The Jammu and Kashmir Government has decided to go ahead with reforms in elementary and secondary-level examinations by re-introducing “Detention Policy” at Class 5th and Class 8th with provision for special remedial teachings for a period of two to three months during vacations.
It further notified to do away with detention in Class 9th, entitling all students enrolled for Class 9th to appear in 10th Class Board examinations. As per a fresh order issued by the School Education department, the Government has decided to implement its previous order No. 338-Edu of 2016 dated 16.9.2016 envisaging certain reforms in its detention policy.
However, in view of High Court directions, issued in a petition filed by Private Schools’ Association seeking its quashment, the order would be now implemented prospectively.
In its order, the High Court had asked the petitioner to submit a representation to the government respondent highlighting its concerns.
It is pertinent to mention here that Jammu and Kashmir had reviewed the ‘No Detention Policy’ after surveys indicated low-learning levels at the elementary level. As per a survey, Jammu and Kashmir had figured at 32nd position amongst the 34 States/UTs.
Further, the State-specific survey conducted also indicated that 22% children in Class 8th cannot read Standard 2 English text and 20% of Class 8th children cannot solve Grade 2 Math problems.
In the light of the previous order and the fresh order, Jammu and Kashmir has become the first State to introduce ‘Detention’ from class 5th to 8th on the basis of performance in T1 and T2 with arrangements for special remedial teachings for a period of 2-3 months during vacations, followed by reassessment for grade appropriate competencies and in the event of inability to meet the qualification criteria in such reassessments, the students are to be detained. It further notified to do away with detention in Class 9th, entitling all students enrolled for Class 9th to appear in 10th Board examinations.
The new order stated that the concerns as raised by the petitioners in its representation related to infrastructure and logistics are misplaced and are more of matters of management. “The Department successfully made arrangements for conduct of examinations from Class 5th to 9th in Feb-Mar, 2017 in Summer Zone of Jammu Division for 2,26,036 students,” it stated further.
“Now, therefore, considering the aforementioned aspects, the representations of private schools are found to be devoid any merit and hence rejected. However, to facilitate smooth transition to the exam system instituted vide Government order No. 338- Edu of 2016 dated 16.09.2016, it is further ordered that the referred Government order shall only apply prospectively,” it stated.