Many people have been concerned with the disruption to children’scaused by the . Since early 2020, schools throughout the world have been shut during repeated national lockdowns. While some children are used to attending classes virtually, others struggle to even get online. Those from low-income families have been particularly affected as some kids have to share a single device with other household members. There are also children who have been completely pushed out of the system due to a lack of internet availability or no access to a laptop or tablet.
Despite the disruption toas we know it, there is something positive to have emerged from the chaos: the cancelation of , sending a wave of relief to children and their parents. The only disappointed ones are some parents who feel robbed of the glory their kids bring by acing .
It’s Time to Make India’s Education Good Enough for All
It may have been inconceivable in pre-coronavirus times to think of an-free system, but we are now faced with the possibility of exploring it. Just imagine how much unnecessary stress it would save children, parents and teachers. It would also free up time for to pursue personal interests and hobbies and expand their knowledge beyond the classroom.
The Issue With Exams
The focus on time in the classroom to prepare forhas led to a crisis in . There are four key problems to address.
First, it is high time thatare recognized as the biggest scam in . This is not in reference to mass cheating or buying of certificates in countries like India. We should be questioning the very raison-d’être of in the current system. Why do we need ? A teacher should be the best judge of a ’s level of understanding. An evaluation, if at all, should be built on assignments and participation instead of one based on written or oral .
Once upon a time, a man called Albert Einstein elaborated on how a‘s overall performance is a far better indicator of their achievements. “The teachers’ impression of a derived during the years, together with the usual numerous papers from assignments — which every has to complete — are a succinctly complete and better basis on which to judge the than any carefully executed ,” he said.
Second, if we are truly interested in children succeeding in, then must be rich in content and relevance and accomplished through quality instructional time. Unfortunately, as the use of has become the norm to evaluate , classroom time is dedicated to helping kids prepare for . This can often result in the narrowing of the curriculum as teachers are focused on topics that are part of the . As a result, children are not taught other valuable information to broaden their knowledge.
Third, the currentregime does nothing to address social and economic inequality; it only reinforces it. Children from low-income backgrounds who require further support are less likely to have access to additional resources at home. This includes a lack of support from parents who may be working more than one job, limited access to the internet or the financial inability to hire a private tutor. pressure only exacerbates inequality and sets deprived children up to fail.
Fourth,represent a cruel process of elimination. Why should any child be eliminated from their right of getting an just because they don’t achieve the highest grades? If the purpose of is learning, then the task of a teacher is to ensure that all learn, irrespective of the time and effort it might require. The fact is that lead to competition, which kills the spirit of learning. This system prioritizes individual achievement over collaborative learning, thus defeating the very premise of with its focus on cooperation over competition.
The Examination Factory
Establishing an environment where each person is simultaneously a teacher and apresents an opportunity to continually learn, not only from each other, but also from every situation. This would mean that interaction with everyone you meet, such as a shopkeeper, gardener, farmer or musician, can transform into a mutually enriching learning experience to develop skills that go beyond the classroom
The damage being done by a culture ofbuilt around can be seen on both the surface and subliminal levels. On the surface, it divides children into achievers and underachievers from a young age. At the subliminal level, its effects can be traumatizing for children, resulting in a complete erosion of self-confidence for some and brutalization of personality for others.
Since the model of modernfinds its roots in the Industrial Revolution, it tends to treat individuals as products and educational institutions as brands — and together they dictate the existing job market. It is hardly unusual that itself has become a market for the affluent. Institutions, especially coaching centers that at times don on the dual responsibility of coaching as well as “educating,” have become mechanical factories that are expected to produce a definite quality of product — in this case, a with high scores so that schools can reach their targets. Commercialization has led to mechanization, which has a harmful effect on human intellect and emotions.
The pandemic has forced us to pause and rethink the way we have shaped our concept of. Can we really educate children in overpopulated classes? With an inadvertent byproduct of COVID-19 being social distancing, it has paved the way for fewer per classroom. This should, hopefully, result in a more empowering teacher- relationship and put the brakes on the mechanized version of teaching we see today.
This model would be in sync with the one pioneered by ancient gurukuls, a “residentialwhere pupils live near their guru or teacher.” Such a system would need more qualified and dedicated teachers. But if this model will save us from the COVID crisis, then perhaps it can also tackle the crisis in modern-day .
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.