From the Viewsroom

Exam blues

Sandhya Rao | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on May 30, 2017

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Partly a consequence of constantly fiddling with the system

The CBSE results are out. Amid the celebrations and some despair, we continue to gripe about India’s deteriorating education system, exacerbated by the plethora of boards and examinations. In this scenario, constantly fiddling with the system obfuscates matters. It was recently announced that the continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) grading pattern introduced in 2010, now stands cancelled; it will be annual exams again.

It’s also being suggested that the semester pattern will be introduced from class 6 onward. All this is very confusing. Further, it appears grace marks will no longer be awarded. While this may be a good thing, there are compelling reasons that justify these marks: say, a tough paper, or a student’s overall performance.

But the more fundamental issue is, what’s education for? After all, gathering information in our amazingly digitised world today is easy. Why go to school for that? Surely, it must offer something else? Something more? This must be seriously considered before trying to effect any changes in the system, because they need to be long-term. Until then, best leave things alone. Besides, no one system will suit everybody given the variables and the numbers. So far, we have only succeeded in eliminating knowledge from information, thus leading to a growing population of ‘educated’ unemployed.

We must admit that much of the pressure associated with public exams particularly at the school level emanates from highly unrealistic expectations of parents and overly ambitious targets of schools, each for their own reasons.

What calls for a rethink, therefore, is an understanding of what education is, and how it must be used to prepare children to engage with the world. Only then can real reforms happen; until then no amount of the most sophisticated robotics courses offered at school will help. This calls for maturity and a sense of responsibility.

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Published on May 30, 2017
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