Marks Matter, Talent can wait!

Ehsamullah Baig 

There is a slot in every university’s admission application form asking for the marks you scored in intermediate exams. But, there’s no slot, or strategy, to gauge the talent and intellectual capacity of a student. And the reason is that there’s no scale to figure out some one’s talent.

In our education system, it is important to score decent marks if you want to take admission in a good institution/university. Furthermore, scoring good marks in exams is considered to be the only way to measure potential and talent. But wait!!! Good marks from which examination Board?

As we can see that there are a handsome number of examination boards around the country; each having a dissimilar course content, different paper schemes and also with diverse marking methods. So, which board to pick? This is the interrogation every student must ask before appearing in whichever board.

If we engage in a tête-à-tête about some of the boards, we can find that each one is different from other. Starting from AKU board, one can see that their papers are more about concepts, and for attempting such papers one needs to approach some reference books, means you don’t have to bank on the course books only.

In Federal board, a huge portion of the paper is from the course books and it is a bit tougher than other local boards like Peshawar, Gujranwala, Sindh board etc., and the rest of the boards are, as they saying goes, stress-free compared to the boards discussed above. All you have to do to pass with good marks is to prepare the exercise that is at the end of the chapters. No further reading, or creative thinking, or thinking at all, in needed to pass with “flying colors”. The best tool one needs for such “distinctions” is a good memory.

How can I forget to remark about the KIU board, the board with different paper scheme every year and with different marking schemes, including “incentives” for failed students? Means, the passing percentage of the board is between 15-20 percent every year and this is alarming and this is the lowest percentage by any board in the country. They are spoiling our young peers’ future. I am pretty sure that the board administrators are even not mindful of what is going around and how to make a paper and how to mark it.

We, the civil society, are also equally answerable for this act. We never went to the board representatives to ask the cause of this slip-up why the result is so corrupt and we all know that Article 19 of the universal declaration of human rights that dictate about “right of Information” we have the right to know and we must go there and know what the problem actually is.

Now coming back to the argument that grades are significant for getting into an institution but the genuine problem encountered by the student is that students from different boards have different marks  and they differ from each other on the basis of their knowledge as well. For instance, a student who has got lets ‘A’ grade in AKU Board will be far better than the student who secured A-plus grade from some other board. But when the aggregate is calculated the student with A-plus will get an edge over the student of AKU board and this is the key problem produced by different boards with dissimilar policy.

There must be a board throughout the motherland with the identical policy for every student then we will be able to save the merit and everyone will get equal opportunity to appear in any category of test and on his talent he will allocate a place for himself.

This is dilemma with our education scheme and it can be curtail to a greater extent. These are the minor flaws that lead our education system to the dark side. That is why we are still lacking the modern practices of education and we are witnessing the movement of educationist to other countries and all we can do is to scream for them and to cry for our literacy rate. Let’s come out play our part to make this country a superior place to live and where everyone should be educated.

Let’s work on article 25-A of the constitution to make education accessible to all. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. –Nelson Mandela.

The contributor is an under-graduate student and the Founding CEO of Pakistan Innovation Summit for Education-PISE. He tweets @ehsamB

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  1. Nice article! the issue is genuine. this reminds me the quote from three idiots: beta marks nae excellence k peche bhago, success juck marke peche aye gee.
    this issue is on the way of improvement as many of the universities are adopting the National Testing Service (NTS) for their entry exams.

  2. Good work Ehsam !

    Your thoughts are highly appreciated and really nice initiative to bring a change in our education system.
    Thumbs up.

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