Today on the T.V news I heard that Kapil Sibil is offering new suggestions to replace the tenth grade school board examinations. I do hope that parents and students alike as well as education policy makers, will understand this to be a great chance for us to reinvent the assessment process of performance. Today the value of standard has got strangely distorted with cut off percentages becoming absurdly high, and I know that if I was to be a high school student today, my confidence would have been impaired and I would have been viewed as an under achiever because 97% would not have been reflected in my mark sheet!
Being a book worm or a nerd as its called in today's vocabulary of slang, becomes the only option if one is to cope at school and more relevantly, secure admission in colleges of repute for higher education. Where is there the scope of the "holistic" exposures we preach of as being the true hallmark of wise educational paradigms if we do not implement a system that upholds such values. Ultimately it is the mark sheet that becomes the trophy, without which your choices are automatically shut off, not lessened, just shut off! What a bizarre and unjust system and one which in my opinion is obviously flawed.
It is only in India that I see children of the age of 17 having to make major decisions regarding their future careers with no really leeway to allow experience to define and guide these choices. It becomes a do or die, sink or swim situation, and it promotes and benefits only the front runners. The onus of being more circumspect in the approach towards eduction lies squarely with the parents because the system has only one aim: standardising and making everything competitive in ways that obscure true learning and assimilation. And in many cases those liberal parents who veer away from the prescriptive, pay the price of children not finally "fitting in" to a system which is rigid and unyielding and completely uncreative in its approach to helping the youth find know themselves better.
Being an achiever is wonderful, but there isn't a singular meaning that we can apply to the connotation of this. The labour force in any country who are not often highly educated or qualified are great contributors to their society and are valuable and meritorious people. Their "mark sheets" are marked in other ways and it is high time that educational institutions stop insisting that the reflection of ability is via this 90% formula!