Are exams important than knowledge in today’s schooling?

In medieval times, India was known for the immense knowledge that its people had. The children were taught religious texts, spiritual lessons, and scriptures that formed their morals, mindset, and became the foundations of their lives. With the changing times, schooling, teaching, and the lessons changed. We began to follow westernization. We started to neglect the ancient teachings and moved towards more technical and scientific teachings. Mathematics, Science, English became our new Vedas and scriptures. Now in 2020, a student or an individual is judged by fluent English that she/he speaks rather than morals. In today’s world calling yourself, an atheist sounds cool to others, and respecting or having a love for your religion is perceived as primitive thinking by many. Now, the child who has the most logical answers or the child who has the capability of challenging the lessons is considered dumb and the one who secures highest marks in a test prepared by a teacher is considered the intelligent kind. Is it fair to say that medieval schooling was better than modern schooling?

The answer to this question is no, it isn’t fair. The reason behind it is the principle of change. We need to change with the changing times and changing people. We need to compete with these people. We have to follow what the majority follows. The only way a person can prove its individuality is by rising above all else and keeping all the mundane affairs at bay. Taking a more result oriented approach like adaptive learning, which proved itself as an efficient way for teaching students online through learning management system applications. For example, teaching the student exactly what is needed and when it is needed. So the computer adapts according to the student’s requirements and helps each student reach their true potential.

If we are changing for others we need to change completely. Why do only a few of the number of Indians get admitted into universities like Harvard etc. when we are learning the same things. The reason is that we never changed completely. The west did bring in scientific teaching but with practical applications and day to day uses. We here in India forgot to inculcate it. We put every child into the same race. The race of securing more marks instead of what that child is truly capable of. In India, you will find no adult asking a student that can do something so that cars consume less fuel but you will surely find people asking, “Kitni percentage aayi?” and this is the point where we make the whole education system flawed. 

The problem is we put a full stop at a student’s thinking capacity by making her/him realize that what matters is the percentage. The Indian children fall into this trap and keep on mugging up things instead of truly understanding them. In my school life, most of the practicals have happened on the blackboard because of the lack of equipment. I truly never understood the principle of circular motion because I never saw it practically or to better put it forward, It was never shown. It isn’t fair to compare the medieval lessons to the modern ones but yes, it is fair to compare the teaching methods. In times when there were no exams but practical based teaching based on our lives, Indian produced mathematicians such as Aryabhata (who truly is remembered in every corner of the world even today) and many more. And in these times when you are considered intelligent only if you score good marks, it’s hard to name a person who is remembered all over. There are Indians who are at the levels which are not ordinary but they are the people who did not believe in mugging up things. They were the people who believed in practical teachings. They were the people who understood the working principle behind every concept instead of learning the working principle to keep the relatives happy. 

In the present time’s exams have surely become more important than concepts and knowledge but schools should make the students see how important exams can be if we look at the exams through a different approach for example through a learning management system students can learn and take exams according to their liking. Which will eventually help them gain confidence while taking exams. Even in these tough times where there is a risk of losing our life, the Indian education system is planning out ways to conduct examinations for school as well as college students but nobody is planning the ways to conduct classes and impart knowledge to the students. And this is not a problem that stops here. The examination patterns and the pressure to secure good marks have become something the students are trying to fight instead of living it. Students who are quitting their studies and who can’t quit studies are quitting their lives. We need to introspect as to where are we going wrong?

We need to think as to why children are happy with the lockdown at such times and talk about missing their friends but not their studies or classes. It’s high time we start thinking about this as teachers, as parents, as elders and as a citizen of this country. We don’t have to change much but yes, we have to change for sure. We need not cancel exams but surely, we have to change teaching methods to shift the interest and focus of students towards studying concepts rather than mugging them up.

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