Failure of student is schools responsibility

It is from TOI 19 december 2008
If the recently introduced Right to Education Bill becomes law, schools will not be allowed to force a child to repeat a year or expel
students until class VIII for any reason.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2008, introduced this week in the Rajya Sabha, proposes that both government and private schools across the country not fail students for poor performance until they complete elementary education (class VIII), nor throw anyone out of school.

"The world over, children do not fail in lower classes. If a child does not perform well, the onus is on the school. That is the spirit of the clause that prohibits holding back children in any class," said R Govinda, co-author of the Bill and a research fellow at National University of Education Planning and Administration.

Authors of the Bill noted that several private schools expel non-performing children an action that would invite penalty if the new law comes into force. "Schools will have to take additional remedial coaching for, and responsibility for, every child's performance, instead of sending them away," added Govinda.

The bill also seeks to make examinations optional by emphasizing continuous and comprehensive evaluation instead. "So, for instance, it's up to the school whether it wants to carry out regular evaluation every day. The school also has the option of not giving final exams or terminal exams," said Delhi University professor Vinod Raina, one of the Bill's authors.

"People normally think kids won't take studies seriously if there is no failure and no exams. We're saying that kids don't necessarily have to learn out of fear. Instead, they'll learn if you provide them with a learning environment. The examination system has been in place for over 60 years. Yet, more than 50% students drop out of school while 40% of those in school do not have the minimum competency for their standard," added Raina.

Besides, dread of exams is one of the reasons for student suicides across the country. The National Crime Records Bureau has shown that student suicides rose by nearly 7% between 2006 and 2007.

"This system sounds good for young children, as it will not put unnecessary pressure on them. However, it presupposes that the education system is of a high quality in order to support the new rules," said Father Frazer Mascarenhas, educationist and principal, St Xavier's College.

"I'm all for the system of doing away with exams. It doesn't make any sense to say a student with 36% is more qualified than one with 34%. This system is very demanding on teachers and they need to be adequately trained to handle it," says Nilesh Nimkar, a former Unicef advisor for Maharashtra.


  1. In todays arena teachers are just profesional they come and just deliver the lecture and they are hardly concerned about the students.
    The only pressure they have is to make a student pass a particular exam.
    By the introduction of this bill this pressure is also removed from the teacher so may be it leads to more professional teaching.

    In case of students it has two sides--
    1.An intelligent child can broaden his studies as he will not be pressurised to study a particular thing again and again.
    2.But for below average or an average child this bill means a way to more fun.

    It will bring an effect on parents as well.
    Parents do not interfere in studies of seniour students and by the upcoming of this bill this practise will start at much earlier stage.
    This will result in less parent-child interaction which will again bring a downfall in thinking of a child.

    So, in my opinion this bill is far more ahead in negetivity than in positivity.



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