The Goa Headmasters Association have displayed some excellent good sense by opposing the decision of the Executive Council of the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education that has proposed to allow students who fail in Class IX and Class XI to keep terms and seek admission in the next class.
The headmasters have said that this will only serve to promote mediocrity and that it will discourage excellence among the students. Their argument is that the students will get too comfortable and teachers will not be able to teach a class that is not interested in the matter being taught. This is right reasoning, as the proposal of the Board’s executive council should be shelved.
The board of education and its members should have the aim of creating the best students and not in seeking to push students to the next class by such shallow ideas. The main purpose such a plan will serve is to make it easy for students, and will populate the Class X and Class XII with students who are not prepared for that subject matter and who may not even have the inclination to seriously prepare for the board exam that they will have to write at the end of that academic year. What class of future leaders will we be producing with such facilities that do not make the youth have the desire to excel?
Currently, students who have failed in one or two subjects in Class IX are allowed to move on to Class X provided they answer a supplementary exam in June and clear it. What has been proposed by the Executive Council of the Board is that students of Class IX and XI who have failed be allowed to keep terms by being promoted to the next class – where they will answer a board exam – and that their result will be held in abeyance until they clear the previous class. Besides not being pedagogically sound idea, this may actually lead to a situation where a student may have cleared Class XII and not yet cleared Class XI.
Goa Board should aim to create winners by preparing students for the competitive exams ahead and giving them an edge when they sit for these entrance tests along with students from the rest of the country. It is here that students from the State often find themselves at a loss, as their contemporaries from the rest of the country are well prepared for this and score over Goan students. The board cannot be making it simple for the students to get promoted to the next year, no matter what, as once the students reach the University level, there are no such concessions. It is better that they are prepared for this from as early as possible.
The State’s education system requires a drastic change where excellence among students should be promoted and rewarded. To reduce the pressure on students the ranking system has been done away with, but even before the Class XII exams are declared, students are already answering entrance tests where their fate depends entirely on the ranking they secure. This anomaly too should be addressed. As also the fact that there are a large number of students who fail or drop out at the Class IX and Class XI. After the clear passage till Class VIII through the No Fail Policy, students in Class IX perhaps find that they are not so well prepared and so decide to discontinue their education. This too cannot happen.
Since this is right now a proposal from the Executive Council and not yet a decision by the Board, it should be rejected but simultaneously students should be helped to overcome their difficulties in these classes and reach to the next.