An assessment conducted by the government between July 14 and 16 of over 2 lakh Class VI students of Delhi government schools found that 74 per cent could not read a paragraph from their Hindi textbook, 67 per cent children could not do simple division, and 75 per cent children could not read a Class II English textbook. These dismal figures tell the story of an education system that’s in a shambles.
The no-detention policy, which prohibits schools from detaining or expelling any student up to Class VIII, is the most contested provision of the Act, with both teachers and the government blaming it for everything from poor learning levels to the increasing levels of violence. Marlena agrees the no-detention policy has its faults. “The school system here is not ready for a policy of this nature. There was very little accountability in the first place and no-detention has removed even that,” she says.