Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Should Students Be Sent to the Next Grade Even If They Have Not Passed the Current One?

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Not all children master a curriculum equally well. If a student fails to elaborate course materials, absorb necessary information volume and receives bad marks, a school administration may decide on grade retention, which means that a learner has to spend one more year before entering the next academic stage.

This uneasy decision that should be taken after analyzing evidence of student’s inability to cope with educational responsibilities. Moms and dads usually feel upset, try to convince a teacher that one has made a wrong conclusion about their kid. That is why it is important for educators to present disappointing news in the softest form possible and not pour it on parents’ heads at a parent-teacher conference.

Experts from Pro-Papers have prepared this article to inform you about causes, advantages, disadvantages, and alternatives of grade retention.

What are the reasons to retain a student?

Many factors can lead a teacher to this step. In most cases, the thing is in a child’s low development level. Although students learning in one class usually have the same age (+/- 1 year), some of them may be less mature than peers. It is difficult for them to work at a common pace, undertake academic duties and perform assignments prescribed by a curriculum. Professors believe that it is better to give such kids more time to get accustomed to school life. After a lengthy adaptation period, they have every chance to reach a development level appropriate to their grade.

One more popular reason for retention is poor academic performance. But it is very important to determine factors causing underachievement before leaving a learner for the second year. If teachers’ mistakes will not be corrected, a person will just lose precious time in vain. If used unreasonably, as a cure for everything, grade retention can bring more harm than benefits.

Sometimes, educators retain students who are not motivated to learn. But this is the wrong approach. It seems that teachers prefer to get rid of a child rather than seek ways to interest one, improve their qualifications and apply new methods. Unfortunately, many kids suffer because of their mentors’ unprofessionalism.

Bad behavior also may stimulate retention decision. Some students are way too active, cannot sit calmly and silently at lessons, concentrate on learning material, which is associated with immaturity. Such situations are usually observed in younger grades.

Grade retention pros

Teachers insist on this measure because it helps young people to catch up, not feel like losers in their class and avoid lowering self-esteem. Kids begin to excel once appearing in a grade appropriate to their developmental level. Younger students who find it difficult to adapt to school life enjoy familiarity and stability, cease to be shy, become more confident, participate in class activities and discussions. Retention is especially effective if educators place an emphasis on the most problematic areas, help children to eliminate knowledge gaps and conduct work on errors.

Grade retention cons

As was said above, the decision about extending a grade for one more year may be rather painful, which is explained by some downsides. Research shows that there are many students who were retained and eventually leave school before graduation. It seems to them that they waste time in vain and it is even not worth trying to excel in studies if a curriculum turned out to be way too complex. In the teenage period, such young people prefer low-paid work to ineffective learning. Even though they may acquire good practical skills at their first jobs, further career advancement is impossible without basic education.

Grade retention can prevent normal socialization, especially if a student spent several years in a peer group and loses the possibility to learn together with one’s friends. It may be challenging to get accustomed to new people, make a good impression and deserve high social status in a class. If a learner is not very sociable, such changes may cause depression and lowering self-esteem.

Retained students are usually physically bigger than other kids, which sometimes becomes a reason for self-confidence and arrogance. If classmates talk about such person’s low intelligence, one may apply physical force, develop aggressive behavior style and turn into a bully.


Retention is useful for far not all students, in far not all situations. Professors should not sacrifice students’ time without substantial reasons. Serious counseling work should be conducted to understand why educational failure turned into a steady trend, whether staying in the same grade for one more year is the only way out, what alternatives may be used to save learner’s time.

It is important to warn young people about retention threat, give them some options for avoiding it. There are cases when educators do not pay due attention to student’s results during a school year, do not make any attempts to help one catch up, blame this person for laziness and irresponsibility.

More caring teachers notice learners’ weaknesses at early stages, develop individual curricula placing emphasis on tricky disciplines and topics, prescribe objectives that should be achieved to move to the next grade. Professors receive regular reports, provide guidance and assistance if there are some challenges.

Some educational institutions invite persons facing retention threat to attend summer school, work more profoundly on material they failed to absorb while studying a course with other students.

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