About us    Campaigns    Research    Support us    Publications    Media Room    Join Us    Contact us

Detaining students damages psyche

Litigation, Right to Education

The court ruling in the Don Bosco matriculation higher secondary school case should come as a wake up call to other schools that detain a child in a class for more than a year. Stakeholders second the Madras high court ruling, which says that a school cannot fail a student below class VIII under the Right To Education Act.

Stakeholders agree that detaining a student in a class damages both the student’s psyche and progress. Educationist SS Rajagopalan, with 34 years of experience in schools, says, “Detention and punishment has never increased the learning capabilities of a child. Repeating a class only makes a child duller and psychologically upset as the child is teased by his peer group and not accepted by his classmates.”

When he was headmaster of a school, he had tried an experiment in which students were not detained for six consecutive years. “Ultimately, we got a 73% pass percentage, which was quite high then. Late blooming is quite common. You cannot find out if a child is a good student or not at an early age,” he says.

The school education department had sent circulars in April saying a school could not fail more than 15% of the students in a class. It has allowed schools to set their own minimum pass mark in all classes except in classes X and XII. “We are in an age when grading is being introduced in board exams, then why still squabble over a mark here or a mark there?” says a parent.

Many school heads feel that it is the duty of the school to see that the child is able to cope with his studies till he is old enough to understand his duties and responsibilities. “When a child in a lower class is failed, he immediately turns to tutorial centres,” says B Purushothaman, correspondent of Everwin matriculation higher secondary school in Kolathur.

He says there is no need for schools to fail students up to class VIII. “It is unacceptable that a school can’t get a young child to pass a school exam. Most often a teacher who has been tracking a child over the year has a preconceived notion of the child’s capabilities and tends to correct answer scripts with this in mind. It is a school’s responsibility to make every child bloom,” Purushothaman says.

M Ramya, The Times of India, June 9, 2010


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  Disclaimer: The copyright of the contents of this blog remains with the original author / publisher.