A record number of Goa’s Class IX students had been detained and repeat the year in the academic year 2015-16. Figures obtained from the Union Human Resources Development Ministry’s (HRD) District Information System for Education (DISE) revealed that a total of 4,988 Class IX students were detained in academic year 2015-16, which translates to 16% of the enrolment of that standard.
It was a 1,000 up compared to last year’s numbers recorded by DISE.
In order to boost the overall performance of the school with cent percent pass out rate, 3,260 boys and 1,728 girls were forced to repeat Class IX.
Compared to the detention rate of Class IX, the repetition rate of other classes with lower stakes was less than 5% of the enrolment, in the same academic year.
Due to the implementation of the no-fail policy, introduced in Goa in 2010 the schools are prohibited to fail students up to Class VIII. However this does not prevent schools to detain students from Class IX onwards.
Now as the academic year 2016-17 is at its end, Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education have quietly introduced reforms, which they expect will bring the numbers of students being kept behind down. The changes introduced are in the evaluation patterns of Class IX, which will now have more projects and assignments, making it easier for students to score marks and tougher for schools to justify a detention.
“A student failing to secure A to G grade in the school assessment subject/s will be given enough opportunity by the head of the institution to improve his/her grade in such subject/s, before the declaration of final results,” the new pattern of evaluation for Class IX students states.
It also asks schools to carry out project work in the second term to be evaluated group-wise. “It should be activity based and promote teamwork. In case of languages, testing in orals should be used to enhance communication skills,” it states.
“Making students repeat a class, actually affects the morale of the student. It is unlikely that a student will perform better on being detained in a class,” Goa Board chairperson Jose Remedios Rebello was quoted in an article written by TOI journalist Gauree Malkarnekar.
The practice of schools detaining students in Class IX in order to get a better Class X result has been known to the board for a while. As per the board’s data, in 2013 they had shown that city schools were likely to detain up to 50% of its Class IX students for the same reason.
According to the officials, such a trend amongst schools has always existed, at the same it is not clear whether the rise in detentions in Class IX could be correlated to the implementation of the no-fail policy.