For those unfamiliar with the term, social promotion is an educational practice where a student is advanced on to the next grade level whether or not their performance deserves it, in order to keep them with their peers. The theory behind this is that holding them back to repeat the year might cause undue mental anguish and scar their emotions and self-esteem for life.
My response: SO THE EFF WHAT.
I’m old enough to appreciate the value of a child’s (especially MY child’s) education, and young enough to clearly remember what school was like in my day (answer: difficult but fun). And let me tell you: social promotion is a crock of BS.
If your kid is doing badly in school, and you let your teachers advance her a year just so she can be with her friends or to spare her some grief, then you fail as a parent. Consider the following points:
1) You’re doing your child a disservice. You’re teaching her that it’s okay to be lazy, that it’s all right to have low standards, and that you can advance through life by failing.
2) The kid is going to hate being left back. Let’s get that clear. It will cause her emotional distress. It will seem like her world is coming to an end, all because she won’t be able to advance a year level. But (and here’s the key point) she’ll get over it.
3) Putting her in another year level is not going to crimp her social life. She’s going to see her friends outside school anyway. If anything, she might make even more friends. Hopefully the right ones, this time.
Social promotion seems to be pretty widespread in North American schools, but from what I hear it seems to be creeping into Philippine schools as well (including my alma mater, much to my disappointment).
So here’s my request to you. If you’re a parent, make it clear to your school board that you won’t support that kind of policy in schools. Tell your kid’s teacher. Tell their principal. If the child is struggling in school, don’t ask for an easier test. Help your child study for it. And above all, don’t take flak from your kids. If they plead, cry, beg, wail, complain, bitch, comment, or express dissatisfaction at the fact that school is hard, take them aside, wrap them in a comforting hug, put on a sweet, parental smile, and tell them:
“Deal with it.”