A SPECIAL Christmas surprise lies in store for Std IX students studying in SSC Board schools, especially those weak in studies.
Acting on instructions from the state principal secretary, the deputy director of education has instructed the education officers to ensure that the practice of schools holding back a high number of Std IX students in order to achieve a perfect pass percentage in Board exams, be stopped with immediate effect.
Ramchandra Jadhav, Deputy Director of Education, said the secondary education officer of Zilla Parishad has been instructed to review all the state-board affiliated schools, based on the previous data collected from the last few years on students enrolled in Std IX and Std X, which would give an indication of this trend.
“The instructions have come from the principal secretary to ensure that the trend of withholding large number of students in Std IX by schools to achieve a good pass percentage in Std X be stopped. An inquiry will be conducted by secondary education officer to keep a tab on schools where such numbers are high or are suspected to indulge in such practices or where parents complain to us,” said Jadhav.
Nand Kumar, principal secretary of education, said, “Till now, we had been keeping a watch on schools but now the issue needs to be understood and resolved. Hence, we have instructed the officers to hold meetings with school principals and ensure that the message is conveyed to them. Also, teachers will be counselled when necessary,” he said.
The statewide discussions have been prompted by the recent Unified District Information System for Education (U-DISE) for the year 2014-15 report in which a sharp spike in failures in Std IX exams was noticed confirming speculations that failures in Std IX are encouraged by schools to better their ranking.
The U-Dise data showed that while there were only 1,310 underperformers in Std VIII, the number of students who failed in Std IX stood at 20,154 students, nearly 16 times more failures in Std IX in comparison to Std VIII. Many schools had then blamed it on the no-failure policy up to Std VIII.
The move has been lauded by parents. “When my son got promoted to Std X, two of his friends were detained in Std IX. But the school conducted re-exam after a fortnight and these students scored above 50 per cent. It is the responsibility of schools as well to ensure weak students come forward,” said Anant Sawant, whose son and nephew study in Std X and Std IX respectively at Paranjpe Vidya Mandir.