Last year I embarked upon a small project to find out the possible factors attributing to student's poor academic achievement. One section of the project required me to find out student's reaction when their teacher declared them failed and how society (parents, relatives, neighbors, friends, etc) reacted to them. I interviewed them and recorded our conversation. The following is a transcription without any manipulations of what they said . But the names aren't of anybody whom I interviewed.
Sangay: I was not able to go home that day (result declaration day) because I dreaded my father. He is a very strict man and I knew for sure that he would bash me. So I spent the night at one of my friend's house. The next day my father, on the pretext of excusing me took me home and bashed me black and blue. From that day onward I thought I should quit schooling.
Namgay: My neighbors insulted me by saying that I am older than other students and asked me if I wasn't ashamed of failing. They said if I had married I would have become a father.
Dorji: My friends shouted aloud on the way home that I have failed. While others laughed. It sounded like a joke for them but for me it was a big humiliation. From that day on I couldn't get into anybody’s company for quite a long time.
Lepcha: My friends passed me critical comments that next year I would be completing class 14. What they meant by that was that having studied in seven twice would take me directly to 14. They also added that I had only one year left to be graduating from a college and that I would be getting a job much earlier than them.
Yangka: I went to my cousin’s birthday party. There I met many of my relatives. Many of them asked me if I had passed. I had to tell them over and over that I have failed and it was so embarrassing that I had to quietly leave the party without even delivering the birthday gift.
Lethro: I felt embarrassed to sit in the same class. Other students would call me 'repeater'. It was more embarrassing to know that I was the tallest boy sitting in the class. At one point of time I thought I should quit schooling.
Well! What's your conclusions? I am sure you have many in your mind. Do you think parents, relatives, neighbors, friends and teachers should look down on children than providing support and motivating them? Do you think they should help remove the stigma attached to failing exams? I have already made many conclusions and written a report. This year's result declaration day for students is just around the corner. Do you think some students would suffer similar ordeals?