In an indication that there is something critically amiss with the implementation of the no-fail policy introduced in 2010, 64% of 74,000 Class 9 students in state failed in Mathematics, 33% in English and 30% in Marathi, in the baseline tests conducted in July.
These students were in Class 6 when the policy was implemented.
The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan (RMSA) tested the students, from 1,452 aided schools across the state, on July 26.
The testing was done to find out whether the no-fail policy till Class 8 was affecting learning levels.
The tests results revealed that a majority of Class 9 students have not yet understood mathematical concepts such theorems, ratios and geometry.
Students also scored poorly in grammar, construction of sentences and writing skills in English and Marathi.
Authorities blame the poor results on faulty implementation of the no-fail policy by schools. “Schools are not taking efforts to solve deficiency in learning skills at primary stages.
They are blindly promoting students to the next class,” said Dinkar Patil, joint director, Maharashtra State Council of Education and Research Training (MSCERT).
Based on the results, the MSCERT has started developing learning material for every student. Teachers will also be trained using a special training module by end of October.
Patil said schools should have taken such initiatives on their own. “Since there is no detention, they are not even identifying weak students who invariably end up failing in Class 9,” he said.
In 2012, two schools had come under the scanner for failing a large number of students in Class 9. Antonio D’Silva High School, Byculla, had failed more than 75 students in Class 9 and Sacred Heart School, Worli had held back 81 students.
The students were declared pass after intervention by the education department.