“We assure all the parents, students, ex-students and well wishers that we are committed to securing the future of our students, at all costs.” St.Columba’s Website.
Recently, St.Columba’s School was in the news for expelling 48 students from the 11th Grade for failing in one or more subjects at the annual examinations. Acting school Principal Brother Pinto in violation of the relevant Education Act and promotion rules was responsible for taking this decision. In defence, he had this harebrained excuse to offer, “It is the best thing for such a child. These students need a new environment to get away from present bad company, then there’s a chance they’ll do better in life “
48 students is a huge number – a full class section that comprises almost 20 percent of the 11th Standard. Failure of so many students only shows the failings of the school and its inability to provide even a decent minimal standard of education to the boys. About the ‘bad company’, the Principal should have first taken disciplinary action against those bad apples. Why are they being allowed to escape just cause they got a few higher marks??? St. Columba’s has Moral Science/ Value Education classes – what were the teachers doing? Why didn’t they haul up those ‘bad boys’ then and counsel them? If ‘bad company’ was really the issue, then what about the other boys who remain in the school - will they turn 'bad' and end up failing in the board year??
The rising pressure on children due to examination stress has taken its toll with around 6000 students committing suicide in 2006. This is only an official statistic, as a majority of such cases remain unreported. Boys, who face the additional pressure of having to find work and support their family, account for an overwhelming majority of such suicides. In such a scenario, it is highly irresponsible for Brother Pinto of St.Columba's School to take such a decision that totally ‘screws’ the life and future of these kids.
I am not aware what the situation is now, but when I was a student of the girls school next door, students who failed were given re-exams as many as three times to give them a chance to get through. Special tuition classes were arranged after school for weak students. Kids who still failed ended up repeating a class. No one was expelled though there were always threats from teachers and the principal.
The examinations in school were way difficult and harder to pass than the board examinations conducted by the CBSE. This was because teachers taught and framed questions from textbooks written by private authors rather than the NCERT textbooks prescribed for schools. Many questions in the final examination were complete gibberish and students scored real low. How else do I explain how I got 16 percent in my pre boards and 80 percent in the board exams? Plus, some teachers teach in a half hearted manner as they assume every student is taking tuitions.
Examination marks in school, whether 11th or Board Exams has little to do with your career and what you end up becoming in life. Most companies will never ask about your school marks in job interviews. I know many toppers who ended up doing nothing in life except dancing like a monkey (Shah Rukh Khan) and many flunkies (other ex Columbans) who are today Software Engineers. So boys, if you are reading this, please don’t lose hope!!! Best of Luck for a secure future!!