Education: A race to score grades

June 20, 2018

By Muhammad Amir Saleem

To me as being teacher, this year, the race of the students to grasp guess papers and possible questions for Cambridge “O” and “A” levels exams, was a deplorable act. The said proclivity stirred my memory up and to identify this inclination with the exams’ preparations of our time. In reality, our teachers eschewed us from falling victim of short-cuts in learning and laid emphasis on the thorough preparations so as to make us confident – diminishing any chance of the failure.

*The writer is a teacher based in Islamabad.

*The writer is a teacher based in Islamabad.

To the utmost dismay, students of this age risk their necks on purpose as guess papers or possible questions give way to selective studies – indeed burden is shed – however, the impact is far more to their detriment; giving rise to the psychological inefficiencies – fear, self-distrust and slumber – among students. In turns, confusion and panic state of mind ceases the ability of them to make out questions and to produce structured or well organized responses in examination.

Self- confidence in studies shies away the dependency of extra-academic help or tuitions. Hence, students earnestly adopt organized strategy to appear in exams, this infuses the attributes like determination, diligence and resolve into them. Skimming through books, references, articles or research papers enhance the overall knowledge and in addition to that the skill of managing information in bulk is acquired. The seeming incongruity is that at ordinary levels – metric / O levels – students heavily depend on extra-assistance while the syllabus is limited, same students act like lone wolf against immense volume of knowledge at higher levels (MBBS or Engineering).

Reading habits is now a matter of bygone days! Only exists in trivial form away from empirical one due to the invention of electronic devices, such as mobile, tablets or laptops. A craving for seeking variety of knowledge or information through reading has lost attraction; thus, the evaluative or analytical thinking has been replaced by the limited subject knowledge. The endeavor to reinforce concepts through comprehension is gradually faded away and being supplanted by the approach of cramming.

Among many students the notion of devising revision plan on daily or weekly basis is non-existent; the details taught at school keep piling up to the colossal volume that near examination all cannot be coped with, this bears on the overall grades and class performance – average grades and fluctuating class performance.

Inscribing the classroom discussion or discourses in an organized way has invariably held the field in learning, comprehension and retrieval of concepts. However, the reality is dismal as few students deem it valuable, the most of them reckon it to be as extraneous details. Given approach enhances the outgoings of education, the reason being that the parents have to pay hefty morning fees, and also the additional payments are made for evening coaching classes in order to cover up the syllabus which is deliberately gone unheeded in morning. But, the role of teachers in making classroom a learning place cannot be overlooked: the below par teaching methodologies; heavy dependence on text book reading or verbatim; and lecture depriving of thought provoking questions, make student uninterested in learning; consequently, the discipline issues emerge.

The environment setup at home by parents also grooms a child, if confidence, encouragement and motivation are given, along with regular counseling; he or she shows his/her full prowess or flair in all walks of life. Some sagacious well-educated parents help their children in studies and establish a strong contact with school or teachers to have a close look on the performance of their child and on top of that they are always keen to know the weak areas of subjects and appreciate the school or teachers to guide them in improving those areas.

To sum up, every student should get inspiration from the following saying of Pele: “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or leaning to do”.