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School examinations: a wasted exercise in the 21st century?

NM

Naveen Mahesh

Oct 13, 2020

Exams are pointless for Indians, as they neither serve our learners nor do they serve our nation. Let me begin to explain this with a simple question: What do you think examinations are for? They are for sorting and screening human ability; to allocate smarter people, the persons with the highest ability, to important functions in society.

But neither the learner nor our country benefits from this exercise; standardized testing only ensures that learners lose their self-worth. This system tells them all the things they aren’t good at and it teaches them how to compete, not collaborate. And most problematic all, the smartest people coming out of our education system are choosing greener pastures elsewhere for a variety of reasons.

'The fame of the institutes (referring to IITs) is an enduring relic from the years when socialism impoverished India and securing an elite engineering degree became the most elegant way for smart Indians to escape to America' says Manu Joseph in his article in the New York Times.

This makes the entire exercise of examinations pointedly foolish: on the one hand, our government has produced both the system of education to identify and nurture the most talented individuals and because of a variety of reasons, also ensured they leave for better opportunities elsewhere.

So who are we sorting and screening for, if so many of the smart Indians are wanting out? Talk to us in the comments below with your views on examinations. I would love to hear from you.

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