Fun-filled, traumatic, joyous, troublesome, boring, cruel, pleasing, satisfying, challenging, tempting, misleading - yes Life is full of 'em - that is why life is so very SPECIAL - and yet the thrill is in "living" life! And all the accompanying ordeals are the frills attached with the thrills.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

'Showy' Schools

There are loads of writeups already floating around about the huge short-comings of educational institutions especially with respect to schools. I have also made a post touching upon teachers' attitude in handling students here. Though capitation fee may be on top of the misfortunes, what I would like to highlight upon here is the filtering of students based on their learning prowess.

Schools, as far as I know, are institutions to impart knowledge and discipline. Period! But the situation today shatters the very basic morale of running a school. Capitation fee, in a way, maybe justified quoting reason that a school needs money to run. Thats fine if the school is able to balance students who can afford to pay capitation fees and students who cannot. But what is worse is - in a pursuit to keep up its name and fame - most schools resort to handpicking the so called 'bright' students and mercilessly rejecting or dropping out those who do not fall into their desired category.

The ads race which follow soon after the 10th/12th public exam results are also means to attract the new batch of students. "100% pass results" was the norm initially, now adding to these phrases are more glamourous captions like "100% pass for 10 successive years", "100% pass with all first class", "100% with all distinction".

Its a common theory that people's IQ levels are not the same. Infact some grasp things much faster than others. But given the right guidance even the not-so-quick graspers can catch up with the rest - ofcourse with some extra time and effort. Infact, in order not to discourage the so called not-so-quick-learners, the phrase "dull students" has been replaced with "slow learners".
The amount of discouragement such students are subject to is a known story but how worse can it get when that happens in a school! - the very institution where s/he can hope to see some light.

Students who have been associated with a school right from Kinder Garten are dropped post 10th standard or 9th standard owing to their poor performance or just because the school authorities feel they might not fit into their "desired category" and their continuance could jeopardise their so called "remarkable" results.

So what if a school does not achieve 100% results? So what if a school has more slow learners? Wouldn't the worthiness of a school be evident when they are able to pull through such students? Imagine the mental turmoil of the parents who can't even imagine getting admission for the wards just because schools shy away from such students just to safeguard their pride.
Even worse is interviewing a probable L.K.G candidate? How funnier can it get?

A few years back, I remember an interview on TV with the principal of a leading State Board school in Chennai when the school bagged quite a few top ranks in the state. She said "Right from the beginning of 11th standard, we identify the bright students and give them special coaching". I was taken aback. Shouldn't this be done more importantly for the slow learners? Or perhaps were all the so called slow learners dropped post 10th exams?

No point in blaming the schools entirely. What is that the parents look for? If the schools are able to achieve results at any cost - even if it means pressurising their own wards - its fine. What we look for is only the end result!

Time and again, people have been voicing concerns over the educational system especially its grading methodology which negatively segregates students. I am sure there is a way out. Lets hope it happens soon.


Voracious Blog Reader said...

Don't know where to begin.

I personally feel that the marks obtained doesn't necessarily reflect the capability of a student. A student may score a centum in physics but he might not be able to apply it in practise.

Imparting knowledge should be based on application and not based on pure theory.

Have more to say, but will stop here for the moment.

Voracious Blog Reader

R.Prabhu said...

Good Post Ravi!

Indeed, the point that slow-learners should be given more attention. I read somewhere that the Singaporean Education System caters such needs see for further details. But the point that slow but willing learners should be given much care that they are treated equal when they complete their high school and higher secondary exams. Indeed a very nice societal issue that needs a lot of addressing.

Nice post once again Ravi!!!

Itz me!!! said...

I do agree with you ravi..Basically I think the unreasonably high competitive spirit of the schools and the urge to be "the best" is the root cause for everything

Ravi said...

Foremost, my apologies for delayed acknowledgements.

That's another angle to it. Marks definitely don't reflect the real intelligence of a student - even in the subject concerning! Hoping to read more from where you stopped :)

Thanks for the link. It was sure an informative and interesting read. I hope some kind of educational renaissance happens in India too.

