Monday, July 6, 2009

Feet a Size too Large for my Shoes

The title means literally what it says. I bought a pair of shoes and my feet are too large for it, so I cut my feet so they fit in the shoes. In fact this is something we can see a lot in our every day life. A polite way of saying the same will be: Treating the symptoms instead of the disease, Quick Fix!

May be because it is too easy to do such a thing. Here are a couple of scenarios:

Reservation - This is one of the most perfect examples for this statement. We give preference to the "weaker" sections of the society for various positions instead of enabling them to compete on par with others. This is like saying someone needs to get only 10 marks of 100 in an examination while others need to get 60 out of 100. Just because the former is "under privileged". And we would like to keep them so, so they keep coming for that slice of bread we always throw at them. Instead of this why not enable them to get the required 60 marks. So they feel a sense of self satisfaction instead of feeling obliged to a benefactor.

While the advocates of reservation (affirmative action, in parliamentary terms) have an argument that this is to offset the wrongs done to these "under privileged" people for thousands of years (!). I am not saying that there is no truth in that they were oppressed for a period of time, but to say thousands of years will be taking it too far. Also, it makes instant heroes of our politicians who are so beautifully changing a trend which has been vogue for "thousands" of years. Someone taking time to study the entire period of written history will not be able to validate this claim. In the end it just happens to be an easy way to lure the naive voters.

Making Class X exams optional - Yet another beautiful example. Students get stressed in exams, so stop the exams. An easy way right? We do not need find why they are stressed, bother about how we manage the stress to make them more powerful, or what is so wrong with our education system. Remove the exams, quick, very quick. So, are we to believe that students who are afraid of Class X exams will suddenly turn bold in time for the next one at Class XII? Instead of find the root cause and handling it, we just treat the symptom: the stress of exams.

Personally, I wrote my Class X just like any other exam. Of course there was this little tension about filling the name and registration number properly in the answer book, but that was it. While this may not be a perfect example, there is just too much hype being given to this particular set of exams. And hype creates pressure and parents add to it but playing up the tension. What we need to tell the students is that they will be given scores based on what they write and not in comparison with others. The comparison comes into picture only for ranks, not for the marks. The competition is more among the parents than the students leading to excessive comparisons, which ruins the morale of the students.

Again, ignoring all this our politicians have their way: make exams optional. Who do they think will opt to write an optional exam. And anyway how much effort will they put into preparing the question papers for such an eye wash. By doing this we are depriving the students of the feeling of achievement they get when clearing the exams or securing a high grade.

It will further enable the cunning education factories which pass off as schools to churn out more of their products, untested and make more money.

I hope to add more to this list in future. Meanwhile, comments are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. sach hai venky.. even i was dumbfounded to hear dey were scraping boards.. how r dese ppl gonna protect d students wen go for higher education..a GRE or a GMAT.. god bless my soul if dese politicians hav a saying power in d education system of d whole wrld! and..thnk god..dey don hav! :P lage raho india.. making reforms of no gud consequence! mera bharat mahan! :D