TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Exam Centric System
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 23rd November, 2007



That the youngsters of today, particularly young students who are set to appear in their Class X and Class XII examinations are subjected to enormous pressure from all over is not an over statement and almost every year, we hear of some students committing suicide, running away from home or developing sudden illnesses such as stomach cramps, nausea and phobia of numerous kinds, in the run up to and after the annual Class X and Class XII examination from all over the country.

This trend, or rather malaise may not be that pronounced in Manipur, but it has become more than evident in the last few years that pressure on the children to perform is increasing with each passing year.

What has added an even more dangerous edge to this trend is the fact that the yardstick of performance is increasingly being confined to how much mark one scores in the Class X or Class XII examinations.

With the system that is in vogue, not only in Manipur but also all over the country, the importance given to high scores in any public examinations or even in Class tests may be understandable to a certain extent, but when this assumes the proportion of a mania, then it is time to press the alarm button and re-assess the system in place.

It is significant to note that at least the Central Board of Secondary Education or CBSE, as it is popularly known, has started doing the spadework towards this end, that is by reducing the importance given to marks scored in examinations and adopting a somewhat different scale to assess the performance of a child in school.

However in Manipur, there is no sign that some efforts are being taken up towards this end. Something has to be done to puncture the notion that scoring high marks is the yardstick to judge the performance or worth of a student.

The recent example of a Class X student of Little Flower School, who was found tied and gagged inside her school toilet on the day she was to appear for the Mathematics paper for the selection test of next year's HSLC examination and her confession that it was all stage managed to avoid appearing for the exam is a testimony of the growing pressure on children to perform in examinations.

We leave it to the wisdom of our readers to judge whether it was ethically right or desirable to make the young students face the media and confess that the episode was stage managed, but nevertheless, the entire episode, should disturb the conscience of every thinking person in Manipur.

We can understand the anxiety of the authority of Little Flower School to set the record right for there is always the need to protect the sanctity of an educational institution.

However on the other hand, we cannot help but ask whether it was the right thing to make the young girl face the glare of the media and admit in front of the whole world that the gagging and tying episode was her own doing.

Perhaps, it would have been so much better if only the matter was handled with a little more sensitivity. We can understand the mental trauma that the young girl must be going through right now and we can also understand the dilemma that the school authority must have faced.

Whatever the case, it is not the time to start throwing stones at each other, but to seriously look into the general scenario and question ourselves whether scoring high marks in examinations should be the lone criteria to judge the performance of a student or not.

Our advise to the young student of LFS in particular and others in general is, put in your best effort for the forthcoming HSLC examination but remember that this examination cannot be the only criteria to judge your capability.

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