Who holds the responsibility to student learning in a School set up? The students, teachers or the institution! This interesting question comes up to me in my house, school and many other situations and environment. One common factor I found was that the opinions were sided to one, school/teachers or students. But mostly skewed to the students. 


Let me relate my 2 stories, different contexts, for you to make a judgement and provide feedback.

My son, a primary school going kid, finds learning Hindi hard to impossible. Hindi is one of many languages in India and most commonly spoken. The first two years, I did not concentrate in his studies and the result was seen in his 3rd year when he could not write or read any letters in Hindi. His peers were far ahead by being able to frame and write sentences. I met the teacher and we made a plan to teach him. My son also agreed to the plan and to try as much as he could. I can easily see that he is not interested in studying, but more interested in knowing stuff. After 3 months of hardwork, the results came. He did not write any letters of Hindi in his exam. His teacher had a talk with me, “Your son does not seem to be able to learn Hindi. It is difficult with him. He does not pay attention and does not complete his homework. It will be better if he changes to French. It is easier, you know.” I discussed with my son. We resolved to stick to Hindi and break the jinx. 2 years has passed. He has progressed but no one in his School noticed. I notice.

Setting is University of higher education. Students in professional course. 6 of 70 students failed the main summative exam. Why did the 6 students fail? One of the course lecturer responded, “the students did not study. When the 64 can pass, the curriculum is robust. The failed students should take responsibility.” I pondered, the students are spending valuable resources in terms of time, effort, money, for this course. They are of course committed. Then why fail. Did they put effort as much as the successful students? Were they not motivated and responsible? Did they find the curriculum hard? Should we tweak the curriculum just to address the difficulty of the 6 failures? Do teachers/school have a stake in their failure? Can the students hold the school responsible for their failures? Is it a collective responsibility (teachers, institution and students) and no one can be held accountable for the failure? Is it fate or coincidence or luck?

Would love your comments.

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