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It’s a identified undeniable fact that colleges in India give far larger significance to exams than to studying. The deadlock attributable to COVID-19 has made this realisation extra acute — one merely has to do a fast frequency depend of reports associated to exams as towards information associated to studying within the media. Sadly, nevertheless, the dialogue round examination is extra about mechanics of testing relatively than its relationship with the character of studying or instructing that has occurred over the previous two years. The message that one will get loud and clear is: exams should occur no matter whether or not studying occurs or not! Even on these events that they obtained cancelled, it was because of the risk to life posed by the coronavirus and never as a result of their very own credibility was in query when studying had obtained severely disrupted in colleges.

One fast have a look at our faculty training system will reveal that it’s examination-centric, the place exams rule the roost – the place virtually all of a pupil’s faculty years are geared in direction of preparation of terminal exams culminating within the dreaded however equally revered board exams! This journey is much less a celebration of 1’s a number of years of education/organised studying however linked extra to the worry of failing, which is once more linked to denial of rewards like admission to school, jobs and many others. The well-known American thinker and educator John Holt as soon as stated, examination is one huge racket the place one tries to check what a pupil doesn’t know relatively than what they know. Allow us to attempt to study a couple of central myths related to examinations.

ALSO READ | Board Exams Can be a Nightmare For You but They are Not Going Anywhere Soon

Examinations are integral to studying and with out exams there is no such thing as a studying.

One could prefer to consider that examinations are basic to studying however this can be a deeply problematic thought. One is continually studying each inside and out of doors structured studying environments. In the true world exterior faculty, there aren’t any exams or paper-pencil check however one continues to be studying, with out essentially being acutely aware of it. In colleges, that’s not the case and one does want to offer a construction to college students’ studying experiences.

Nevertheless, to consider that need to succeed/keep away from failure in examination is the only most determinant of studying is worrisome or maybe exaggerated. The prime instance of this perception is removing of the non-detention provision from the Proper to Training Act, 2009. This provision proposed that youngsters even on failing in inner evaluation until class eighth wouldn’t be detained/made to repeat the category. The target behind this provision was to stop/curtail the dropout of these youngsters from faculty who basically belonged to the deprived sections of society and on failing in exams felt humiliated and dejected, ultimately dropping out from the varsity. Nevertheless, most individuals together with training officers, ministers in command of training portfolios of their states, lecturers and fogeys strongly believed that if this worry of failure is faraway from youngsters’s lives, they won’t be taught.

Linked to that is one other fantasy that board examinations are the most effective choose of scholars’ capability, studying and competence.

It’s the externality or public nature of board exams that make them seem like neutral and goal. The central thought behind exams is that there is no such thing as a scope for any type of favouritism or partiality as neither examiner nor the examinees know one another. The flip aspect of this perception is that subjectivity in evaluation is taken into account to be undesirable and extra importantly, the message that it conveys is that lecturers can’t be trusted and thereby their biases will inevitably creep in in the event that they consider these college students’ efficiency who they know. The essential corollary to this concept is that you find yourself evaluating college students you understand nothing about as in comparison with lecturers who’ve taught them, been with them for some time and maybe know and perceive them finest.

The query which ought to come to 1’s thoughts is: how can an examination contemplate all youngsters alike when they’re from completely different socio-economic backgrounds and have been to varsities that are considerably completely different from one another? Even though college students belong to completely different worlds when it comes to their financial, social and cultural capital, publicity and training alternatives and life possibilities basically, a typical yardstick within the type of a board examination is used to judge their efficiency and extra importantly distribute restricted rewards. The irony of all of it is that just about everybody together with the scholars who need to bear the brunt of those inequitable alternatives regard examination outcomes as a product of their particular person advantage and energy and subsequently, honest.

The third fantasy is that if a pupil is sweet, it should routinely present up of their efficiency within the exams.

It’s fairly attainable {that a} pupil is sweet however does poorly in examination and vice-versa. All exams require a sure technique to be cracked. That is mirrored in the truth that faculty lecturers spend lots of effort and time in serving to college students obtain extra marks by projecting their studying in a sure method and catching the examiner’s consideration. This additionally explains the mushrooming and significance of teaching centres and information books whose job is to assist college students put together for exams and to not improve their studying! Studying and performing, albeit associated, are two separate issues.

With the main focus of those exams being on goal, standardised, measurable and comparable efficiency, evaluation not solely acquires a mechanical dimension to it but in addition adjustments the which means of studying to one thing seen, measurable and comparable. Something which isn’t thus loses its significance and isn’t thought to be being worthy of studying.

The truth that exams play a vital position in choosing and eliminating aspirants from the race in direction of larger mobility, success and many others. must be acknowledged upfront. This position turns into extra necessary in a stratified society the place the variety of aspirants outnumber alternatives obtainable. There have been quite a few committees set as much as look into examination reforms and analysis research highlighting the big stress that youngsters need to undergo, however we don’t appear to be taught any classes from there. Our obsession with public examination because the be all and finish all of college training comes at an enormous price. However is anybody listening?

ALSO READ | Board Exams Must be Scrapped Permanently. It’s the Only Way to Fix an Exam-obsessed Education System

The writer is Professor and Dean, College of Training, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. The views expressed on this article are these of the writer and don’t signify the stand of this publication.

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