After West Bengal and Gujarat, Odisha scraps no-detention policy

Days after Gujarat and West Bengal scrapped the no-detention policy, Odisha has re-introduced the pass-fail system in schools. Unlike West Bengal, which will judge students on their performance in classes 5-8, in Odisha schools, the system will apply from classes 1 to 9. 
On the lines of class 10 and 12, the state government will conduct examinations for class 8. “The state education department has notified every school about the centralised examination for class 8, which is scheduled to be conducted in March,” Education Minister Samir Ranjan Das told

If a student fails in class 5, he or she will get another chance to get promoted to class 6, but be detained if they fail to clear class 8 exams, the minister noted.

Claiming to abstain from using the phrases “pass and fail”, former controller of exams syllabus committee of Odisha Board of Secondary Education, Minakshi Das commented, “The word pass and fail should not be introduced as a stamp in such lower classes like 5 and 8. But, well/fair/succeeded, etc should be applied for candidates who have cleared exams. On the other hand, ‘on progress’ should be written for unsuccessful candidates. They may be given frequent and monthly chances to reach the upper level.” 
Questioning the objective of the move, the National Institute of Technology Durgapur chairperson Anupam Basu remarked, “Assessment is a must. But what is the objective? It is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of students. To me, pass-fail debate does not convey the proper intention. The identification of weaknesses should be followed by proper remedial measures and not stigmatising the student. This is only possible through overhauling of the assessment system in the schools.”

The no-detention policy in classes 5 and 8 was scrapped with the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act moved by the Central government, passed in both Houses in the winter session this year.