Education and Grades

Two draft failed to be finished miserably :(. Well I wouldn’t want to publish unfinished post, yet the pressure inside me to at least release something is mounting higher :P. So, let’s talk about something simpler – for me at least :D.

Disclaimer : just a rambling uncoherent thought that pass my mind tonight.

There’s something I always loathed during my education days, it was the grading system. Just plain hate it. Well maybe not the grading system in itself, rather the teacher and my classmate attitude toward it. I simply loathed the way they worship the grade as if their life hang upon it. It diminished the value that should be found in education system and makes the kids never gets the important – the most and the only important – thing which is the love of knowledge. All the curiosity and the love of new things are slayed by our education system in the altar of holy grade.

And for what ends?

Nothing but to satisfy some parent so they can praise or punished their kids. Nothing but to increasing the teacher and school administration ego that their school is producing a better grade. Nothing but to makes some learning centre (bimbingan belajar) to grow like mushrooms in rainy season.

At what cost?

Ah nothing but to produce graduate with high grade but no knowledge. Nothing but to rob the kids from their time wasting fun of childhood. Nothing but a morally impaired graduate who will do anything to get good grades.  Nothing but to let the kids learn that the ends always justified the means.

So What …

Well then don’t you ever wondered why Indonesian always lead in the rank of the most corrupt country. The cause is plain to see, we produce morally impaired graduates at higher level than any other country. Just ask your common college graduate if they’re ever cheat on their exams. Ask them how much part of their thesis was copied from other people’s idea, or do they paid to get ’em done – i’ve made nine thesis for my classmate :P. And ask them what they think about that attitudes. I’ll say most of them will tell you that it was they way it has to be :doh:.

The corelation is simply too clear to be ignored. Yet what do we do about it? Nothing but to create a national exam to emphazise how important and holy is the grade in education altar of graduation. Nothing but to punished the teacher who wants to work some honesty.

Yeah rite …

And we wonder why it’s so hard to eliminate corruption in our contry. And we wonder why so many of our bright people chooses to fled this country altogether. And we wonder why this country is so poor with invention, with good morality and good long-term thinking.

Hell don’t just critisize then, what do you think of the solution ?

Nothing much but to put your grades in to the back office – I’m not gonna say you should abolished those grades and exams altogether. Just use it properly, using grade to make the student becoming more competitive is sooo yesterday you know. Now is the age of cooperation, the one who can work with most people will be the one who will reap the most benefit. So stop publishing the grades as methods to make them work harder, it’s not working. Kept your grade to analyze yourself, how effective are you educating your pupil, what methods of education work best and so on and so forth. Just don’t use it to judge your student by.

Nothing much but a clear understanding that every children is bright and you can not fully and completely measure their brightness with your poor grading system. Understand that curiosity and love of knowledge is an inherent part of every kids. Look at how they’re amazed when they see new thing, new game. So stop poisoning them with what you think they must learn. Let them develop their own interest for tomorrow belongs to them and they’re the one who will implement their own world. Simply teach them good morality and a sound logic thinking and try as much as you can to preserve the curiosity and the love of knowledge they already possessed.

Nothing much but understanding that the world is changing ever faster now. Nothing you can teach will be good enough to prepare them for the world they’re going to face but some sound logic thinking and good morality. Open your eyes, ten years ago no one would have a dreamt to be a search engine optimizer or a web developer. It was new and in the future there will be more of them. So just quit the illusion that you know what study they must learn now, or how to grade them.

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A short story to emphasize my point here. It happened back when i was in senior high school. So one day we’re going to have this planned exam in biology. Fortunately – or unfortunately – our class will be the last class that will have the exam. Yeah, as you predicted it, every one start scouting the other class that will have the exam earlier. Negotiating, bargaining, threatening other kids to give them the exam matery. In a particular case one kids threatened her boyfriend not to allow him to kissed her anymore if they don’t get them the correct answer along with the exam material :lol:. And needless to say that the exam material got pass along in accordance with the group the student belongs – yeah, my class is segregated with several group too.

And so it goes, the exam day. The teacher start handling the exam material, she gives out the answer sheets first then the exam material. Loo and behold, one of the kids start putting the answers he written down in the palm of his hand right after he got the answer sheets and he has not get the question sheet yet :D. My teacher, noticing this scenes went uproar. She stops giving out the exam and went on frisking raid to each and every kids in the class. Out of forty something member of my class only five of them not having the cheat sheet whatsoever – yeah I was one of them, along with two friend of mine and two real geek who just don’t have the connection to get the cheat. So the rest of the class was thrown out and the five of us have to do the exam – the good one never gets a break :(.

Later – about a week later – the teacher start to declaring our grades and mentioning that the cheater will have to stay for their exam later that day :). I get a six in that exam, not to bad all thing considered. And in the next biology session my teacher also declaring the grades of the rest of my class. While listening to this, I noticed that they were all gets a good grade, mostly eight and nine range. I start asking myself whether it’s fair for them to get their good grade this way. And being me, there’s no way i’m gonna be silence with this kind of thought. So I raised my hand after she finished her grades declaration and request to speak privately. I ask her whether she’ll going to enter that grade as is, or whether she’ll gonna take down some point of the grades as compensation of their attitudes in the first exam. Judging by the expression in her face, I know she haven’t even think about it, but she’s a fair teacher, she immediately told the class that their grades will be taken down by five point and there will be no remedial exam. She mentioning this while I still stand in front of her desk, so you can easily guess where their hostility going to be channeled right.

No, I wasn’t beaten up for that accident – I was already big enough for them to be able to take me easily – and my good friend actually just laugh it out. But well it didn’t get me a good rank among my classmate either.

One thing worth mention is the culprit in the first exam – the one who fill out the answer sheet before the he get the question sheet – is among the best ranked student in my class. And I definitely know he is not a stupid kid too for I sat beside him in the previous semester.

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So I there goes my midnight rambling 😀

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