Adopt pro-kid reforms properly, say experts on Children’s Day

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 - 8:52am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
To make learning fun and exams stress-free, reforms such as the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, Continuous and Compulsory Evaluation and No Fail Policy were introduced.

On Children’s Day today, kids actually have something to celebrate, as in the last two years, the government has introduced several reforms to reduce their stress.

To make learning fun and exams stress-free, reforms such as the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), Continuous and Compulsory Evaluation (CCE) and No Fail Policy were introduced.

Educationists, however, believe that such reforms are still not being implemented to their fullest.

Even two years since CCE — the new form of assessment that evaluates the overall development of the child — was introduced in schools, teachers and students are still unclear about its exact implementation. “Schools and parents are still think that CCE means no exams, but it actually means assessing them continuously on their different abilities rather than just through exams,” said Arundhati Chavan, president of the Parent-Teacher Association United Forum.

Chavan also adds that many schools still continue with the traditional form of assessment, and unless these schools understand the concept of this reform, children’s stress will not reduce.

Member of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and director of Nirmala Niketan, Farida Lambay says that the Right to Education Act has contributed to banning all kinds of child labour.

“The Child Labour Act has been amended because of the Right to Education Act. It initially distinguished between the haves and have nots but now, all forms of child labour has been banned,” she said.

However, activist and president of NGO Forum For Fairness In Education, Jayant Jain says schools have just found ways to dodge the Act, especially clauses like not conducting any kind of screening during admissions and admitting 25% of the children from weaker sections.

“Most schools use their minority status to dodge the RTE bullet. Even though screening is prohibited, schools still conduct interviews under the guise of familiarisation with parents. They just don’t call it interviews anymore,” Jain says.

Lambay adds that there is a long way to go before these reforms achieve their purpose. “Our legislation is trying to make learning children-friendly, but schools and homes are still far from being safe for them. We first need to make a safe city where children come first,” she said.


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