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Now you won't 'fail' in exams: isn't it great?
This article has been prompted by a news report stating that the Assam Government is contemplating doing away with the word 'fail' in the High School Examinations. One wonders what kind of certificates would be awarded in such a scenario.

“NOW THE government is seriously contemplating doing away with the word fail in examinations, especially at the class ten levels”, he looked grumpily and a little sideways over the newspaper.

“Well that is a good idea!” I exclaimed. “Failures are the pillars of success. Give them more chance, the longer they stay in school, the more they learn”. “Do you mean to say that they should stay twenty years in school”, my irrepressible friend snapped viciously. “Look” I told him reassuringly “Some are good at some subjects, and bad at some other. They should not be failed for this. Their results should be witheld, held back till they pass”.

“And what if they don’t?” he quipped. “Then what should be done for such students?” “I am sure they will” I sighed. “And moreover after repeated attempts if they don’t pass, then they don’t deserve higher study or to study in college”. “Absolutely right” my friend agreed.

“Can’t we think of special schools or colleges?” “Well, that is not a bad idea,” I murmured, by now wondering why this subject was introduced in the first instance. I was getting a little bored. My friend’s repertoire of knowledge, discussion and debate always flummoxed me.

“Can’t you change the subject?” I asked. “What!” he shouted. “Education is the most burning issue in the country today. The Right To Education is a fundamental right, and so is the right to fail,” my friend said dramatically “Histrionics was always his forte”.

“Yes of course,” I said. “The issue of one time failures, especially in school must be addressed. It brings in its wake shame, fear, humiliation, opprobrium and even suicide. Have you read the Delors Commission Report?”

“I have not read any report. I only said what I read, that one state government of the country is seriously contemplating doing away, with the term ‘failure’ in examinations, and holding back results of students till they finally, out of nausea get through”.

“Well, well . . .” I continued. “That is a very commpassionate stance. Giving more than one chance, why even ten chances makes the examination system student friendly, flexible and more exciting . . .”

“Exciting?” he reacted very sharply. “No, no, what I meant to say that there will be an inherent flexibility in the system, more learner centric more open”. “Look my friend. Please let us close this topic. It is interminable. Instead let everyone be passed, allowed to study till the point they want to. And they can discontinue at any point in time”.

“But what about awarding the degrees?” I asked. “There will be no degrees,” he said smugly. “It will be only continuing education and discontinuing or discontinued education. But it will be education alright. The certificates will boldly declare that: Completed, Not Completed, Continued and Completed and Continued but not Completed”.

I was aghast. “No, no, then I think . . . it is better to say: ‘Education kept in abeyance, advised to pursue self employment: sports, vocational studies or even politics!” “That is well said” my friend remarked triumphantly. “But please remember that for vocational education there should be no training for cartoonists”.

“Who says politics is the last refuge for anyone? It should seriously be introduced in the core curriculum as an application oriented course . . .”

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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