Board exams for Grade 10…No Board exams for Grade 10, our children are undergoing too much stress, bring on grades and abolish marks, introduce the the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation… Come 2018, bring on the Grade 10 Board exams, our children are ‘taking life too easy’ and are ‘not learning anything’.
Detention of the ‘laggards’…No detention, it is a form of negative reinforcement…Come 2018, no detention until Grade 5, after that each State Government to decide their own policy.
I just read about the proposed change in Government policy this morning in the papers. It appears as if it the Government is at a loss as to what works for children. When I went for my rural management program, I was constantly reminded by my Professors that development should always be bottom up and not top down, for the village folks know very well what is good for them. Drawing an analogy from that, the children know very well what is good for them. The Government (and the adults) would do them a favour by keeping out of their way and let the children decide what, when and how they want to learn.
Based on my 7 years of teaching experience, I can assure you that children (or at least most of them) learn almost nothing from exams. The smart ones game the system, while the others simply forget the content once the exams are over. I have yet to come across a child who studies for exams for the love of learning. At the same time, exams are a colossal waste of teaching time, paper and ink. So Board exams or no Board exams, it is going to make no difference. It would be so much better if each child was allowed to choose what they wanted to learn, based on their unique interests. That way, not only would learning be such an aha thing, it would also be much less violent and much more effective.
The fact is that children hate school. I often wonder whether our children are Indian citizens and whether the Indian Constitutions applies to them? Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees right to freedom of speech and expression. Those in the school circuit would know very well that right to speech and free expression in schools is a joke!! Further, this right can be curtailed by the State in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.
I leave it to the reader to decide whether self-directed learning (where the child is the master of his / her own life) is indecent, immoral or can thwart public order.
PS: This blog was initially posted on October 21, 2016