School to pass 200 kids after protest

Mumbai,May 20: Parents of students enrolled in Byculla’s Antonio De Souza High School were shocked when some 300-odd children in the secondary section were failed in the past school year.

Both local corporator Mangesh Bansod as well as MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar took up the matter on behalf of the parents and visited the school authorities.

On Monday, at a meeting with parents, the school announced that it would give 13 grace marks each to all the children who had failed in Std V to IX, with the result that around 200-odd students will now pass.

This is the first time that the school has had so many students failing. Principal Fr Anil Rego said the school has got cent per cent results in the SSC for three years in a row.

But parents were not amused to see so many secondary students failing this time. “My son failed by only two marks,” said a parent, displaying the report card.

Many parents alleged that their children were failed by only a few marks as they were not given grace marks, as is usually done.

Several parents approached Afreen Faiyaz Ahmed, corporator for E-ward, who also has charge of the A and B wards. Ahmed asked Bansod, who is the corporator for the civic ward in which the school is located, to look into the matter.

While Bansod said the school was at fault and had not given children the necessary grace marks, the principal insisted that the grace marks were given, but according to the rules. “We are not allowed to give condonation marks for written tests.

We are only allowed to give 20% grace marks on the average score, which we had done. Despite that, so many students failed,” said Rego.

The principal said he, too, was sad to see so many students fail. “I think they took their written tests rather lightly this time,” he added.

“Forty students who failed have been asked to leave the school,” said Ahmed. Rego said this was because they had failed two years in a row. “A change in atmosphere will do them good.”