Should Struggling Students Repeat a Class? Does it Really Help?

Failure to achieve a certain percentage in standardised exams have long been connected with inadequate educational development.


Failure to achieve a certain percentage in standardised exams have long been connected with inadequate educational development. In other words, if a student failed to secure 35% marks (say) in quite a few exams, he/she is deemed unfit to advance into the next class as the student’s current knowledge base is not adequate to learn the complex topics of the next grade. The obvious action is to make the student repeat the previous class. Relearn the previous topics, rework the assignments and try again next year to secure a passing grade. This method of helping struggling students is quite prevalent in the Indian education system. But when the Western system is slowly doing away with failing school students, the legitimacy of the process has to be questioned. Should we continue to make students repeat classes? Does it help?


At times, repeating a class makes sense

When the best schools in Noida Extension still follow the system of failing students, it must mean that they have their good reasons. It is, in fact, irrefutable that a student who struggled to learn the topics of one class and failed to secure the passing grade, as a result, will struggle even further in the next class. Here, repeating naturally makes sense. If the schools feel that relearning can help the student to catch up and the motive is to give him/her more time to learn at his/her own pace, staying back in a class will do good to the student.

Plus, repeating a class also makes sense during the following circumstances.

  • The student missed school for a long time owing to some sickness or family trouble.
  • The student suffers from some developmental or learning disability and hence takes more time than normal to catch up.
  • Or, the student is too young for the current class and struggling to comprehend the topics.

The initial call to make the student repeat a class is naturally taken by the teachers. They are always best placed to judge the child’s academic advancement. If the reason is justified, if it can help to progress education, in the long run, repeating a class is necessary.


Sometimes, repeating a class does not make sense

Consider the example where the school has decided to make a student repeat a class. The metric was grades and the student failed to achieve the desired marks. Now, putting this student in the same class that he/she was in the previous year and teaching him/her through the same pedagogy will continue the struggle of this student, despite the class repetition. Neither his/her marks nor his/her knowledge will improve much. Will it make sense to make this student repeat the class again?

In fact, if schools stick to this one-sided vision of making a student repeat a class just based on marks and not changing much in the teaching method the next year, the following complications are likely to happen.

  • One, it is traumatic for children to fail a class. He/she may go into stress or anxiety that might further hamper academic development.
  • Two, studying with a younger peer group hinders social development. Mentalities and personalities do not match and the student gets singled out.
  • And three, struggling yet again causes disengagement from education. The student might become averse to school and start missing classes.

Hence, the top schools near Noida Extension do not take the decision of failing students lightly. Unless extremely necessary, these schools try their best to advance a student into the next class and pick up from there.


What held the student back?

This is the question that schools must be asking when students fail to secure the passing grade. Instead of going with the binary decision of either passing or failing the student, good schools first explore the causes of failure and then decide on repetition. Take the example of the student who failed the class owing to pedagogy. The best school in Noida Extension 2020 will now offer personalised remedial classes to assist the student to patch up the weak areas along with repeating the class to better comprehend the topics. This way, repeating a class makes sense. Otherwise, the cost is too high.

Additionally, as BGS Vijnatham does, involving parents right from the very beginning reduces failure rates among students and fades the trauma of repeating a class to substantial extents. And having said all that, the question of whether to make a student repeat or not comes much later during an academic session. If the problems are identified right at the start, if guidance is given throughout, students of any class or any capacity will rarely struggle or fail. BGS follows this strategy. Instead of focusing too much on whether to pass or fail a student, the pedagogy is such that such an inevitability hardly arrives in BGS classrooms.

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