‘Fail is a derogatory term and has a lasting impact on the mind’

Central Board For Secondary Education (CBSE) recently removed the terms ‘Fail’ and ‘Compartment’ from the marksheet. They replaced the two words with ‘Essential repeat’ which means the student needs to reappear for a particular exam. We speak to school authorities, students and psychologists to see how the word fail has impacted students over the years.

‘We fail several times during our lifetime, but it is not the end’

“Fail is a very derogatory term and it has a lasting impact on the student’s mind. Like the Western countries, we too should adopt to grading system instead of marks. In fact, all people fail in their lives at some people but it is not the end of the road which is what students should be taught too. This move to remove the terms fail and compartment will hopefully be the beginning of the same,” says Surender Sachdeva, principal, DPS Bopal.

‘Using Fail publicly is psychologically demoralising’

Dr Prashant Bhimani, psychologist is of the opinion that using words like fail is psychologically demoralising. “We need to understand that these are personal achievements. So, in the same way getting a low score is personal too, and the student should be told personally that they have scored less and should reappear for a particular subject instead of a huge ‘F’ on the marksheet.

‘Getting rid of Fail will give more confidence to the students’

“The word fail makes students feel traumatised and I have seen in many cases that it makes things difficult for students like they can’t concentrate in class or attend classes due to the fear that they will be made fun of. Getting rid of the word will give more confidence to the students and not make them a target of mockery,” says Darshini Shah a former student of CBSE.

Another student of CBSE Aashvi Shah says, “It’s a good move considering the past decade where huge number of students were scoring 90% or above, the one who scores just the passing marks, say around 40% is any way going to be look down upon. So, I guess by removing the failed and compartmentalisation, students are going to get a leeway in long run.”

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