Marks = Intelligence ?

current-education-system

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein .

Jubilation, celebrations, disappointment, reprimands, humiliation and in a few cases suicide! This is pretty much the scenario in many Indian homes in the months of May and June as it is the season of results. The boards and many other competitive exams are out with the results of lakhs of students who appeared for various exams across all formats, ages and classes.

This breaking news dominates all newspapers, social media, workplaces, parties, meetings etc. The question arises, why this hullabaloo for student’s marks? Grades are just a quantitative indication of one’s performance in academics. While one should appreciate the hard work put in by children who have done well, it is equally important not to humiliate or put down the others who did not measure up to the expectations.

“ In school we learn that mistakes translates to bad grades. This unfortunate lesson gets burned into our brains, and we go through life shunning challenges that might end in failure. ” Mark Frauenfelder.

I am pained at how some schools and parents stop all other activities for their wards with the sole aim of cracking the exams with top grades for the Xth and XIIth boards. By doing so, they fail to realize that they are laying impediments in their child’s path to progress in the long term. With the prime focus only on the numbers, they ignore training the child in life skills which is so essential to deal with challenges that life throws at them. No wonder today the demand for child physiologists and counselors is on the rise, in our country.

I truly believe that marks are not the true reflection of a student’s intelligence. Is it fair to judge a student solely on his performance for the 3 hours of exam? I still can’t fathom the Indian parent’s obsession with their child to achieve a near centum in all subjects. As parents, we all want our kids to do well academically, but if his results are not top notch, it definitely is not the end of the world. Our society seems to link the grades in this crucial years to a matter of life and death.

“Grades don’t measure tenacity, courage, leadership, guts or whatever you want to call it. Teachers or any other persons in a position of authority should never tell anybody they will not succeed because they did not get all A’s in school. ” Thomas J. Stanley.

With the ever changing world, isn’t it time we changed our outlook regarding this grading system? Today there is no dearth of opportunities for a student to excel in any field.  His interest and passion for a subject can help him make a successful career out of it. As parents and teachers, it our responsibility to identify this in our kids and allow them to pursue subjects of their choice.

“A child’s mind is not a container to be filled out but rather a fire to be kindled.” Dorothea Brande .

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Let’s not link our child’s worth to his mark sheet, but give him wings to soar across the beautiful horizon and charter his own path to emerge victorious!

So, do you think marks = intelligence? Would love to understand your views on this system.

 

 

 

 

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100 thoughts on “Marks = Intelligence ?”

  1. Absolutely right…
    And a Cracking post on the Education system of India.
    I’m also a victim….
    In my childhood,
    often I’m being pressurised to get good marks and they keeping me from my own interests. Unfortunately, this made me a stressed child who didn’t open to too many people. Even not with the family.
    Today, I have been left the studies forever and focusing on what I meant to be and for what I’m in being !?…
    Great post… 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a wonderful post and so relatable. This is a huge issue in Indian homes and I’m happy that you’re bringing up this up and trying to solve it. I love the little joke you’ve put there about an Indian scoring 95% and the parents asking where the 5% went. It’s so typical😳 I am victim… Sending much love💜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know many students can relate to this. It’s just that the entire system of examination and grading is so unfair. It pains me when I see children give up their normal childhood to be immersed only in books and tuitions. We have to put in a collective effort to bring about a change! Thanks so much Rageshree for sharing your thoughts 🙂💖

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very true! It is unfair that all children have to study the sane books, get the same marks, do the same work and then we expect productive and unique people in the society🤔… You’re welcome❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome write up………..!!Superb …..Education system needs to be changed ……Some times I wonder that joy of getting 35 is more than scoring 90 plus………Fed up with with the system how can they measure a person ability with just marks …..they are much more than that…………..Loved the post…..!1

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Bhavana. I have come across many students who have scored 90+, but lacking in the understanding of the subject, while students who have scored 70+ do have a good hold on the subject. It is grossly unjust to judge a student only by the marks.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post Radhika,

    the school system is generally overcome in the world.Children learn how to be servants to the system, and not how to think with head.We need a lot of courage to create our world on the way we want, no matter what we learned at school 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent article Ma’am. It’s surprising to see how Indian kids score so high but when it comes to actual knowledge they know not much. We’ve become enslaved to a system that only propagates rote learning and one wonders, where is education heading to these days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You reflect my thoughts Pradita. It’s really sad that the system is more favorable to rote learning than concept based application. Maybe that’s why they lag behind in professional courses in spite of doing very well in school!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly. Our children know nothing of practical life. The books they read only help them in their institutions and not beyond them. It’s high time we changed or we’ll never catch up to the real world.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you agree with me Savio. The mindset of the school, teachers and the parents need to under go a radical change. Isn’t it so sad that after slogging for years and achieving good grades they are still lacking in social and communication skills. Our system fails to provide holistic education.

