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The Education System : An Inside Scoop

Pakistan has produced some of the brightest students in the world. But then there is always another side of the coin.

There are also many students who are lagging behind in their academic endeavors.Many have no one to blame but themselves.

However it is indisputable that the education system is defective in many ways and there is a lot that can be done to accommodate such students.

Busting the myth of Hard work 

I am not overthrowing the prominence of hard work. What I am saying is that it is not the sole grantor  of  good grades.

A student’s academic performance is based on a more eclectic pool of factors and a person’s innate capabilities is one of these elements.

Hence, it is utterly erroneous for teachers to conclude that if a pupil is not performing as well as someone else, solely means that, that  the individual is not putting an equal amount of effort.

Maybe he is.Maybe he isn’t. Maybe he is putting more force than the one doing well and is still ineffectual in generating a worthy payoff since I have seen many people who study all day and yet struggle for a B grade and others who hardly peek at their course books and are straight A students.

The point being is that it is a misguided approach to expect equal amount of academic results from the whole class and undermine those that our lagging behind by conveniently basing the straggle on lack of input  by the individual.It is important for faculty members to comprehend that every person has their limits.

Just because someone is not an A grader does not make that person inconsequential.All it probably means is that the student has a strength in another area which is yet to be unlocked.

Public humiliation 

Another misplaced venture that some teachers undertake  is public humiliation of a student who is struggling.I am puzzled about what this is being steered to be achieve by this?Will such snide remarks and sarcastic comments help the student to excel?

NO and any aim other than that is irrelevant. What it does instead is to make the student mistakenly assume that he is valueless and hence discourages him to indulge in any hard work in the future.

Will it not be more teeming if the teacher summons the concerned student privately to have a deliberation on what’s dragging him behind the rest?

What some educationists also fail to see is that they are not just publicly highlighting the weakness of the student but also of themselves.Any one can get positive results from excellent students.Most of them honestly do not even need to attend classes.Real achievement should be sought by seeking emergence from those who are otherwise not doing well.

Hence a teacher also fizzles simultaneously with a student and any lecturer displaying the failure of his student is automatically also exhibiting his own.

Relative grading system  

Before I start with my cynicism of the  relative grading system and glorification of the absolute marking system it is paramount to accentuate the  difference between the two.

Relative marking system considers the highest marks in the class as a reference point.The remaining class is graded taking the ratio of their respective marks to highest score.

The absolute marking on the other hand assigns grades by committing to cut off levels.This is an example of how it works. >75% you get an A. 60-75 it’s B. 50-60, it’s C and so on.

Hence, an absolute grading system has more  to do with your own performance while relative grading is more about doing well on the expense of others.

In the MBA classes of my university, students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3 or else they are kicked out.This means that 50 percent of the students would have to fail for the remaining 50  percent to pass.

Now let me get to the sort of mindset this promotes.Other people’s failures determine your success.Hence not only do students automatically become hesitant in helping out other people but are internally happy if a peer is not doing well because that would automatically mean they have a better chance of passing.

This discourages students to help each other and hence deprives those who require help from getting any.

Your progress should be independent of anyone else’s collapse and any grading system that fosters the idea of education being a rat race rather than a learning process is flawed.

It is unfortunate that many local and foreign universities adopt this marking approach and hence are dragging weak students further behind by indirectly discouraging people to help them.

The bias 

There are also many teachers who share a personal rapport with particular pupils. During my university tenure, there were many students who would spend hours in the offices of teachers, complimenting them, sharing their life stories and even exchanging gifts.

While I am all about the relationship of a student and a teacher being comradely, it is also irrefutable  that some teachers develop a bias towards students they have an affinity with.

While this inclination may only be on a subconscious level, it is better to have a system in which papers when going for checking by these teachers, have roll numbers written on them instead of names of students.This will benefit by avoiding such biases from influencing grades.

Withdrawal of Students

Universities should adopt a system in which it determines a person’s potential for the relevant subjects in the initial semesters rather than throwing them out after they are 2-3 years into their degree.

When a student who is 3-4 years into a program is shelved, irrevocable damage is done and recovery from the loss is unlikely-academically, professionally and hence psychologically.

While it is obvious that there are many  who are careless in their academic dealings and are hence unlikely to perform, what is also undeniable is that the prevalent education system too needs certain changes to provide an environment that is more conducive for students who are being outperformed

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