Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 286-287  

Are we failing our students….by passing them?

President, Indian Society of Periodontology, Private Practitioner, 26 Maniknagar, Gangapur Road, Nashik 422 013, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication20-Jul-2018

Correspondence Address:
Nitin Dani
President, Indian Society of Periodontology, Private Practitioner, 26 Maniknagar, Gangapur Road, Nashik 422 013, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jisp.jisp_405_18

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How to cite this article:
Dani N. Are we failing our students….by passing them?. J Indian Soc Periodontol 2018;22:286-7

How to cite this URL:
Dani N. Are we failing our students….by passing them?. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Aug 13];22:286-7. Available from:

“Success is not a good teacher, its failure that makes you humble”

-Shah Rukh Khan

Come June-July each year and we find a multitude of students all across India sweating profusely. It's not the weather; but the fact that it is exam time in colleges in. All the students are culminating their three years of post-graduate studies by appearing for examinations. The tension in the air is palpable with so much stress created by the theory, practical, patients, case history, surgery, thesis, viva etc. But do you think they should be so worked up? I don't think so; because in a months' time its result time; and party time; as everyone has passed. Amazing isn't it!

If anyone from outside the profession were to file an RTI on the number of students who fail in MDS practical examination in the country, they would be in for a shock; or can I say a pleasant surprise. Hardly any one ever fails in MDS practical exams in India! And the icing on the cake is the marks they get; nowadays the topper gets almost close to 90%; and that too in practical! Does it mean that the post-graduate students are phenomenally talented with such exceptional skills that they just can't fail? Or is there an unholy nexus of scratching each other's back between the college authorities, department staff and the examiners? After all wouldn't a 100% result with a university topper guarantee better admissions in the forthcoming year?

Which brings me to the question that has been troubling me for a long time. Are we failing our students by passing them? Especially so easily and that too with such high marks? Are we not doing a disservice to the society by creating the so called “Masters” with false sense of expertise, who cannot replicate their results in clinical situations and who need to work under supervision of senior clinicians even after obtaining their post-graduate degree? Are we devaluing their education when we all know that education is the key to success in life?

What, then is the role of a teacher? In the words of A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, “Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual”. Teachers are the most responsible and important members of society because their efforts affects everyone Aren't we, as teachers supposed to hew these rough stones into polished diamonds, rather than unleash qualified quacks on the unsuspecting public. Another well-known quote states “The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates and the great teacher inspires. The good teacher makes the poor student good and the good student superior”.

There was once a time when the PG teacher had complete authority to decide the fate of their students. Though this autonomy could have been misused, most of the teachers were so true to their profession, and one seldom saw injustice being done to the students. Unfortunately the teachers nowadays are a helpless lot; as their jobs are at stake. With so many “qualified” teachers being available for such limited jobs; no one is willing to stick their neck out and perform their duty as it should. And all for the fear or losing one's job, by stepping on the delicate toes of their students and college managements.

The college authorities want results; the parents want results; the students want results! And who is providing results? It's “well intentioned” teachers like us who are doing so! This is irrespective of the caliber of the students being examined. So we have a system where there is no guidance, no reprimand and thus no quality control! And to fuel to the fire; it is students who pass from this system in “flying colors” who join back as teachers! And the show goes on; because the show must always go on.

My dear teachers, time has come where we have to introspect and decide if we are doing justice to this noble profession of ours, whether we are being true to ourselves and to the society? It is time to consider if we are actually failing our students by passing them!


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