The Druk Namrup Tshokpa’s one of the ambitious educational pledges – to do away with examination until Class VI threw the general public into a spin. Such situation occurred because the rebuttals done (for political mileage) were more powerful and convincing than those who stood for the motion. Although the pledge is pre-eminent in our education system, there are thousands of innocent people got strung up and worried a lot. Thus, I think it is a call for the educationalists to cushion the blow.
With whatever experience I bear in the Bhutanese Education System, to do away with examination until Class VI is never a thorn in flesh. It is rather a breath of fresh air that would cater the needs of 21st century children.
The competing political parties (knowingly) refuted the pledge saying that the quality might decline should there be no examination. The innocent public simply swung with these mighty tides. What we must understand is that, “examination” is never the best yardstick to educate and grade our children. One-time examination merely measures student’s memory, and not the intellect. And this was realised long time ago by the masters of classroom. Even today, although we have this monster “exam” in the schools, the weight is rather low, particularly in the lower classes.
The “examination” from all sense, is a bomb to the growing brain. A persistence stress for one or two weeks of examination period would lead to anxiety and depression, which is already rampant. The number of people sailing against the examination wind is growing at a snail’s pace because it is quite demanding to understand the realities inside four classroom walls. But we must look at the world through the optimistic lens. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and educational reforms cannot happen overnight. It is exciting to see such concerns in the party manifesto rather than waiting for a cry from the classrooms.
A student could be living with dyslexia. Now, if we continue to strict with conventional yardstick of “examination” to grade the students, I think, at the end of the day, we are only destroying the future of our country. Aamir Khan’s “Taare Zameen Par” depicts the need to discover hidden potentials through various means. Further, his “3 Idiots” challenges the model of education that is widely used in Asian schools today. School it not merely about facts and figures. Examination pressure was targeted with the dialogue, “this is a school, not a pressure cooker”. Therefore, it is a burning issue to be addressed sooner than later.
Believe me! Continuous Assessment is a sheer lots of work for our (already over-burdened) teachers. Given a choice, one time assessments like exam are easier than ongoing assessments. Yet, Continuous Assessment is much better way to educate and grade our children. Quite a number of researchers found that, Continuous Assessment can detect the syndrome of ignorance at the early stage. Sense of inclusiveness will never be addressed otherwise. The school should be the place to prepare our children for life, and not for the examination!
Hence, I ardently would like to inform the general public that, the Ruling Party’s dream to discontinue examination till class VI is but an echo of dreams from the classrooms. The decision is never without rhymes and reasons. May Bhutan be Enlightened!
Disclaimer: This article in any sense is not political in nature. It is just an outburst of a confused teacher, and cannot be used as a basis to see which political party I have been supporting. I clearly understand that civil servants must remain apolitical.