Monday, May 20, 2013

A Senseless "G" - 'Grading' - Part 1

"A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain" (Mildred W. Struven)

Hi Everyone,

In one of my previous posts The "E" Factor - 'Excellence' I stressed on the fact that the education system must be more practical rather that memorizing a bunch of course text books, and some other facts too. But one thing everyone should remember that there is no shortcut to success. If one wants to succeed he/ she will have to thoroughly understand the area of work whether it be in office, college or school. No one can escape hard work as it is foundation to the ladder of success.

Having said that I bring attention to the RTE (Right to Compulsory and Free Education Act, 2006). This act was primarily created and put into action to ensure that all the students, privileged or unprivileged can get an education up to class 8th without the fear of being denied the basic right of education. But there are few clauses in the act that caught my attention and which I (and many others) personally feel undermine the good things that the act was supposed to bring out. The one clause that troubled me most is:

"No student shall be held back or expelled under any circumstances from class 2nd to 8th"

It is practically giving the student the free license to do whatever he wants and he will be passed to the next class. I was scouring the web for information about cases on misuse of RTE and found one case that happened in Chennai where the parent sued a CBSE board affiliated school for dropping his kid in the 7th standard because of poor performance. The father might have won the case but he failed his kid.

The clause should have been taken in the sense that even if the student is not very good in the results teachers will work with students to increase their IQ levels and potentials rather than expelling them from the schools. Rather than this, the students and more surprisingly their parents take it as a free chit for not having to worry about their kid’s performance till class 8th. I say why only stop at class 8th, let the law cover till 12th and then let the students jump into the world of competition unprepared. That’s what happening when the students enter the class 9th. A huge percentage of students are so weak in their basics that it’s useless for them to be in that standard and it brings a lot of demotivation. The pressure causes many students to commit suicide or do irrational things in an attempt to live up to the expectations of the parents and society.

This is so utterly ridiculous and insane. How can one suddenly expect to perform at an excellent level in 9th standard when he/ she has been doing time pass till 8th standard. Surprisingly the kids today are so smart that they know no matter what they do they will breeze through till class 8th. The government officials told that this law will prevent any sort of demotivation. Might be true but they failed to take into account the huge pressure and suicidal tendencies that this law is generating after class 8th. 

Like I said in starting, there is no shortcut to success. you have to work hard to get good results. If one can work hard as well as smart then even better. But hard work is a necessity. I still remember my school days when my father used to take my test at home before exams. I remember that it always used to be the entire course at one go and not one or two questions or chapters. It’s result of that hard work that I am where I am today and the skill sets I have with me.

What this act has effectively conveyed is that till 8th you don’t need to do any hard work, no one in the world can stop you from going into the next grade. Then all of a sudden the pressure becomes so high in 9th standard that only students who have a natural tendency towards studies are able to cope up with the pressure.

It’s a sad state when a Government makes a blanket law like this. Government has created a senseless grading system that is affecting the coming generations in ways government is not able to comprehend. To be continued in the next article when I will reach the letter "M"

Genie Signing off