Ok to fail English and Maths!

Amidst all the halla and debate around reservations, I hope you read this TOI editorial earlier this week.

The National Commission for Minority Education Institutions (NCMEI) has suggested that passing in English and mathematics should not be compulsory for promotion in secondary school.

The logic given by NCMEI is:

The recommendation is based on a HRD ministry survey which shows that the poor performance of Muslim, SC, ST and OBC students in these two subjects is responsible for the high dropout rate among them.

Oh god! Is this a classic case of “addressing the symptom instead of root cause” or what!? the solution here is to invest in teaching resources so that these students can pass – err, lets use the right term here – “learn” English and Maths. What point is a promotion if the students dont learn all the subjects!?

TOI is bang on when the editor says:

The way out is to beef up instruction in these subjects, and if necessary arrange for additional coaching for disadvantaged groups. Lowering the bar is an easy option. The government might feel tempted to adopt it for populist appeal.

Let us see how this plays out.

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