Why Do We Need Exams in School? #MicroblogMondays

Why Do We Need Exams in School?

“No exams? What!!! How will we know the progress of the kid?”

“Exams must be there to know what the kids have learnt”

“I wouldn’t know how my kid is doing unless there are regular exams. Weekly tests, unit tests, midterms must all be held!”

When such opinions were put forth in my daughter’s school group, I realised that I am a minority. There are just a few of us who say that scheduled exams are not a good idea and that the teachers must do a continuous evaluation and surprise tests. Most parents wanted regular exams. In fact, some went on to say that the current half yearly exams must be replaced by quarterly ones. I was aghast. I mean, isn’t my generation a product of it? Did most of us not grow up with unit tests, mid-terms and final exams. Do you guys not remember the stress you and your family went through? And to what benefit? Do any of the parents actually remember the dates of the battle of Plassey anymore? Or it’s consequences? Unless you are a high school history teacher, chances are you don’t! Then why are we so insistent on exams?

As I was discussing this topic with a few mums I met, I realised that everyone is stressed about the weekly Monday dictation that kids have. The list was given to us at the start of the term and we are supposed to prep them with 50 words every week. Each Sunday is spent in revisions and last day memorising. The funny thing is that in week #3, they have forgotten the tough ones from week #2. Doesn’t that happen during exams too? We mug, we vomit, we forget.

Won’t it be better if the school banished exams and evaluated children on the way they interacted in School instead? Our CMO, Julie Woods-Moss always says that

Intelligence is reflected not by the questions you answer, but the questions you ask

– Julie Woods-Moss

Won’t it be better if our schools taught the children about real life skills? If we learnt about decision making, about problem-solving, about research, won’t these be more handy in the real world? There is so much they don’t learn. Take finance for example. Such an important part of our lives and we learn it through trial and error. Why don’t schools teach about savings, about the banking systems, basic taxation and investment? Why don’t they teach about growing your own food, basic cooking skills? I strongly believe if children get exposure to different things in school, making career choices becomes easier. The stress on medicine and engineering will go down and our children would be much happier when they grow up.

I am glad that there are some people who realise this gap and are trying to plug it. A friend of mine has found Brainsalt Education Pvt Ltd. and they are attempting to bring Financial education to the mainstream. They are conducting India’s first national olympiad in Financial Education for schools and students in the age group 9 to 15. To know more, check out the Finance Fundas site.that

Today’s kids are smart. Smarter than what we on account of the exposure they have. The need of this generation is to be street smart and resourceful and it is about time parents as well as the education institutions realised this. What do you guys think? Do you support exams that encourage rote learning?

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4 thoughts on “Why Do We Need Exams in School? #MicroblogMondays”

  1. Personally, I totally agree. Very important to teach the child to be resilient in addition to the 3 Rs of reading, ‘riting & ‘rithmatic. They need to learn to survive in the real world and be aware of how different it is from text books.

  2. I couldn’t agree more Ankita. I guess I am a lil more sensitive to this topic at the moment as I have just started prepping for my daughter’s 6th grade exams. Yes, you read that right – I am prepping too. There is just so much these kids are expected to mug up and it makes lesser sense today than ever – well, they have google, don’t they? I at times forbid my daughter from memorizing certain parts of her syllabus even if it means losing marks. She really doesn’t need to know exactly how tall the Qutab Minar is or which school Tagore went to for God’s sake!

    1. Hey Anu, what a surprise to see you here! I agree the height of Qutab Minar and Tagore’s high school should be mugged up only by KBC aspirants. I can totally imagine the frustration that comes from needing to read up grade 6 text books after a long day at work. All the best to you and V. She is a fine young woman so whatever you are doing, is working 🙂 Kudos!

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