Schools in Maharashtra and elsewhere are scrapping merit lists and toppers, a ritual followed so far immediately after the announcement of board exam results. This is a change for the better and will certainly pave the way for the establishment of educational equality. This decision alone will eliminate a rather condescending academic apartheid in which only a few high-scoring students were able to monopolize the limelight while dozens of others felt neglected and humiliated. This step by schools can also serve as an antidote to our pathological obsession with grades and rote learning. In other words, it will demystify the current grade-driven educational system that unnecessarily emphasizes the parrot with little emphasis on a good conceptual understanding of the subject. The old-fashioned and derogatory culture of the “merit list” robs our educational system of its humanistic temperament and its critical faculties and makes it too banal.
That aside, our grade-based, exam-driven system of education is a travesty of education. It is only a perpetuation of what Thomas Babington Macaulay conceptualized in 1835 and the cunning Britons enacted it to create, if not produce, a litany of servile, crawling servants. babus without the capacity for independent thought.
Today, education is lost in information and a student’s memory is confused with intelligence or intelligence. Even schools and colleges do not distinguish between the two. Remember, students who participated in the TV show, Kaun Banega Crorepati and managed to earn a few lakhs, were praised by their colleges and institutes as “brilliant” and “brilliant” and congratulated by the eminent persons of the cities and towns to which they belonged.
While the list of toppers might be an incentive for a few “smart” students, it is a drag for most students. Knowledge is a continuous process in constant evolution. It cannot be reduced to a three-hour exercise, rather a test, called exams. In these competitive times, a glorified score sheet is no guarantee of getting a good job and career afterwards. Creativity and innovation are the only drivers that ensure lasting success. Lateral thinking is essential. Instead of linear or vertical thinking, which relies solely on logic, lateral thinking is a deliberate and systematic process of using your ability to think in a different way, otherwise known as thinking outside the box.
Academically brilliant students are often trained to think linearly or vertically from the immediate perspective of exam performance. It is nothing less than a monomania. These spoon-fed “brilliant” students often fail to develop their lateral faculties and multidirectional thought process. Somehow their intelligence becomes mono-track and may fail to develop fundamental pragmatism for mere survival.
We have to admit that the routine model of education, based on exam performance, is pass. He has been a nemesis to many young people for many years. Every year, many young people commit suicide as a result of their “worse” performance in jury exams. Our thinking needs a complete shake-up and overhaul.
Remember that there is never a difference between hell and heaven in the intelligence of two individuals. It all depends on how you apply your mind. This is the key to success not only in exams but in all of life’s far more important exams.
In a lighter vein, not-so-academically-brilliant students may derive a sort of indirect empathy from the fact that Einstein, Edison, Tagore, the polymath Rahul Sankrityayan, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and many other distinguished names are n have not acquired conventional knowledge. formal education, but they have all reached the pinnacle of excellence in their chosen fields.
(The author is an advanced researcher on Semitic languages, civilizations and cultures)