Saturday, April 20, 2013

'Foul play' whiff in report cards

'Foul play' whiff in report cards

B Sridhar, TNN Apr 1, 2013, 02.24AM IST

JAMSHEDPUR: The failing of over 130 students of Classes IX and X in several private English-medium schools this year (2012-13 session) has angered parents who are flocking to the district education office with their complaints.

Some parents have alleged that the schools are flunking students to make money through fresh admissions and are, therefore, unwilling to listen to their complaints.

"The school admitted about 20 candidates in place of those who were flunked in Class IX. They also gave a transfer certificate to the students with an advice to seek admission in the national open school," said R K Singh, an aggrieved parent whose son is one among 31 others who flunked the exam, in a leading school.

The schools, both CBSE and ICSE affiliated, on the other hand have said merit alone counts for promotion to the higher class and that the parents, instead of realizing the fact, are mounting pressure on schools to promote their wards to the higher class. Since the time the Right To Education (RTE) Act came into force, parents have been using this tactic to get their wards promoted, claimed a school principal.

He added that since schools cannot hold back students up to Class XIII (in adherence to the RTE provisions), they are bound to promote them irrespective of whether they deserve to be promoted or not. Therefore, crossing the threshold of Class IX and X poses a problem.
"Regardless of the allegations, the schools will continue to follow the practice of promoting deserving candidates to the higher classes," said a senior functionary of the Jamshedpur Unaided Private English Medium Schools Association.
The schools should have arranged for special classes for the less meritorious students ahead of the final exams and should have also informed the parents about the academic performance of the poor students, said one of the parents countering the school's claim of merit alone being the criteria for promotion.
"The Right to Education (RTE) Act does not advocate promoting undeserving candidates to higher classes. The RTE provisions clearly ask for additional measures (like special classes) to upgrade the weaker students," said RTE activist Dr Umesh Kumar countering the schools' claim that RTE Act compel them to promote the academically poor students, along with the deserving ones, to higher classes up to Class IX in an unrestricted manner
The education officials, however, contradicted reports of the high number of students being flunked.
"I am not sure how many candidates have been failed (in Class IX and X). We are looking into some complaints that have come to us," said Prakash Kumar, additional district programme officer of RTE cell.

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