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May 29, 2010

Exams.. And the resulting Grades

Interesting Article..Grades take the heat out of Indian Exams in UAE. Thought provoking, mind boggling and eye opening. What was interesting was that children were not happy

What are we heading to? Is this a monster that we have created that our kids now do not wish to come out of? Or is this some thing that we want to ensure that it remains for ever and ever.

Why can we not accept a system that grades us rather than gives us points right upto decimals that tell us how good or bad we are? What difference does it make, if you find out that a group of people are rated as Excellent or Outstanding, rather than saying he is 99.95% Excellent, and he is only 99.10% Excellent.. For what? To rave and boast about it? For parents to show off their wards at parties? Has that 0.85% made that other person a genius?

It is unfortunate that we have imbibed ourselves to accept this as the only valid mechanism for our success. Parents have grown up this way, they want their kids to grow up the same, and these kids one day will do the same with their kids.. What is ironical is that a lot many go to Universities where they are graded. So what if all got an A++. Do we have to show ourselves off against the other to prove our superiority?

Why can we not think about the kids? The mad race for that extra decimal point, the sleepless nights and the pressure that parents put on their children and the pyschological and emotional blackmails that children go through to get that extra decimal which is higher than Jane Auntie's daughter. The smug face that a mother has when she finds out that her son got wee bit extra than the annoying pest next door.. For What? For the Parents?

We have made our Kids into demons who measure every step of their lives as points. Even in an Average rating, there are high Averagers and Low Averagers!! Does any one really care? Average is Average.. Excellent is Excellent. Period and let us keep it at that.

Kids today are smart enough to realize this and it is a bold step that the Educational institutions are taking to remove a marking system and replace this with grades. Life is not about decimal points and 93.26 % vs 93.28%.. It is whether you have understood your concepts. It is how you perform overall. It is how you end up being as a person. The sooner the parents learn this, the faster they themselves might end up being better parents. If the parents do not support this move, unfortunately, what we will be doing is destroying our future that what it already is.

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