The continued conversation with parents all across the city brought one important and life-changing issue (so far as a child is concerned) to the fore. This one pertains to holding a student back in class IX, if the results are ‘not good’. Each school has its own cut-off, and a student getting marks less than the cut off is either detained or told to go join another school. Strangely, in some schools this ‘screening’ is done in Class VIII itself!
“My son has got just four marks less than the required, and he is being detained in class VIII. The principal is simply not ready to listen to me. The school is ready to give me a class VIII pass certificate if I take him out of this school and admit him somewhere else,” says Mayur Vihar resident Maharukh Irani, almost close to tears. “My son has since withdrawn into a shell and I am at my wits end,” she says.
The same thing happens in Class XI, as well.
“It happened with my daughter,” says Shalimar Bagh resident Kusum Sharma. “She got typhoid and for over a month she couldn’t go to school. We even gave a medical certificate, but the school authorities refused to listen. They clearly told us that they would detain her. We had no option but to take a Transfer Certificate and shift her to another school,” she adds. “She is very unhappy about it, but at least has not gone into depression,” she adds.
Teachers say they have to do this screening, lest a child gets bad marks in Boards. Getting poor marks in Class X Boards can be more detrimental to the psyche, they say.
Parents while agreeing with this contention reiterate that the schools don’t work hard with poor, or even mediocre scorers. For, if they work hard with the slow learners, they would surely not have to detain a child, they say.
“In our school we hold remedial classes for weak students, but these are just customary. Teachers are not serious. For them it is just as another duty, they are not ready to work
for improving a student’s grades,” says a teacher working with Kendriya Vidyalaya.
“I see many teachers exchanging their remedial classes’ periods, which they otherwise dare not do in regular classes,” he adds.
“Even in regular classes, many teachers don’t pay attention to weak students, they don’t encourage them to ask questions,” says a disgruntled Madhu Langar of Raghubir Nagar. “I accept my son is not brilliant. But he is quite hard-working, and is willing to study more. But there are many things he doesn’t understand in class and when I tell him to ask the teacher he says the teacher doesn’t bother,” she adds.
“He also attends remedial classes in school, but I honestly feel that he is much more sincere towards these than the teachers who come to teach,” she says.
“Not all students can score in eighties and nineties. We have to accept that there are those who score in sixties and seventies. There are some who just get the pass marks. But does that make them any less than others? They may be good in other fields. We have no right to waste a child’s precious year,” says a Raj Saini, a retired government teacher.
“It is the combined duty of parents and teachers to find the distinct abilities of a child and enhance those,” she adds.
A message to teachers out there: Getting 90 per cent marks in not everything. Making children