Does the over importance given to examination kill education?

Does the over importance given to examination kill education?

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Education, Updated On
April 9th, 2024

The importance of examination cannot be belittled as it shows the success of instructional delivery. While imparting education to students, we assess the success of the learning goals through periodic examinations. These exams also identify students’ strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, over some time, these aims have taken a back seat, and our education system has become quite examination-centric.

Today, ‘EXAMS and SCORES’ are considered a passport to one’s success, defeating education’s real purpose.

Indeed! The common perception of judging an individual through his scores has created a big void in the Indian education system. The importance of passing an examination lies in the fact that some students will not attend school/college if the examination system is cancelled. As a result, most of our students still study to pass EXAMS. The zeal to score well is visible in our mainstream education system, be it through unfair means or cramming techniques. The students and the parent community seem obsessed with good scores.

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Does the over-importance given to examination kill education?

All this makes students unhappy and overburdened.

Most of our students spend long hours in schools and continue to fill their learning gaps through coaching centres. The importance given to examinations hampers our students’ holistic development goals.

Because they focus more on grades and scores through parroting learning techniques.

And such ineffective methods of rote memory are killing the creativity of students.

In India, several students study only to clear the exams. Just before the day starts, they get into the parroting mode and use their memory to write answers and score well. These outdated and ineffective learning techniques give them temporary knowledge to fill out the exam sheets and degrade the examination’s importance. However, later on, they do not retain information and concepts.

In the end, they might end up scoring well but often miss out on ‘MEANINGFUL LEARNING’

Let’s understand why ‘Meaningful Learning’ is so important.

Meaningful learning is about developing conceptual understanding in students for a fruitful learning experience. This type of understanding helps students to apply their knowledge in real-life situations. So, to root out the defects of examination-centric learning, the top online school in India and the brick-and-mortar schools focus on meaningful learning.

So, does this mean that we should completely do away with exams?

While the importance of examination is a cause for concern, it is wrong to believe we can do away with predefined examination systems. Without exams, it is impossible to judge an educational program’s success level.

Imagine a world where students are given academic certificates without any examination. Can we expect worthy professionals and stable individuals with such patterns in society?

Of course not!!

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So, the ideal situation is that exams should be a constructive tool to measure learning without being the ultimate goal.

Without examinations, students cannot sharpen their skills and might become casual about their learning. So, we can say that exams are not ultimately killing education. The only change we need is to limit the importance we attach to it. It should be more dynamic and constructive rather than a burden for the students. The examination scope should broaden from written and oral assessments to social interactions, character building, etc.

Thankfully, we are already in the process of these reforms. Today, most traditional and online schools take a better approach.

We cannot wholly delink exams from our system, but a positive change can help.

Instead of focusing only on scores and performances, we can judge students on various other parameters that are a part of their/ holistic development. In today’s competitive world, the hour is about scoring well and realizing one’s career goals. So, a futuristic and constructive traditional/online schooling platform should not work like an examination-centric schooling structure. Instead, it is better to teach 21st-century skill sets, and good academic performance will follow.

The recent reforms in our education policy are also based on the futuristic idea of meaningful and relevant learning.

Our recent National Policy of Education 2020 aims to change the mindset towards broad educational goals.

Our top academicians behind NPE 2020 have also acknowledged the importance of studying for conceptual understanding and not just for scores. This policy highlights the increasing burden and academic stress caused by the fear of exams. The numerous reforms suggested in this policy also include ‘Bagless days’.

Through this concept, school education will be focused not just on academic skill sets but also on improving career readiness. So, by teaching relevant skills in schools, we will shape our education system to aim at relevant learning. Once we implement these reforms successfully, the evil of chasing scores and the rat race for academic performance will subside.

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However, examinations alone are not killing education; it is also the attitude of the stakeholders.

While talking about the voids in our systems, we often forget our role as stakeholders. Apart from the government reforms, we also must see that examinations do not overshadow the actual purpose of education.

This is not an impossible task, if we can instill a love for learning in students, the need to chase scores will never be there. Thankfully, the top online schools aim to make students lifelong learners. And this approach is a gigantic step towards a more student-centric and happy educational system.

So, instead of overemphasizing the importance of exams and adding to a student’s academic stress, we should also focus on creating happy learning experiences to teach 21st-century skills to our students. Remember, if students study to master the subject matter, they will retain and reproduce information without cramming. In this way, academic success and conceptual understanding can go hand in hand.

Final Words

So, it is unreasonable to abolish exams, nor should they be given all the importance they deserve. A balanced approach to a student’s holistic development is a wiser solution.

Because it is rightly said that, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”– (quoted)

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