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Goa schools oppose 'no fail' policy this academic year

Tuesday May 17, 2011 07:52:53 AM, IANS

Panaji: The Goa government's decision to implement the "no-fail" policy from classes 1 to 8 as advocated in the Right to Education (RTE) law this academic year has been opposed by school managements, which say they are not yet equipped to implement it.

Members of the Goa Headmasters Association (GHA) which met state education department officials Monday, remained steadfast in their criticism of the hasty implementation of the Section 16 of the RTE Act in the absence of government guidelines.

"We met the state education director today (Monday) on the 'no-fail' policy issue, but we are not convinced that introducing it in this academic year, especially when the results have already been announced, is a good idea," GHA president Sanjiv Sawant said.

"We are not against the RTE Act in any way. But there are practical issues. For example, we would want to know from the government what remarks we should put while promoting the students who have already been declared as failed," he said.

The meeting between the GHA and director education Celsa Pinto has failed to resolve the deadlock, with the headmasters insisting on postponing the 'no fail' policy until the next academic year and Pinto insisting that it be implemented with retrospective effect from the 2010-2011 academic year.

The government circular which was issued last week, seeks to implement section 16 of the RTE Act with retrospective effect. The section states that "no child admitted in the school shall be held back or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education".

Educationists and schools have protested against Education Minister Atanasio Monserrate claims that his department's decision to implement the 'no-fail' policy was "irrevocable".

A local NGO working in the field of education has already called Monserrate's hasty implementation of the 'no fail' policy as "populist" aimed at the assembly polls which are scheduled to be held early 2012.

"It is surely a populist move aimed at the elections, which are scheduled to be held early next year," the NGO said.



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