Panaji: The general body of the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education on Tuesday rejected the proposal of the executive council of the Goa Board to provide the Allowed To Keep Terms (ATKT) facility to the students of class IX and class XI failing at the final examinations, by a wafer-thin margin of 12-10, with the representatives of the headmasters’ and principals’ forums refusing to take any responsibility to groom such weak students. An intense deliberation preceded the decision.
The general body meeting, however, agreed on the proposal to introduce astronomy subject from class IX and basic bio-technology subject from class XI as optional subjects, for inculcating scientific temper among the students.
Out of the total 40 members on the general body of the Goa Board, many government representatives were absent, while at least five members present abstained from the voting.
The Goa Board had tried to introduce the particular concept to erase the stigma of failure as faced by such weak students answering the class IX and class XI examinations, as well as their families, and further control the dropout rate. It is learnt, those against the proposal observed that the students as a result of the No Detention Policy under the Right to Education Act were automatically promoted till class VIII, and, therefore, any more relaxation to them at class IX level would harm the studies.
Incidentally, Power Minister Nilesh Cabral, who is on the general body of the Goa Board, supported the ATKT proposal and said that the government could set up resource centres in every taluka, wherein weak students at the class IX and class XI level could be provided counselling as well as special tuition, in view of their academic improvement. His suggestion was, however, rejected.
The executive council of the Goa Board had earlier stated that students failing at class IX and class XI final examinations in any number of subjects would be allowed to keep terms and appear for these subjects at the supplementary examination conducted in June.
“And if some of them still fail to clear the subjects, then they would get two more opportunities at the supplementary examinations to be held in August and December, while pursuing their class X and class XII education,” the executive council had further maintained, stating that the SSC and HSSC results of such students, would be declared only after these students cleared their pending subjects.
The executive council had cleared the particular proposal as many schools were found to be detaining their weaker students at the class IX level, so as to get better results at the SSC examination.
Meanwhile, the students opting for astronomy and bio-technology subjects at class IX and class XI level, respectively can continue with them in class X and class XII, in that order.