Pune: Although all schools have been recently directed to conduct re-examination for students failing in Std IX in June itself to avoid wasting of a student's academic year, Advocate Anubha Sahai of India-wide Parents Association said that there are 80 per cent cases in the State where students are purposely failed in Std IX so that the school can achieve a good result in Std X.
In a recent circular, Gangadhar Mhamane, Chairman of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) stated that for the first time this year, all schools will conduct re-examination for students of Std IX in June, and those who will clear the examination will be allowed to take admission for Std X.
Sahai told Sakal Times, "We have been spotting cases of schools purposely failing poor performers of Std IX in order to achieve the much-hyped '100 per cent' result in SSC. This practice is very common in Maharashtra and completely unfair to students. Instead of failing students, the schools must work on below average students and help them pass."
She said many students aren't serious until Std IX, however, once they reach Std X, they are aware of the importance of studying and end up scoring well. That's why each student deserves a fair chance to prove his or her potential.
"The new directive will help improve the situation and bring transparency in the process. Although it's true that again the schools will conduct re-exams, being on a smaller scale, it would be easier to monitor these," Sahai added.
However, Jagruti Dharmadhikari of Independent English Schools Association (IESA), said schools aren't to be blamed. "We had no-detention policy till Std VIII due to which students didn't answer any real exams or fail before reaching Std IX. Many times, the children cannot cope up with the pressure once they reach Std IX and thus end up failing," Dharmadhikari said.
She said many schools, even before this circular, conducted re-exams for students of Std IX to help them answer SSC exam with their batchmates. "Many times, despite this, if a student still failed, we had to face the flak of students, alleging that we purposefully failed them. I would like to emphasise that this is not always the case," Dharmadhikari said.
'Board in the know, but no formal complaints filed'
Partly accepting that there might be incidents where a student is held back in Standard IX, Krishnakumar Patil, Secretary, MSBSHSE, said the board never received any formal written complaint about such instances, but is aware since it receives phone calls from parents and through word of mouth. “Probably,” Patil said, “This could be the reason behind bringing such a rule.”
An Urban Problem
Raosaheb Avari of Maharashtra State Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools Principals Association said these kinds of instances are hardly seen in rural schools. “While you might find such incidents happening often in urban areas, in the villages, this does not happen. Here, teachers and principals have knowledge of the background that students come from, and hence never purposely fail students,” Avari said.