The angst has set in; bells and other means of prayer are rung daily by hopeful students in India. The cause for this sudden increase in the pious is the imminent publishing of the results of Indian national board and state board examinations. These pupils wish to achieve desired scores as these exams solely are used to decide the possibility of future studies in colleges and universities. This one set of tests is employed to approximate the value of the child, seems fair, doesn’t it? I think not.
The issues that I, as one of the students who will be writing said examination of the national board the coming year, have are a few but glaring ones. Firstly, the major problem is the style of teaching and therefore learning; matter is taught on the basis of marks and certain passages are explicitly pointed out with the instructions to memorize the same for maximum marks. Understanding takes a backseat while rote learning calls shotgun. Students are not encouraged to think for themselves and any question which requires further ponderance and the answer to which does not fetch marks is termed as ‘out of syllabus’. Hence the board examination becomes a test of memory and not of learning.
Secondly, the papers on which the pupils regurgitate information are distributed to various correction centres in India, creating the possibility of butterfly or ripple effects. (This problem has been previously brought to light by Debhargya Das in his TEDx talk. ) Essentially this issue would be that if one of the correcters was in a melancholic mood, the paper he/she has been given to grade would suffer accordingly; conversely if said correcter was very cheerful, the paper would be affected. These occurrences put certain pupils at an advantage whilst per contra certain pupils would be at a disadvantage. For an examination which plays a grave role in the future of students, this problem seems immense.
Lastly, a hindrance which I have personally been subjected to, as someone incredibly fond of the English language and its versatility, is my teachers not understanding my choice of words. I have been told by innumerable teachers to contain myself whilst writing answers as if my paper reaches a corrector who is not as fond of the language as I am; my score would suffer. I find it rather strange that students who are about to step into world are being told to limit their ability to manipulate the language to their own advantage.
I very strongly believe that a change is required not only for students but also for progress of this country as we, as children, make up the youth of the country and are expected to take control of the reigns of the country. Till a change does arrive, my only suggestion to my peers would be to follow the famous quote, “Never let your education be limited to your schooling.” If abided by, there may still be some hope after all.
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