Satish Singh Manhas
Mass Promotion is the policy of promoting students to the next grade, next semester, and next level irrespective of their performance in academics as well as practical. It is given in a uniform manner to all the students. There is no difference of merit at all. At times, it is given out on the basis of an individual assignment or a single paper which also is not a fair way of measuring the talent. But mass promotion is not a routine process. It is always given under extraordinary and unavoidable circumstances. Like when no papers are held because of some law and order problem, national emergency, natural calamity cyclones etc. This year’s mass promotion has its bearing on Novel Corona spread by mischievous China world over. But since the kids are the future of the nation. So the nation can in no way afford to break their chain of study. This continuity is to be maintained at all costs and under all circumstances even under a compelling one. But on the basis of the online classes and mass promotion, it becomes very difficult to differentiate between a good talent and a poor performer or even a mediocre. Filtration of talent is definitely a big challenge. But mass promotion is being done under extra ordinary circumstances.
Moreover a student is the most important organ of society. They are the carrier of the nation and its agenda forward. They are our generation Next. Losing a kid, a college going student and a university goer etc is not less than losing an army chief, a chief justice, a PM etc. So the nation at no cost can afford to make a gathering. Mass promotion may have a negative impact on the overall study and career upbringing of a student. But when the nation is left with no other option, then keeping the schools open or making the gathering is nothing less than creating a death trap. Some practical and technical stuff may suffer an impact although a deep but as far as theory is concerned it is not going to affect much more. Moreover, for classes up to 10th it has no negative impact. It has a positive impact for the poor and mediocre who get a fair chance to review themselves. Although some students under the garb of mass promotion grab the undue opportunity without putting much handwork. But it became a binding when to avoid further damage due to COVID-19, the Government of India enforced a nationwide lockdown due to which, normal lives came to a halt, total standstill and jammed. Due to the lockdown, many Universities undertook the step of conducting online lectures. Although the lectures conducted online can’t replace the classroom environment and lacks in the student-teacher interaction which is crucial for learning. Studies have been affected to great lengths and that too not in a positive way. Under such circumstances, mass promotion of students to the next semester or level is not only necessary but also sensible. Although online studies have many drawbacks like, it has little or no face to face interaction, more work for students in confinement, Intense requirement of self-discipline, Can’t monitor students’ activities.Creates stress on the brain while working for long hours over a small screen i.e. mobile phone, laptop, desktop etc; improper network is also a big handicap. The missing of practical work by the students is also a serious concern, but there seems no way to address it. This will be a big hurdle during higher studies especially for practical bearing subjects. But the students have to cope up keeping in mind the disturbing COVID-19 scenario prevalent world over.
Under such circumstances, when we do not have proper facilities of teaching, technique, guidance et al and we do not want any anxiety among students and parents amidst the prevailing condition, the question of identity and credibility of online examinations is always questionable. But no other substitute is feasible. The problem of internet connectivity is another is big issue. One important question is in such a case is what shall be mentioned in the mark sheets of final-year students which are an important document in a student’s career ahead. Are all these possibilities being explored at the moment while conducting mass promotion? Mass promotion proves to be a boon or a bane is to be seen in future. At least for now the fingers are crossed. But keeping extraordinary circumstances in consideration, it has become imperative. At present it is no less than “killing two birds with one stone”. To make mass promotion more effective and viable, at least multiple choice or objective type exams can also be conducted online to judge the best talent which otherwise in this rat race of mass promotion is feeling insecured about their merit and talent being gauged as similar to other mediocre colleagues and mates.
Last but not the least, most of the students in our society, poor, rural can neither afford an android mobile, nor do they have the internet facilities. For those it is like a “Do or Die” situation but they are also left with no alternate option but to bear the brunt.
So mass promotion is a boon as well as bane. . It has a great impact on our society, our students, parents and guardians. Weighing it with a single scale or seeing with a different prism won’t do any justice. It has to be understood keeping in mind the extraordinary situation the nation is going through.
Satish Singh Manhas