Does the over importance given to examination kill education?

Does the over importance given to examination kill education?

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Education, Published On
February 4, 2021
Last modified on December 21st, 2021

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 examination. Through these exams, we also identify the strengths and weaknesses of students. Unfortunately, over a period of time, these aims have taken a back-seat and our education system has become quite examination-centric.

Today, ‘EXAMS and SCORES’ are considered as a passport to one’s success, thereby, defeating the real purpose of education

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 canceled. As a result, most of our students still study just to pass EXAMS. Be it the use of unfair means or cramming techniques, the zeal to score well is clearly visible in our mainstream education system. Not just the students but the parent community also seems to get obsessed with the idea of good scores.

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 keep filling their learning gaps through coaching centers. Such importance given to examination is hampering the goal of the holistic development of our students.

Because they are focusing more on grades and scores through parroting techniques of learning.

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 it starts, they get into the parroting mode and start using their memory to write answers and score well. These outdated and ineffective techniques of learning give them temporary knowledge to fill the exam sheets and are actually degrading the importance of examination. But 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?

The idea of 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 do away with exams completely?

While it is true that the over importance of examination is a cause of concern for us. However, it is not right to believe that we can do away with the predefined examination systems. Because, without conducting exams, it is impossible to judge the level of success of an educational program.

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

Of course not!!

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

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

Thankfully, we are already in the process of these reforms. And today, most of the traditional/online schools are following a better approach.

We cannot completely delink exams from our system but a positive change can certainly help

Instead of focusing only on scores and performances, we can judge students on various other parameters that are a part of his/ holistic development. Because the need of the hour in today’s competitive world is not just about scoring well but about realizing one’s career goals. So, a futuristic and constructive traditional/online schooling platform should not work on the lines of an examination-centric schooling structure. Instead, it is better to inculcate 21st-century skillsets, and good academic performances 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 the broad educational goals

Our top academicians behind the NPE 2020 have also acknowledged the importance of studying for conceptual understanding and not just for scores. This policy throws light on the increasing burden and academic stress due to the fear of exams. The numerous reforms suggested in this policy also includes ‘Bagless days’.

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

But 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, it is also our duty to see to it 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, making students lifelong learners is the aim of the top online schools. 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 inculcate 21st-century skills in our students. Remember, if students study to gain mastery over 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 neither good to do away with exams, nor should they be given all the importance. A balanced approach towards a student’s holistic development is a wiser solution for this issue.

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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