Do students study to educate themselves or just to score higher.

shutterstock_112397306Exams are over but there is no time to rejoice because now the stress of finding out how much did I score is eating up every student. Parents don’t make it any easier. In fact this pressure is inadvertently put on their wards by the parents themselves. For students it all sums up to, how many marks did you get? And you had better have scored good marks or else you face dire consequences.

What do you think this is going to result into. Whenever I hear about cheating, during exams in schools and colleges, it deeply saddens me. I am not surprised when I see it happening in classes as young as third grade because it is not the students who are responsible for it but our entire education system, the so called people upholding the system as well the parents. The student is the least guilty; he/she is doing it just to appease parents, teachers and peers.

Where is this fear for education going to land our students into? The whole purpose of education is lost under this burden of marks. Why do we fail to understand that exams are just a way of finding out if the students have understood a certain concept? And if they haven’t then they along with a teacher’s help needs to revisit it.

What is invariable happening is concepts are introduced in schools which many a times are not well understood by the students for various reasons like

  • Lack of concentration
  • Ever increasing class sizes and hence teacher is unable to give personal attention
  • Lack of audio visual support to help better explanation of the concept.
  • Some students could be slow learners and need extra attention etc.

Due to the lack of understanding they try to mug it up so they can just about manage in coughing it up on the test paper. It has been observed that if you retest the same student two weeks after that particular exam he/she is unable to put forth the concept or whatever had been studied or rather mugged up.

The million dollar question is, “Is this what we want?” Let’s do a self introspection. The parents, teachers, the school management are all responsible for this scenario. We can’t stop by just blaming one another. We will all have to take that extra step to inculcate liking for education amongst our wards and students.

To reiterate certain tried out successful tips for you all. Encourage your kids to do the following.

  • Study regularly. Revise and understand when a new topic is introduced.
  • Do your assignments regularly.
  • Do not let pending work pile up.
  • At the weekend spend some time revising the entire weeks work at school.
  • Help/ guide them schedule their own revision time table so they are prepared in time before the exams.
  • Set Due dates and follow them.

As parents

  • Be in regular touch with the child’s studies. Help him/her understand the concept through play way methods.

I tried various ways and used hands on tools to teach my kid math concepts. Example while teaching him ‘Time’ I actually used a clock without batteries which I could operate manually. I used a kit to explain units, tens, hundreds etc. This was the only way he would understand.

  • Remember children learn at their own pace so be patient.
  • Every child is different, one would be a logical thinker while the other an artist. Not every child can be a mathematician.
  • Do not expect too much.
  • Only if their concepts are clear will they enjoy learning that subject.
  • Let them be independent but let them know you are there for them.
  • Meet the teachers regularly on the stipulated dates to know about your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses.
  • Also do give your feedback about your child so that the teacher understands the child better.
  • Lay down rules at home and display them through attractive charts.
  • Encourage them to follow the rules and reward them with little gifts if they do their home work or assignment on time.
  • Remember its motivation that will do the trick.
  • Set goals and due dates.
  • Schedule your own exam timetable for them so they are well prepared in time for the exam.
  • The above tip will also boost their confidence about their preparedness for the exam and also create a stress free learning environment.

Considering the ever increasing class size in schools the teacher’s role has become all the more challenging. They needs to play a multi fold role and keep their class engaged and interested which is a huge task. Technological aids help where conventional teaching can’t reach. Students are visual learners and hence if a concept is taught using audio visual aids the students grasp it better. Also group discussions and creative projects can make a monotonous class more interesting and enjoyable and at the same time a lot of learning can happen.

Agreed our education system needs a revamp and yes, efforts are happening in that regard but it needs involvement from all of us including teachers and parents to hasten this process. I am saying this out of experience of being both a teacher and a parent.

Asst. Prof. Trupti Jadhav

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