Rules are flouted in some matriculation schools
Twelve-year-old Janaki (name changed) is depressed and so are her parents who are hurt after their daughter was asked to repeat Class VII.
“Eight students in the class were in the ‘withheld' list, later, parents of some students were summoned, made to sign an undertaking and then, the students were promoted,” said the father.
What has angered the parents further was that the final examination records shown to the inspector of matriculation schools shows students as having been promoted, while some such as Janaki, have been detained according to her report card.
In another incident, Viswa Kumar (name changed), whose son studies in Class VIII at a CBSE school, was shocked when the management asked him to obtain a transfer certificate, despite the fact that the student has passed in all subjects.
“Promotion is a subjective decision in most schools,” says M. Mahadevan, retired principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya and secretary of Association of Mathematics Teachers of India.
Are schools filtering?
While it is a norm in most Boards that no student be detained till Class V, parents say some school managements are biased in their decision in an attempt to get rid of those they see as “below average students”. According to parents, schools seem to be filtering students in lower classes so that they can secure top ranks for the school in the higher classes.
A senior official of the School Education Department agreed that while all students are promoted until Class V in government and government-aided schools, the rules are flouted in some matriculation schools.
Heads of CBSE schools say they received fresh instructions that all students should be promoted until Class VIII, based on Right to Education (RTE) Act, but they would be implementing it only from the next academic year.
Teachers of matriculation schools say the records of the final examination marks of all classes are tabled before a three-member committee and an inspector of matriculation schools, who finally approves the result.
“We do not detain any student till Class V, even if a student has secured single digit mark. But, from Class VI and above if the student has secured less than 30 per cent in more than three subjects, we conduct a re-test. It is not possible to make revision in the marks as the committee scrutinises them,” said K.R. Mohan Sundar, Principal, Rajkumar Sulochana Matriculation School, Nanganallur.
“In some CBSE schools, children who get a very average score are asked to move out in Class VIII as they are likely to find it very difficult to cope with higher classes. We ask them to switch boards. But, I believe this will not happen from next academic year as the CBSE's Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) is more child-friendly,” said S. Namasivayam, Senior Principal, Maharishi Vidya Mandir.
According to a senior official in charge of matriculation schools, there is no G.O. talking of a detention policy. “We ask schools to promote all students until Class VIII, but the final word is the management's. If the child is very weak, the school can fail or could give a promoted TC to help the student get admission in another school,” said the official.
Many teachers say “all pass” is not the best system to be followed for a class of 30-40 students. “Instead of basing the promotion purely on the marks scored in the final examination, internal assessment and final examination marks can be give equal weightage,” said Mr. Mahadevan.