Education Ministry scraps automatic promotion

The Ministry of Education today announced that it was reversing that automatic promotion policy which was introduced two years ago to ensure that no child is left behind in the classroom.

Minister of Education, Priya Manickhand hosted a press conference on Thursday morning to announce the decision to scrap the policy. She said the Ministry consulted with educators, teachers, parents and students across the country and it was found that the policy was not a popular one and was not one that was getting support.

She said students who fail 50% of the subjects being offered to them will now be forced to repeat the class rather than move on into the higher class as the automatic promotion policy allowed.

The Education Minister pointed out that students should also pass the main subjects of mathematics and English since they are both necessary to move into university life. She explained that some remedial work will be done with students who are not good in those subject areas but may be stronger in other subject areas.

According to Manickchand, there were several issues going wrong with the automatic promotion policy. She said under the policy, students who were being promoted without achieving the pass rate should have been exposed to remedial classes but that was not happening. She said teachers were not attending the classes, parents were not sending their children and the students were absent.

The policy came under widespread criticism and protest when it was introduced by former Minister of Education Shaik Baksh. It was revealed today by the Chief Education Officer Olato Sam, that the consultations done before the implementation were limited to persons in the Education ministry. He said teachers, parents and students were not consulted.

According to the Chief Education Officer, one of the main goals of the policy was to tackle the school drop out problem. He said while there may be other factors, the ministry has noticed a decline in the high school drop out rate since the original policy was implemented.


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