By Atta Broze
The system of education evaluation in most countries of the world is based on grading. Students who are sharp in learning show excellent results in grading and they are always appreciated by teachers and parents.
Usually students have to work hard throughout the academics in order to show good results in exams. The question is that, does the hard work affects the health and social life of students? My answer is definitely, yes!
Human beings are social animal; usually we like to live in social gathering of friends, family members and colleagues but due to the prevailing education system students do not have much time for their social life and healthy activities like sports, visits and entertainment. In order to get good grades and distinctions in class students are working hard not only in their school timings but also in homes or hostels. Even they do not have time to take proper meal. As a result their mental and physical health affected due to which they become weak and their immunity system also affected badly.
When a student fails to get good marks in grading what will be the result after it? The answer is stress, phobia, drug addiction, escapism, and even some times suicides. These factors had deep effect on the life ahead. I am a teacher by profession and having the experience of close relation with my students. I am teaching in a small but beautiful valley of Chitral, Pakistan, where the most of students belong to poor family backgrounds. I am sharing my personal observation. One of my students failed is SSC examination consequently he quit the school. I visited his home several time to persuade him towards studies again but all my efforts went in vain. He never likes to study again and became drug addicted.
Another example from past year 2017 two female students in Chitral committed suicide after getting low grades in the examination of grade eleven and twelve. One female student jumped into the river of Chitral and her dead body was recovered after the period of one month struggle and search. Other student swallowed poison, her parents immediately admitted her in the hospital but doctors could not be able to save her life and she died. These are not the stories from a novel or book but happened in real life. Their parents can feel the pain and grief of the loss of their beloved children.
Recently we came across through different social media tools and newspapers that about six students committed suicide after the declaration of HSSC result. Question is who else responsible for this act. No doubt this is all due to the huge mental pressure on students and demand of high marks everywhere. Our system is based on quantity, here number counts rather than the quality. So we have to review our examination and assessment system. There should be one compulsory period in each educational institution for individual mentoring of students to peruse them and guide them towards practical life.
Last year I was in USA to pursue my Teaching Excellence Program from University of Colorado, We visited different schools and colleges there and closely observed their educational system. Where assessment system is based on whole academic year which include all the activities students do during their academic year like their participation in sports, co-curricular activities, social work and volunteer services.
Although grading is indispensable part of assessment process, but there should be a mid way for both the social Life of the students and their academic preparation. The grading system should be labeled as a motivation for improvement rather than just a tag of discouragement and disappointment for student. Our system of education should be based on research and practical work experience rather than only grading. Human beings are not machine beings. In order to promote society and cultural norms students should be encouraged to take part in healthy and thought provoking academic activities throughout the year like, debate, quiz programs, portfolios, assignments, sports, voluntarism and visits.