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Bengaluru: UKG child detained by school, parents and experts fume 

February 9, 2023

A parent sharing his experience about his Upper KG daughter being marked as failed for an academic year has invoked fury from experts and the parenting communities alike.

Manoj Badal, one of the parents of a child from Bengaluru took to social media to recount the incident and said that the St Joseph Chaminade Academy, Deepahalli, Anekal Taluk, Bengaluru had shown the result of his child as ‘fail’.

The parent also spoke about the ordeal approaching the school’s management who refused to be involved in the issue.

“The principal trustee revealed that as no other parents have objected to such things, they can’t do anything for a single child,” said the parent.

“The learned principal suggested to tell the child that she has failed so that she studies properly in the future. Declaring the child fail, who is simply 6, is something beyond her understanding and may bring mental trauma to her also. We believe this is against government rules and hence strongly condemn such things. We are approaching the education ministry and CISCE to intervene in the matter, to refrain the school from such illogical things and correct the result of the child concerned,” Badal said.

Responding to this, VP Niranjanaradhya, Fellow and Programme Head – Universalisation of Education at National Law School of India University, said “It shows the ignorance and lack of pedagogical understanding of the school head as well as the management about the learning process. Failing a child of UKG of age 5 is the violation of section 16, 17 and 29 of the RTE Act.

“If we say a child has failed, it is not because of any inherent drawback in the child, but most often the inadequacy of the learning environment and the delivery system to help the child, realise his/her potential, meaning thereby that the failure is of the system, rather than of the child. This requires addressing the improvement of the quality of the system rather than punishing the child. If a child fails (saying the child had failed itself is nonsense) after attending the school for a year, it is the failure of the school, teachers and management. They need punishment and should return whatever they have collected as fees and other charges for providing education from the child. They have failed in their duty in providing quality services. It is a case for consumer court.”

Even former education minister S Suresh Kumar condemned the school saying, “The school neither has the mind or the heart right. I have written to the education department officials seeking immediate action.”

Saju Chittadiyil Augusty, principal of the school responded to EducationWorld and said, “The word “fail” has been mentioned in the software that the school is using. Once the parent has made known this issue to us, we have asked the software company to remove the word fail from the progress report. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused due to this. We also have issued a physical progress report to the parents when they came for the PTM and that, ‘fail’ has not been mentioned. We have not failed any student. We also have requested the parent for a meeting on two occasions to explain this issue but the parent failed to oblige to our request. This was a unit test conducted before the winter break. The academic year will finish only in April, final exams are yet to happen. How do we actually fail a student in the middle of the year? The parent is using this technical issue with some hidden agenda.”

Also read: Karnataka to conduct annual board ‘assessments’ for grades 5 and 8

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