Sunday, 22 May 2016

Idea Rant #5 CBSE = < Learning; > Rote Learning

"See, the thing is, it's not that easy dad-"

-"Don't you complain to me about it not being easy!
Everyone's doing it; Headaches are no excuse for marks so bad."

The results came out,
he'd scored a 97.2%.

He saw a ticket to a great university;
His dad, saw only the missing 2.8%.

Written below are my opinions and mine alone; they're not "directed" to anyone, and as the heading suggests, it's a RANT. I don't want The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) knocking on my door tomorrow along with the Indian Government, wanting to ban my article.


The amount of emphasis CBSE, and other education boards in India put on one year of a 17 year old child's school life is ridiculous, and disgusting beyond words. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this now because there is a sudden hatred within me for these "prestigious" boards of education due to the pressure I'm facing this year. I'm saying it now, because I now have a forum to, and the knowledge to be able to express my self in a correct manner. These are my opinions, and I've had them for a couple of years. 

Firstly, let's discuss the aspect of making a 15 year old decide a "stream"; subjects that he/she has to pick which will then decide his/her future, college courses, occupation 
opportunities and last but so not the least, the child's "interest". If a child does go by what interests him or her, he/she may or may not be able to find a suitable job in India, because frankly speaking, if I'm interested in anthropology (for example) 1) there are limited courses in India, forcing me to go abroad. 2) Limited job opportunities in India, again, forcing me to go abroad.

How is a 15 year old expected to think of all of this while making a choice? 
I get it, whenever I pose this rhetorical question to an elder or a teacher, they mention how times have changed and are now much better as compared to what they used to be. My generation now has career counselling, which barely existed when our parents were in school.
But does the providing of career counselling mean that children at the age of 15 itself are now expected to make a brilliant life decision and never falter, and strive for things that they may not truly want on the inside? Because truth be told, less than 20% adults in India would opt to change their career after the age of 30, implying that most of us, are kind of stuck with the choices we make, at the age of 15. 

Secondly, let's talk about the idea of board examinations. I've been told several times, that, "hey, listen, they're damn chill! Don't worry, okay?" and that's great, I get it. They're chill, if you study well you can ace them. Then why the life or death stigma around them? A lot of students reading this who may be in other, "tougher" boards than CBSE are probably thinking I'm a brat for complaining; but by the end of it, I'm going to talk and complain regarding the system I'm in, right? 

Continuing with the life or death stigma, if, for example, a student is unable to take his/her board papers well, due to an illness or injury or any other form of emergency, and isn't being given a retest, therefore having to give that exam, therefore doing badly, therefore failing (see the cycle?) - what gives CBSE the right to make that child go through one more entire year of school, as though that child has failed, instead of giving the child a retest? Can't the system be slightly more humanistic and flexible, and judge one situation at a time, instead of having a set of rigid rules for all situations, regardless of their uniqueness? What if that student is a school topper in reality, and is capable of doing really well, but just wasn't able to perform well due to other factors? Is an education board actually going to leave these things out to luck? 

Not only that, at the age of 17, I can safely say that most of us are going through a lot more than just academic pressure; there is always stuff at home, with friends, with body image, etc, etc. and the additional academic stress is completely unnecessary and puts all students into a race which they may not even want to be a part of - the race to get into an elite college. 

Furthermore, they emphasis not on learning or the gaining of knowledge, god no! They instead, are firm believers of rote learning, an ideal they believe will make us successful and happy individuals in the future. (insert beyond sarcastic thumbs up and smiley emojis here)

Now CBSE decides to show up and goes like, "Hey, we're going to test you on like 15 chapters for each subject, EXACTLY when you're going through emotional turmoil. Hope you have fun!"  
Why not spread the exams over a better period of time, and have the organization that organizes them (still CBSE) clear up the stigma around them? Because let's face it, if there are students committing suicide because of the stress caused due to this,  the results they get, OR the importance given to them for most subjects for admissions into colleges. the organisation is doing something wrong, somewhere. 



Look at him just reading and gaining knowledge. Why can't we have that, instead of rote learning? HE'S SMILING GUYS. COME ON.

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