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Pros and Cons of Social Promotion

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Pros and Cons of Social Promotion

In the Bahamas and around the world, there is a crises faced in schools that seemingly can only be dealt with in one way ‘Social Promotion’. This is a phrase used to address those students that are not ‘academically inclined’. More often than not these students are either suffering from learning disabilities or they are not given an equal opportunity to excel in school.

In this essay I would like to address, in details, some of the positive and negative aspects of what is know as social promotion.

One of the very important benefits of promoting a child who is not academically capable of functioning to a higher class is giving that child an opportunity to have children in his peer group to be role models for him. The child could continue to develop socially even though he may not be able to function at his class level.

A child in this state could benefit and learn from the other children of the same age group if placed in the same environment with them. Many times even the most well trained teacher may not be able to get certain concepts over to the fastest learning student but another child could reason in a different way that can prove to be more understandable. It is with this in mind that many schools have implemented social promotion.

Another factor that is on the positive side of social promotion is the fact that it reduces overcrowding in the class and in effect the school. Allowing students to repeat a class if they prove to be incompetent for another level will reduce the possibility of having an average sized manageable class. This will in fact allow children who are willing and able to learn to do so in an ideal environment.

If I was a child who suffered from learning disability and was left in a class year after year with children who came and met me there and move on and leave me, I know I would become frustrated and eventually stop going to school. Promoting such a child will reduce the thought of dropping out of school.

On the down side of social promotion, there are a variety of reasons why something other than socially promoting a child of this nature could be done.

The psychological impact of knowing that one is a failure through life is something I would not want to live with. I cannot imagine how it will feel to know that I failed all my exams throughout my life in school.

Without promoting these children and eventually get them out of the school, the standards of the school will reduce as a result of poor grades.

Can you imagine yourself sitting in a class for 5 hours everyday and learning almost nothing? As a child one will become depressed and argumentative in class and even reach to a point where learning and school is of no interest. This child could become resentful and develop a low self-esteem.

In cases like this where grown children are left idle for too long they could become a hazard to society. They often get themselves involved in drugs, alcohol and sexual activities that is not becoming of their age and sometimes go as far a suicidal attempts.

As a means of addressing this issue schools should hold themselves responsible for teaching these children something that will make them meaningful citizen in their society. Educators should be prepared at all times to deal with these children if any such child is in their class. Materials geared to teach them alternative means of making an honest living should always be available to be taught to these children. There are a large variety of opportunities to become someone of meaningful contribution to society if given the right tools.

In conclusion I would like to say that neither grade retention nor social promotion will improve learning to facilitate positive achievement. None of the two choices will provide students with the support they need to improve academic or social skills to function in society. This is providing a disservice to students.

Schools need to be more accountable for student’s progress in that they should implement effective intervention strategies; for example, parental involvement, more supervised homework and frequent contact between parent and teachers.

Schools also need to stop punishing students for their short comings. It is the school’s commitment and job to educate all. Let us as educators teach and take the children from where they and to a bright future.

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