It has been well said, that “Judge your calibre, not your grades, Trust yourself and learn from your failures.” the quote signifies how far “Marks” has been considered as the sole judgment criteria to understand the potentiality of an individual. The education system, in the context of formal schooling, has been the popular form of receiving and imparting education. What is important is the capability of the individual to learn and extract the necessary meanings out of it. When the learner questions their inner self based on their marks and grades, there comes the clash of understanding vs rote learning.
Govt. of India has brought a new Education Policy for Imparting education where it will play a very crucial role in an individual’s life. The whole character development of the person is seen in their way of behaviour, their social standings. These behavioural patterns are set and imbibed within the person by formal schooling. What is taught and what is learned has two different connotations. How we took these connotations simultaneously is also a basic question of life. Few people consider marks and grades as the biggest character developer tool; if the marks are high, more is the person judged based on their intelligence. If marks are low, the individual is automatically judged as weak in learning contexts than concepts. This form of context learning emphasized only on the completion of the content and not the understanding of the concept.
Importance Of Formal Schooling In Context Of Grades:
It’s rightly said that what we study in our school, marks the base of our crucial learning. The formal schooling works on two principles of implementing and imparting education, and that is examination and evaluation. What is taught is imbibed and fed to the learners, and after that, their thorough evaluation is done based on exams conducted by schools and universities. There are proper evaluating techniques like grading systems, marks based on written, practicals as well as vivas. There is also the allotment of the time duration to the students to prove their capabilities as far as how they have understood the concepts. Juxtaposing the facts, they are judged based on marks as Pass or Fail. If the learner has achieved A+ grades, they are automatically considered and put in the category of intelligent learners. Simultaneously the one who achieves below that is considered as an average or below-average student.
Despite the fact, the below-average may have an even wider knowledge than the A+ grader. And the A ranker may not have the concept knowledge but the ability to do rote memorization or learning.
Is Marks the only way to segregate and differentiate between the learners? The question has a deep meaning attached to it, and the answer to this question is still unanswerable. Marks cannot be justified as the basic judge of the learner’s capability to think and learn. Learning is easy and can be done by any, but the understanding of the concept is difficult and is not everybody’s job.
Rote Memorization Vs Conceptual Learning:
Learning and understanding work on two principles. One is Grasping the concept by sincere heart and brain, and the other is rote memorization, imitation, and spitting out in exam or evaluation centres, what is learned is just the mindless memorization of facts and concepts to attain the marks, clear exams, and get admission in good college or universities.
This is nothing to do with understanding and going deep into the exploration of concepts but only learning of the content. This memorization is a sort of game where the learners and students are players in the hands of the education system. The one who makes the goal is the winner and the other who didn’t participate in the loser. The Reward for winning this game is the marks or grades won by these players.
Marks, the Production of Human Beings Or The Machines:
As stated above, marks and grades are the first step of the child’s learning and exploring process. They sometimes make an individual complete in their selves. Gaining more marks and competing with peers is the common way of learning by proving oneself. While entering school life, the students are always taught to gain good grades if they have to go for good colleges or compete in competitive marks. In the Indian education system, there are different criteria for selection and providing admissions. There is also the system of huge cut-offs, stream selection pressure, reservation of seats, etc. The level of selection, as well as competition, is so high that the individual has no choice but to do rote learning of the concepts like a parrot and vomit out as it is in the exams. This has nothing to do with whether the clarification and exploration of the subject are done or not.
Lack of Choice Vs Interest:
Marks and grades have an equal role in judging the learner’s understanding, but it’s also very important to see how far the individual is taking an interest in the subject matters. Sometimes there is only an option left to chose the wrong course due to the criteria of marks, and sometimes the interest lies in some other co-curricular activities or sports and not in book learning. This lack of interest and choice of subject has made the gap more wide between obtaining marks and winning the battle. This will only produce machine-made minds without interest.
