Mark sheets for the crucial SSC (Class X) board exams will not longer declare a candidate to have failed. From March 2017, mark sheets of candidates who fail in more than three papers will instead read “Eligible for Re-Exam”, a recent government resolution said.
If a student were to fail in just two subjects, then his mark sheet remark would read “Promoted to Std XI with ATKT [Allowed To Keep Terms].”
Also students who manage to clear subjects later on through ATKT, will receive a combined new mark sheet with “pass” remark so that could do away with their old mark sheet completely. Also, if a student fails in more than three subjects both in the regular and later in supplementary exams, than his mark sheet would read “Eligible only for Skill Development Programme” instead of“Fail.”
The State Education Department admitted that among the 16 lakh, about 2.5 lakh students failed to clear the board exams. It said that the government had succeeded in bringing down the fail figures to just about one lakh students by introducing options such as supplementary examinations and ATKT.
This year, the State introduced supplementary examinations whereby students who could not clear their exams could give it one more shot. The supplementary results would be announced in August and thus students would be eligible for admission to Class 11 without losing an academic year. The State attributed the decision to ensuring that students do not either give up on their studies altogether or commit suicide. It said that Class 10 results affected the overall physical and mental health of students since failure at that level almost blocks their future options.
However, the move has received mixed reactions. Psychologist and special educator Shyamala Dalvi feels that this “terminology change” would not mean much for students, since it still means repeating the entire exam process all over again. “Earlier, the State had discarded announcements of 10 std merit lists and other boards even tried to introduce graded systems. But the rate race for marks continues and students continue to be under pressure to score. So, where has it helped?” she asks. Instead, she feels, the State should see how they can help every child to do well at what they do best and still keep going ahead with their educational learning.
Niwas Shewale, prinicipal of Adarsh Night High School, says: “Even the life of Mahatma Gandhi turned around after he failed in his exams. Students need to be taught to face the truth and failure strongly. How else will they grow emotionally strong? Already, we have made students lenient by not allowing them to fail till 8th std. Once they reach IX std, they suddenly feel pressurised. How long can we protect them?”