Itz me!!,
Thanks for dropping by. The competitive spirit is okay but what these schools do is play it safe to retain their so called 'credibility' and in the process forget the very basis of their existence, which is to impart knowledge. Sad isn't it? Do keep visiting (though I am not that prompt in updating my blog) ;-)!

Deekshanya said...

Trrrrrrrring .....
Time for next post!!

Voracious Blog Reader said...

Correct-a sonneenga deeksh.

Voracious Blog Reader

வேதா said...

இனிய தீபாவளி நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள் ரவி :)

Balaji S Rajan said...

School and Education - Of late, I find that it is getting too showy and business. It is a thriving business. We have illiterates who have made money by running Educational institutions. According to me, a child who can study well can study even in an ordinary panchayat board school. It is disgusting to know that we have not yet evolved a good educational system and consideration for those children who lack in certain needs.

The parents thinking should change and should not force their children to achieve 101%.

saravansivan said...

Konjam, illa naraiyave velai vandruchu ravi..adhan indha pakkam vara mudila..konjam disturbances vera..seekirama vandhudren..naanum unga bloga miss panren..sandhipom

Anonymous said...

Looks like the clouds have covered the sun again....where have u disappeared ???

Soumya(me readingur blogs but donot know how to comment..these days educational insitutes are not the way it used to be..Definitely not in school's way of teaching ...everything has changed....there are grading systems unlike how it used to be earlier...and have heard they impart more of practical knowledge than theory..more like the institutions in the US...looking at the rate at which my cousin studies I feel the days of beating on the knuckles was good but either ways institutions go into extremes.There should be a good balance)

Welcome home!

Anonymous said...
(if I put in the id it gives away my personal id)

Ravi said...

Thanks for checking. So nice to see you back in action.

Enna? vazhi mozhiyireengalaa? Will try to make a post soon. Thanks for checking though :)

Vaanga, vaanga, ippo dhaan indha pakka vazhi therinjudhaa? Anyway, hope you had a good Diwali. I was down with viral fever. Thanks for your wishes.

Balaji Sir,
That's exactly my point too. Hope parents change - no point in blaming the schools alone.

Nice to see you again. Post podunga - kathuttu irukkom. And hope your disturbances get settled pretty soon.

Where have you beeeeeen?? Thank God you came back. Infact for one of the comments in my previous post, I asked the person if it was you ;-) Pls don't vanish and keep visiting.

Kribha said...

Hi Ravi,
I see that you are a strong writer in expressing your opinions. I totally agree with you that schools are being partial to the students and I believe that the slow learners can perform better than the intelligent kids only if there were given special attention. Very nice post and I really enjoyed reading it.

Ravi said...

Hello Kribha,
Welcome here and thanks for your nice comments. I totally agree with you. I think every kid has some talent or the other, its just that we need to tap and encourage them. Please do keep visiting (though I am a bit lathargic is posting).

saravansivan said...

Serious problem that is given less attention both by parents, policy makers and the system. Numbers have become a major qualifier. I think major part of the resolution lies at home with the parents. But how many parents and teachers although they realize that numbers are not the actual qualifiers, can come out and tell their kid to go after what they want and take the less travelled paths. Because the fear of future exists, and because future has been historically equated with marks scored, this problem unfortunately exists very deeply.

We can only hope that the slow learners are not denied progress and growth because all slow learners/students with non academic interests not necessarliy have the required capital to do something significant.

btw, im back to blogging.

Ravi said...

Yes, as you said, we can only hope that something good happens to slow learners. Again, it should be a collective effort from all ends.

Nice to see you back in action. Welcome back! :)

Jo said...

thank you so much for your wishes and prayers! The house-warming ceremony went fine and yes, eventhough the loan amount etc are looking me at the face, I am so happy. :-) Wishing you and your dear ones all the love, peace and prosperity in 2008!

LERA said...

Interesting post,absolutely true.Ravi, been a while since I got to browse thru the blogs,Warmest greetings and best wishes for Pongal to you and your family.:)

Indian Voter said...


just to let you know that I am back and I'll hopefully be more regular than before. :)

Balaji S Rajan said...

Where have you gone Ravi?

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