The examination system in India – some problems and their solutions

At a cursory glance there are plenty of things that could be said to be wrong with the education system in India. To start with education in India does not cover each and every child in the country. Then there is the ever increasing gap between the government owned institutions and the private ones as far as factors like quality and facilities are concerned. However, there is one issue that has always escaped the notice of the stakeholders – the common people, the authorities, the teachers and also the students perhaps and that is the system of exams in India.

Drawbacks of Examination System in India

One of the major problems with the Indian education system, as it stands now, is the way examinations are being conducted. It has been the same over the years where the students have went to an examination hall, then given an examination in a short time where they are supposed to give their best with respect to the questions that they face and then waited for the results. Quite often it has been seen that guys who have prepared all the year have suffered nerves on the big day or some other problem and then had a poor exam while someone who got questions he or she was acquainted with had a terrific examination and then basically had a good result.

The biggest problem is that there is way too much question of chance involved over here – anything could happen and that could unsettle even the best of students. In order to offset this problem we are nowadays seeing new systems being introduced such as mid-term or semester examinations and unit tests. All these are better as they provide students with a lighter schedule that allows them to branch out to other areas of life such as sports and extracurricular pursuits such as music or drawing which is where their main talent lies. However, the major problem with this scenario is that it encourages students to study for marks and remember things for the short term – only to forget them by the time the next examination happens.

The main purpose of education is to educate students and help them appreciate the better points of the knowledge that is being imparted to them. However, that seems to have been shortchanged right now with the added emphasis on grades and marks. The system needs to be one that enables students to truly learn what they are being taught and internalize it and not just mug it up for a few days or months. It needs to be more long term than what the situation is at present. At the same time it also needs to be practical so that the students’ abilities are properly tested.

One way out of this could be a project or assignment like system where the students are given tasks they can complete at home and they can be given sufficient periods of time to complete them like a couple of days. This system will ensure that students devote quality time behind their studies and also eliminate any excuse or reason for failure.

The second way out would to be introduce the major and minor system that is already in operation from the higher levels of education in the lower levels like the 6th standard for example.

In the novel “A Study in Scarlet” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes tells John Watson that it is futile to know too many things if one is not going to use them. Wouldn’t it be really beneficial for students interested in Einstein and Gay-Lusac’s Law to devote more time to them than to study how Shakespeare interpreted life?

It is important to prepare students for the future instead of having them know too many things that they may not use in the future. The 6th standard is the time when students move on to what is known as high school in India. At this stage the school can have a discussion with the parents on the subjects he has performed well in and hold interviews with them as well as the students and suggest the subject where he or she is likely to excel in future. However, they also need to be given good time so that they can take a proper decision as such.

The suggestions could be based on the grades that have been achieved by the students so far. He can also study the other subjects but they can be treated as minor subjects and any mark that is additional to the one needed to pass the subject can be added to the main tally. This will ensure that the students enjoy what they are studying and there is no undue pressure on them to perform well in each and every subject. With a relaxed attitude questions of peer pressure and parental pressure may not also be there.

Not many know that India is one of the top countries in the world when it comes to student suicide and given the breakneck nature of present day life things may only get worse a few years down the line. Perhaps it is the duty of the ones in power as well as the parents and teachers in India to make sure that such incidents are less in number and we have a young generation that is doing what it loves to do rather than trying to achieve something that is clearly beyond its capabilities and then fail and end oneself while trying to get to that impossible aim.
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