GRE Issue Essay 128

“Competition for high grades seriously limits the quality of learning at all levels of education.”

Today’s world is full of competition in every field. There is so much of talent around, that this competition is inevitable. Whichever field one chooses, whether its academics, sports, business, politics, entertainment or media, there is a race that everyone participates in to win.

Although, this is healthy and is a sign of progress, the quality of work suffers at time. The same is the case with competitions for high grades. Students, at every level of education are so much pressurized to excel that they start compromising on the quality of learning.

Students are pressurized by the parents and the education system, to excel in each and every subject in terms of their scores. Instead of giving a choice to pursue for more knowledge and develop understanding in the subjects of their choice, they are taught in a time-bound and syllabus-bound system since their early school days. The evaluation pattern is such that those seeking deeper understanding of a certain topic/subject are de-motivated. They are judged merely on the basis of their score which generally calls for rote learning. The quality of learning is bound to deteriorate when preference is given to those who can cram and reproduce, at least till the secondary level of school.

In high school and colleges, in some of the disciplines more emphasis is laid upon application based education. Although, this is a healthy practice, the learning is still exam oriented rather than concept forming. Availability of more and more tutorials that boast of preparing the students for competitive exams emphasize on short cuts and tricks to attempt the paper in lesser time. The giving away of such techniques is increasing the number of aspirants who are grilled to get through without possessing sound knowledge of the subject matter. This further increases the competition thereby neglecting the actual comprehension and application of the concepts on a student’s behalf. Mostly these competitive exams end up judging the speedy applications of practiced techniques and not real learning.

Besides, in a classroom both pupil and teacher are constrained so much by time and syllabus that the topics covered cannot be explored beyond a point. The education and evaluation systems are such that pupils, teachers, parents and even school administrations have to target the exams to excel in the competition. Less emphasis is laid upon concept building and more on attempting the exams. The very system of education, evaluation and selection are so flawed that even at the highest levels of education, more weight age is given to scores when compared to quality learning.

Though, scholars excelling with quality education can not be ignored, a majority of students end up being rote learners good at merely reproducing the learned facts. The deterioration in the quality of education is due to the growing competition for higher grades. This can be checked by reforming the education system starting from the primary level itself. Moreover, methodologies should be adopted to evaluate the understanding and deeper knowledge of students along with their abilities to apply the acquired knowledge.