed. Hence, the need for the CCE.
    •  NDP - Since children progress as per their own speed, which is necessary for conceptual clarity, there is no point in pass-fail in classes. This will only artificially bunch children together. Therefore, the need for the NDP.
  • The three ideas are closely connected through assumptions regarding knowledge, human learning and the child’s nature. They are complementary to each other and can only work in any education system if taken together seriously.  
  • If we accept the assumptions underlying AAAC, CCE and NDP, then the organisation of the curriculum and the school structure will need fundamental changes. The curriculum and syllabi will have to assume a “learning continuum” rather than a “learning ladder”.
    • Putting children into different grades and the pass-fail kind of examination system becomes redundant and an impediment to teaching-learning. The only form of assessment that can serve the purpose then is the CCE.  
  • The contradiction between an outmoded authoritarian system and a more enlightened idea of education is being played out in the form of introduction and then the clamour for removal of CCE and NDP. CCE and NDP simply cannot be meaningfully implemented unless we challenge and dismantle the authoritarian education system. 
    All the three ideas of CCE, NDP and AAAC are theoretically sound, practically proven, and much better for quality education. 
    •  That is what makes the current antagonism to NDP misguided — the fault lies in the authoritarian structure of the school, not in the NDP. 

 [Ref: The Hindu]

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