The streams selection of science, commerce, and humanities is also made by the teachers and school heads who also directly or indirectly focus on the standard of marks achieved by each student. The more is the obtained marks, and the more is the chance of getting science streams, then commerce and the last is humanities. This hierarchy of the education system is also kept on widening in the school as the schools and teachers are also running onto achieving good scores and high results. The focus is on the subject matters and not the interests. Similarly, if the marks are good, they can get a better option to choose their course for higher studies also. And if the marks are average, the right to select the course of interest is somewhat snatched away from them. So either they have to adjust someone else’s choice, or they have to sacrifice their own choice of interest.
Ideologies attached towards Obtaining Marks:
There are lots of factors involved in judging the Individual’s potentiality and calibre. It is also true that marks play an equally important role in checking and correcting what concept is not going on correctly. The society where we live has certain rules and protocols attached to it. Schools, Teachers, Parents are all interconnected to each other. Somewhat the pressure is from the peer group or the competitive ideology where one is always in a hurry to win from the other; the concept of marks cannot be ignored. There is the pressure of comparison by the parents at home, the teachers at school, and also the people in the neighbourhood. This one-way race of obtaining more and more marks and proving oneself within the peer group sometimes lead learners into a depressed state of mind. This depression can lead to more severe issues where the individual sometimes chooses the wrong path of suicide or ending up their own life. The learners question their own identity, and without trusting on themselves self, they trust their failures. The failures they believe as their fewer marks.
Social, psychological, and emotional disturbances caused by these markings and gradings often bring pessimistic and incomplete attitudes in the learners. Sometimes the pressure on them becomes so high that they don’t have the other option than to quit or drop out of their education.
Indian System Of Education and Changes Needed:
Our Indian system of education is based on a formal way of schooling, obtaining good marks, choosing a nice stream and going for higher education, and getting a nice job just to serve and benefit your family. In between this, the interest of the person is always lagging. In India, children are often taught in their childhood to be doctors and engineers. Nobody is interested in taking photography, sports, teaching, as their passion. Teaching, through a noble profession, always comes as the last option to choose from. That is the main reason why there is always a shortage of good and competent teachers in India. Many out of them are either without their degrees or either they don’t have employment opportunities in their hands due to reservation or less achievement of marks.
More dropouts somehow fear the examination and the result. There are demotivational factors involved, and the focus of conceptual learning is never taken into consideration properly. There is a stigma attached to the copying and plagiarizing of the work than exploring or learning by doing practically. Disbelieving the skills of one’s own is the major concern of the section of marks system.
What Is Lacking In Indian Education System?
There is a huge gap between government and private schools. The conditions of government schools are not up to the mark but still the government is aching due care to work on its infrastructure, hygiene, and surroundings. Children are given many facilities so that they can enrol themselves even if they lack funds for studies. This will lead to a change in the condition of mass literacy. There is the issue of wastage of resources and funds. Still, a huge section of children is dropouts, absentees. There is always a shortage of teaching staff with a very less number of qualified teachers and degrees. There is a run race where there is more focus on the collection of degrees than actually working on their dream. The passion of curricular activities is never taken the form of main subject learning; rather, they are considered as extra or time waste activities. Degrees are often described in terms of engineering and doctorates and not drawing and painting. This brings a lack of interest and failure of capabilities and potentiality.
The machines like human beings are produced with the ideology where parents and society exert too much pressure and burden on their children. Mr XYZ son has scored more marks than you, why? Is he more intelligent, or is he more career conscious? The answer to this question lies in our own hands. The robot’s production is generally done where the individual’s calibre is not explored, and the focus is only to study and earn good marks. This 99.9 % marks race is always a way ahead and is still the dream of many.
Competition is fair but over the competition is not. There is a need for an optimistic attitude, and the belief in the inner self is fundamental. Marks are not the end of everything it can be the beginning of the new areas of interests and the ultimatum to change the track and follow the dreams of one’s interests and areas of skills. Remember, learning should be the actual meaning of life and not the aim to compare one on another. Choose what is practical and useful to explore, and that will automatically give sense to our understandings.
Marks cannot judge our identity and even don’t make us superior to one another. Even famous personalities and celebrities are not toppers. Still, they are ruling their fields of interest.
“Stop Running For Marks, Chase Excellence Success Will Follow”