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      1. Since you mentioned Holistic Education, this has started in Goa, with foreigners providing this kind of education to kids here. I am very susceptible to such kind of make-shift schools. I had a student who I was training for English Communication skills and though she knew things about the universe (as she claims she was taught in this holistic school) she didn’t know proper theoretical knowledge of any subject. That made me wonder! So I’m really confused!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. By holistic curriculum I mean where a lot of thought has gone into drawing up the curriculum. Why not invite people from different walks of life, like educationists, parents, professionals, social workers, sports men etc to do this. I am sure we can come up with an excellent methodology of teaching and grading.

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      3. Yes true. The Holistic training that happens here (with normally foreigners at the helm) is all about imparting information about the universe and various other things through activities but nothing concrete as in proper subject teaching, which is also important in a way.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent and so very informative and inspiring, Radhika and I so truly agree with your words. Our education system is awful no idea where it is wanting to take our children. Average children then like crazy kids have no choice but to commit suicide and the talents of our children are not taken into aspect at all. All this nonsense is happening for jobs and to make money. What happens to a child who is not intelligent. We have made Robots of our children our times were not like this at all. Look at the scores they are ridiculous. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robots is the right word Kamal. Barring a few, while they do get wonderful grades, they are unable to solve problems implementing the same concept they have learnt. And like you pointed out, the confidence of the student with average intelligence is totally shattered.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes absolutely and look how children are committing suicides. Recently 5 kids have done that out of fear and society pressures. Even parents today are wanting their children to compete with others and in that nonsense they are loosing their childhood of enjoying.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Super agree with your views Radhika.
    I also know of parents who enrol their children to coaching institutes in grade VI itself, with a hope that the child will crack the examinations…
    What a pain for the child with a sword hanging over their heads …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yagneshji, history is replete with examples of students who were average in academics at school, but who have achieved great success in life. Can’t we just give them knowledge and confidence to take on any challenge that comes their way.

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      1. Yes, we must. As an aside I may tell you that during my school days only 40% of the students appearing for the Matriculation Exams passed. I distinctly remember a photograph of those dejected students who had failed appearing in a local Newspaper with the heading: Never mind, you are with the MAJORITY!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. An excellent write up.. i hope it reaches out the parents who crave and complain about marks.. in today’s world we have most of our youth as the ‘educated unemployed’ because they lack the wisdom to apply the knowledge.. what point in such grades and marks.. alas its better too late to realize this truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks, Radhika for writing such a thoughtful post. The picture you shred the first one is the blog is the reflection of the stark reality of our education system, where the interest or the aptitude doesn’t matter everything is graded as per the marks.
    We all have been through this process but the saddened part is now the percentage has come so high and ridiculous that it just defeat the person of grading a student.
    All the major colleges and universities whose cut off list is 99% is aiding and abetting to this nuisance.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am afraid that it is very similar in most Western countries although there are
    since some years big debates how to change this. Especially as the unhappiness
    of the students can reach dangerous and suicidal levels.
    With understanding parents there are many options out there and after all, do we really want to create carbon copies of our children.

    May the imagination get more look in.
    ~ miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I thought the situation is better in the West. In India too some parents are understanding and allow the children to blossom without the stress, but they are a minuscule. I do hope the debates fructify and some concrete measures are taken to revamp the system. Thanks so much Miriam. Amen to your concluding thought.🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I am agree with you. There is a fault in our education system. Our education system is associate with money making which cause more focus on marks than creativity & knowledge 😔

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A good one Radhika. Parents (many) who were brought up in such system deny to change their views when they become parent and even when they are not in the system any more. They take the same attitude no matter how far they travel from India. Race 1 2 3.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Vidur. I am sure like us there are many who feel the same. Shouldn’t the government be taking steps to initiate a change ? The ones they keep doing every couple of years hardly takes the focus away from marks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They should be. Maybe one step would be of creating more colleges and institutes that offer quality teaching. Though I am happy to see that atleast today there a number of creative/art related subjects that stdents can choose after the 10th and pursue as career options.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. This is a thought that has been jogging in my head over the last two days. It was the sad news of a suicide of a child who broke under the pressures of her parent’s expectation. She was an athlete but had difficulty in managing to stand on a stage without her knees wobbling. She was a swimmer but did not manage to outshine the brightest student in class. But was not she a human, and not a machine to churn out perfection – task after task. So she gave up on life. It is sad, very sad. It is easy to change the syllabus but very difficult to change a mindset.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is always heartbreaking to hear about such sad news. A child who is good in so many other fields is never acknowledged. Academics is the prime focus for every one.This is what angers me about the education system we have.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. India, perhaps, is the ONLY country that can produce uneducated gradulates, where education is equated with exam marks and not learning. Now in the US and visiting Canada, I find it so different.

    Like

  15. In indian education system, marks and intelligence are poles apart!
    I have discussed this very topic in the form of a conversation thread bare with my friend.
    Interested reader may please take a look to note the perspectives discussed and note the coincidence.
    1. Conversation 011: Bane of modern education system: https://rajinikanthv.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/conversation-11-bane-of-modern-education-system/
    &
    2. Conversation 012: Bane of modern education system (Contd.):
    https://rajinikanthv.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/conversation-12-bane-of-modern-education-system-contd/

    Like

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