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For a better tomorrow

If you ask a student about what he dislikes the most, his answer would most probably be “examinations”. And I know those who have already been through this phase of life, laugh about it sometimes but the actual need is to stop and think for a while “Do they really do anyone any good?”

But before that is answered why don’t we ask ourselves “What examination did Isaac Newton pass to discover gravity?” “What examination did Albert Einstein pass to present the formula E=mc2?” They don’t have an examination grade to prove their intellectual abilities but today, the world regards them for their contributions to modern day math and physics.

Newton was sitting under a tree when he discovered gravity. All I do is sit in class and discover how boring physics can be. He discovered gravity when an apple fell on his head. Tell me honestly, how many apples fall on your head when you’re giving a physics exam?

Moreover, examinations these days judge nothing but a student’s memory. They judge all the hard work he did throughout the year by a piece of paper he filled out in one and a half hour. They tend to limit one’s imagination and put a full stop after creativity. There is no concept of practically applying what is taught. 

Everyone is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life thinking it is stupid. We make them look stupid! We make them feel ashamed. Children with dyslexia are made to look abnormal. All thanks to… present education system.

Asia one news reports:  South Korean school suicides total 139 in 2013 while according to the Los Angeles times approximately 1300 college students commit suicide each year because of poor performance in their examinations.

October 31st 2008: A fourth grader from Korea commits suicide over his declining academic performance.

May 2012: A six grader from Nazimabad (Karachi) commits suicide by hanging himself by the ceiling fan after failing an examination at school.

June 2012: A teenager, Mehwish from Kaghan colony in Abbottabad shoots herself with her father’s gun after failing her SSC examinations.

We’re not educating children. We’re terrorizing them. Scaring them to death. Literally! A change is needed in the judging criteria in examinations. Students should be assessed throughout the year instead of just once or twice. Marks on assignments given should also be given a percentage in the overall result.

This is certainly an even bigger problem in government schools in Pakistan. There is no check in balance on the quality of education provided. Our youth is our weapon against all those who challenge the sovereignty and existence of the state. Our youth is our future. Our youth is our tomorrow and we certainly won’t do ourselves any good by destroying it. Reforms are therefore needed in the education sector. For a better today… for a better tomorrow!

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