Opposing the provision of automatic promotions till Class VIII under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Act, 2009, a Parliamentary committee has asked the Ministry of Human Resource Development to “rethink” the policy as a student may not be motivated to work hard if promotion was guaranteed.

Expressing concern over the quality of education under the RTE regime and the learning outcome, the panel has asked the Ministry to ensure “concerted efforts” are made to achieve a minimum set of cognitive skills among students.

A sub-committee set up under the Central Advisory Board of Education is already examining the issue after academics and parents expressed reservations over the clause.

“The committee feels that a student may not be motivated to work hard to learn if he or she is aware that his or her promotion to the next grade is guaranteed,” the Parliamentary panel said.

“A child may not be mature enough to understand the implication of being required to sit for formal examination from class IX onwards and obtain the minimum benchmark,” the panel said in the report it tabled in Parliament on Thursday.

It said teachers, parents and peer groups may not always make efforts to motivate the child to imbibe quality education, and students were thus denied an opportunity to learn through the process and be prepared with the cognitive faculties required for higher grade examinations.

Similarly, the committee also expressed its unhappiness over the implementation of RTE norms and asked the ministry to ensure that “all schools fall in line” and comply with the mandatory requirement, especially with regard to reserving 25 per cent seats for children coming from weaker sections.

The panel has suggested the setting up of an effective monitoring mechanism on the issue of fulfilling 25 per cent reservation norms by schools as only 13 States have admitted students under the rule while 10 have notified reimbursement norms.

“The committee is not very happy with the status of implementation of this [25 per cent] component. It strongly feels all schools in all States have to ensure compliance of this mandatory requirement,” the report said.

It has also asked the HRD Ministry to take up the issue of infrastructure creation with “dismal and slow-performing States on a priority basis” while highlighting the fact that important parameters under the RTE Act have been missed due to the March 31 deadline.

The creation of toilet facility, one of the parameters, shows the worst completion percentage in Jammu and Kashmir followed by Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Odisha, Nagaland, Daman and Diu, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Arunachal Pradesh, the report observed.

Further, it emerges that Lakshadweep, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and West Bengal lagged far behind the cumulative achievement in the construction of primary and upper primary schools, additional classrooms, drinking water and toilet facilities,” the report said.