The Delhi Government led by AAP has appealed to the schools in the capital city to give 15 grace marks to Class IX and XI students who took the annual examinations this year and also allow those who would not pass even then to sit for compartmental examinations in all the five main subjects, if need be. This policy announced by the government as a continuation of those issued last year, in view of the students suffering in the torment of deadly second wave of COVID-pandemic.
The guideline of the Delhi Government has irked a section of academics who have alleged it as a biased and populist lenient policy from a government that came in power in Punjab earlier this year on the promise of ‘‘Delhi-like best education’’. The teachers in Delhi are questioning if these grace marks will help the students to strive towards excellence. Rather they hold that this policy will compromise with quality of education and such low targets will demotivate both the teachers and students. They see it as an ‘incentive’ for earning votes which will leave a disgraceful impact on the education-life of those students, effects of which they will face also in their future career. Already there is no-detention policy introduced in elementary and secondary education. This has done a havoc. The government-monitored primary education has suffered profusely and its standard has been lowered. This has given rise to private schools which mushroomed in this period. The SUCI(Communist), AIDSO and the education loving people at large have built up sustained movement in demand of reintroduction of pass-fail system right from Class-I. The government under pressure had earlier declared some steps to reintroduce pass-fail system at some levels of school education. But in the excuse of COVID, no-detention policy is continuing in full swing. The West Bengal government directed the state secondary board to allow all the examinees pass in the previous year.
Reportedly, this year also they have secretly guided the examiners to examine the papers leniently. The AAP is also directing the schools of their state in the same tune. As it appears, wherein lies the difference in policies of different parliamentary parties? The TMC, or the AAP are ‘declared political rivals’ of the ruling BJP. Earlier the CPI (M) pioneered in West Bengal no-detention policy up to Class IV long back in the 1980s. The Congress-led UPA Government extended it up to Class VIII in 2009 at the national level through the Right to Education Act. Now, this policy is introduced at Class IX and XI by the AAP Government.
All these ruling parliamentary parties are birds of the same feather which flock together at the behest of the ruling monopolists. Automatic promotion or grace marks simply make education disgraceful.