Exams test only the hard disk capacity of neurons

The syllabus of matriculation comprises everything under the sun. It expects the child to know, learn and remember everything. An extremely tough syllabus for maths, complex processes of the scientific world and what was done to whom during the 16th century are all components of this syllabus.

In 250-275 days, a student of 14-15 years must ‘learn’ science, maths and socials, and three languages. Except maths, which has to be compulsorily understood to some extent, all the other subjects are just memorised without perspective. The number of textbook pages is about 600-700. Students are also expected to learn from guides, internet and ‘interactive’ CD-ROMs. This information totals up to about 3,000 pages and the student has to stuff the hard disk into the brain.

He is not taught to appreciate that history gives new ideas to improve our lives and an insight into the lives of achievers under adversities. He will read and not study history. He is not convinced that maths is necessary for almost all our daily activities and to analyse data beamed from satellites for uplifting the life of the rural masses.

What do exams expect a student to know? The question paper contains questions from every chapter of the textbook. The answer sheets does not contain what is learnt but what can be recalled from the 3,000 pages ‘studied’ and correctly reproduced at the time in the exam hall. The more accurately he recalls the content, the more will he be made to feel happy when the results of this memory test called ‘exams’ is out and labelled intelligent.

Due to some health problems, mood swings, or other inexplicable reasons, if the child is not able to recall the relevant content in three hours, he is said to be doomed. Answer sheets are evaluated by teachers who have not seen or known the children and their attitude.

Exams at this age scuttle creativity but promote recollection. Intelligence is measured by the recalling capacity of the child. A lucky student, who has studied only some chapters, can definitely score more marks than a student who has studied all the chapters thoroughly but has a lower recalling capacity.

The increased sales of dangerous, banned chemicals, called ‘anti-depressant drugs’ and ‘memory boosters’ in March and April proves the fact that pressure is created on the student to memorise. There are innumerable instances of students committing suicide or contemplating suicide due to the pressure of exams.

The known and unknown must be differentiated and testing is a part of the education system, otherwise nobody will learn. The learned must be honoured, facilitated and encouraged to excel. We must definitely have a value-based society and the more knowledgeable must be treated and rewarded. Holding exams after 10th is completely justified, as the subjects are selective and the area of knowledge is narrowed down. It creates and develops people of substance and core knowledge.

A guru is a teacher and will see a student’s inner knowledge and attitude as necessary to lead a successful life. A teacher is human, a guru divine. In the Vedic system of education, evaluation was continuous throughout the year by the guru. The guru will not measure the hard disk capacity of the neurons but will assess the citizen.

Tests must be conducted every month and the number of pages that the student has to memorise or understand is reduced. Evaluation should also be based on a student’s attitude, his IQ and ability to learn concepts and his capacity to apply that is learned.
An evaluation system must be for the subject or discipline a child is strong in or belongs to. Some grace time may be given for students who are not feeling too well or those who feel that have not sufficiently prepared so that they will be more relaxed while they take up these exams.

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