The Bengaluru school that marked a six-year-old Upper KG student “Fail” has been issued a notice from the Karnataka Education Department, seeking an explanation for violating its rules.
Confirming this to South First, Anekal Block Education Officer (BEO) Jayalakshmi JM said on Thursday, 9 February: “We have sent a notice to the school based on your media report and social media posts.”
She added: “We have sought a detailed explanation from the school and have given it only time till this evening,”
What does the notice say?
In the notice to St Joseph Chaminade Academy Pre-primary School, the department said that it had come to its notice that an Upper KG child had been marked “Fail”, but as per its rules, no child could be failed until Class 9.
“But, you have failed a UKG child and this issue has been raised on the social media platforms. This has caused embarassment to the department. We need a written explanation to be submitted to us before this evening (Febraury 9/2023). If failed, the permission and license granted to the school will be cancelled [sic],” read the notice.
Interestingly, the school, in a series of emails (copies of which are available with South First) sent to the student’s father Manoj Badal, clearly said this was how the system on the mobile app functioned, and also recommended that the parent show the result from the mobile app and explain to the child that she did not recite the rhyme at the exam and hence was failed for that subject.
It told the BEO that this was a “technical error” and a mistake while “uploading” the result on the digital app.
“This is not true. I have a series of email communications with the principal regarding this. Initially, even we thought this was the case. How can they call this a technical error now?” asked Manoj.
Meanwhile, the BEO also expressed concern over marks being issued to students as early as Upper KG, when they are supposed to be only graded.
“The education minister’s office also wanted an explanation in this regard. We are awaiting the school’s response. We will initiate action if they have erred. They can’t use these terms and also mark students as young as six years old. That’s the age for them to play and be happy, and not be burdened with marks and fear of failure,” she explained.
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Manoj Badal, a bank manager by profession, was shocked to see his daughter’s marks card on the mobile app of the school with a “Fail” written in red.
When he checked, it was seen that she had managed to score a total of 100 out of 160.
“But she scored only five out of 40 in rhymes while the minimum passing mark was 14,” Manoj told South First.
The school said a physical marks card was given to the student, which said she had passed.
Thinking that it was a technical error from the school’s side, the parent approached the principal through a WhatsApp message.
The school explained that the child had not been able to recite two rhymes, and hence had to be failed.
Manoj was aghast with the explanation, especially when the principal stated that the child should be shown the digital marks card and explained that she had “failed”.