Sadhguru says: –
“Education is not about loading the child’s mind with information, but about making it capable of razor-sharp perception, capable of knowing life in its full depth and dimension.” He also says education should have a larger vision for the student learner.
Growing up I loved school and learning. Being in a classroom, asking questions, answering them, and going back home to study was something I took great pride in. Even examinations for me were something to prove that I had worked hard and done eventually well in and sometimes aced my exams. They say all good things must come to an end and in my final two years of schooling, I had a break down. Everything be it reading a chapter or solving a simple math sum became an arduous task for me. The examination began something I dreaded and blanked out in every so often but in time I learnt to deal with my fears with a few more ups and downs.
Being a teacher made me believe that we place too far an importance to tests and exams. We all know that most of the performance in these tests is based on rote learning. We cannot measure a child’s ability based on only a three-hour paper.
There are so many ways to gauge a student’s performance if we understand that all learners are unique in their own way. Each learner is seeking something different from his school experience. We can try to be more holistic in our ways to cater to every child.
Examinations can be replaced with:-
- Project work where the teacher is hands on and giving guidance on the project
- Group assignments where students work with their peers to learn something
- Debates conducted in class can assess a child’s knowledge on a given subject and come up with solutions
- Group discussion to analyse how students interact on a given topic
- Quizzes to test their general knowledge and awareness of current affairs
- Experiments in class to understand a topic better
- Field study to go deeper into a subject
- Survey reports to teach students to analyse topics and come up with the right solutions
- Research based learning to delve into the subject topic and increase knowledge
Students can be assessed through different ways and not just what they put down on paper. Maybe examinations are still needed but the emphasis on only scoring through them should be reduced.
We need to prepare students for life and by improving on their skill set we will make them better prepared for it. School should not boil down to just a series of tests and examinations.
Learning should be one to free the mind to explore, imbibe and translate what is learnt into action.