Education System: A Marks Marathon
August 13 2021 · 4 min read
“Why should we not care about scoring excellent grades? Our parents suffer day and night to provide the best for us, they pay our fee and make sure we get every comfort in our life. At least we can pay them back by doing what they want us to do. And give them the satisfaction that we are not wasting the money they spend on our education and blah blah…” such emotional sentiments are not less than a nightmare. They are made by teens who once managed to appear on the dean’s list and now they are forced to maintain their reputation. Even if all the pressure is too much to handle they will run the marks marathon with everybody else to save their image of a 4.O GPA.
What could brains, trained to win marks marathon, do to you?
Our education system is a measure of one’s cramming abilities and how well one can perform on scratching their memory to make an answer pop up in their minds. If we lack this ability a bit as compared to our peers we become the center of sarcasm. It is right that good grades are an achievement and they reflect good memory and our education system is after making students memory devices instead of making us capable of applying our knowledge practically.
If students reduce themselves to bookworms it is because a piece of paper called exams, when we come face to face with our fate, can decide our future. It is a ghost, which takes away one’s peace of mind. And everyone stuck with this system has to run to gather nothing but straight A’s and cut off a certain standard of percentage.
The problem is, our education system uses an exam-oriented approach. Certain marks secured are recognition of hard work and better performance. And the student who achieves excellent grades becomes the icon of admiration. A sense of competition and comparison exists among students and each one wants to place themselves above others. It could be healthy if students compete with themselves to stretch their horizons. But a marks-oriented mind uses competition to measure self-worth and create an image relative to others, which is as dangerous as a tumor.
Tim Other Gallywey says it perfectly, about competition, in his book The Inner Game of Tennis: “It is as if some believe that only by being the best, only by being a winner, will they be eligible for the love and respect they seek. Children who have been taught to measure themselves in this way often become adults driven by a compulsion to succeed which overshadows all else.” Since a mind trained to win marks marathon has a win-at-any-cost-attitude it thinks scoring exceptional grades could give students recognition. And therefore they get their security from exceptional GPAs.
Do marks ensure success in life?
If we analyze how our fatally flawed model of education works marks are not totally inappropriate. A student must have just enough marks to continue higher education because grades are considered as the way to evaluate students during admission processes. We can see some minor changes in the system, yet in conventional wisdom, good grades are the reflection of our knowledge.
Do not get obsessed over marks.
They DO NOT ensure success.
Good marks can secure our admission to a prestigious institute, yet they do not guarantee a successful career. Because when we step into the market in real life, the market will not analyze our cramming skills. Employers look for our communication skills. They search for people with creative ideas and innovation. Market demands for those with excellent marketing skills. Employers will not ask us our GPA they will evaluate how well we represent ourselves.
Students must learn to innovatively use the opportunities they are given and develop new skills. We should be focused on learning to sell ourselves in the job market. And selling ourselves means making a win-win match with the company we want to work with. As well as convincing employees how we are the best fit for them by demonstrating our knowledge with a practical approach.
Our education system does not teach students the skills that are demanded by employers today. Instead, it uses an assessment-oriented approach besides knowing that even a class topper cannot be guaranteed a successful career. Thus, it is the way students are taught that they try to fit in with their peers by achieving compatible grades. Those who choose a different path and do not run the ‘rat’s race’ still enjoy a happy life with thick bellies and thin hair. Therefore, do not miss out on your volleyball match because you have a chemistry test next week, try to create a work-life balance.