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Detention system to be brought back: Partha

Kolkata: State Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday said the detention system will be back in the state.
"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and academicians will be consulted to ascertain from which standard can we bring back detention," Chatterjee said while placing the West Bengal Primary Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017, at the state Assembly on Friday.
It is learnt that the Education Department wants the pass-fail system to be introduced from Class V. The Centre had made it clear that the states can decide on their own whether they will continue with no detention till Class VIII or bring back the pass-fail system. Sources in the department said that the government wants to bring it back effective from 2019.
Chatterjee had time and again indicated earlier that the government is planning to scrap the no-detention system in Bengal. Educationists in the state believe that the standard of school education has declined since the introduction of the no-detention system in 2009.
The "no-fail" policy, mandated by the Centre's right to education act, was introduced in 2009 to ensure children till 14 years of age did not quit studies for fear of failure.
In the present system, students till Class VIII are awarded grades and not marks, and are promoted even if they are not ready for the next class which has ultimately resulted in difficulty in coping with the syllabi of Classes IX and X.
Chatterjee said his department will identify those who are indulging in corruption with mid-day meal and take strong action. "I have been getting a lot of complaints about mid-day meals in primary schools. I will urge the people's representatives to keep an eye. We have already employed supervisors to stop such malpractices with mid-day meal schemes," he added.
The government is also mulling the idea of training primary teachers of government schools in English.
"We have also decided to set up a number of English medium schools. Apart from studying their mother tongue, students will also have to learn English at the primary level. There have been a number of recommendations for setting up English-medium schools from some districts and Kolkata is not an exception," Chatterjee said.
The Bill that was passed at the Assembly has raised the age limit for the president of the Primary Board from 65 to 68 years.
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