Education Development as an Election
| Education Jagat - 03 Apr 2019

Consider the recent decision — taken with genuine political consensus — about diluting the no-detention policy of the Right to Education Act. Politicians of just about every hue supported it. In the media, too, there was little criticism. Though it is a retrograde step, it looks as if it was the right thing to do. People find it obviously correct in light of their own childhood memories. One recalls being scared in childhood of failing in exams. This popular memory reinforces the commonsense logic that we all worked hard because we were afraid of failing. This logic is a shortcut to the conclusion that children will stop working hard if the fear of failing is erased. So, now one can happily take the final step: Learning standards are low (as dubious surveys have repeatedly proved) because the no-detention policy has taken the fear factor off learning. These quick conclusions become axiomatic if you are deliberating on children of the poor. Old, nicely entrenched middle-class images of the poor suggest that their children will take learning seriously only if the school injects into their minds a hefty, preferably daily, dose of fear.
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