Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HS FAQ: Board Exams

Your question:
So the police will not catch you and your children will continue to study at home. But how will they go from one class to the higher class? And how will they give the board exams in 10th and 12th standard? And if they can’t do this how will they give their medical and engineering entrance exams?

My answer:
Yes bhai, you can assume that studying at a home is a great liberation from the suffocation of the examination system. But the way you asked the question- seems like you think that the examination system is a good thing. Ok, let’s listen to what Professor Yashpal has to say about this. Professor Yashpal is a highly reputed Indian educationist and he is the Chairman of the National Curriculum Framework (2005) committee and is an ex-chairman of the UGC. In the preface to the NCF document he says:

This document frequently revolves around the question of curriculum load on children. In this regard we seem to have fallen into a pit. We have bartered away understanding for memory based short term information accumulation. This must be reversed particularly now that the mass of what could be memorized has begun to explode. We need to give our children some taste of understanding following which they would be able to learn and create their own versions of knowledge as they go out to meet the world of bits, images and transactions of life. Such a taste would make the present of our children wholesome, creative and enjoyable; they would not be traumatized by the excessive burden of information that is required merely for a short time before the hurdle race we call examination. The document suggests some way of getting out of this self-imposed adversity. Achieving some degree of success in this area would also signify that we have learnt to appreciate the capacity for learning and the futility of filling up children’s memory banks with information that is best kept as ink marks on paper or bits on a computer disk.

Understand no? Now lets talk about the 10th and 12th standard exams. The National Open School or NIOS a government organization was set up in 1989 to let people get their educational qualifications outside the school environment. So whenever our children feel like it they will give their 10th or 12th exams through this board and will come into direct competition with your children. And haan, all colleges and other institutes of higher learning in India recognize this board as equivalent to CBSE and ICSE etc.

So there you are- Your biggest problem solved. Armed with this information, are you now going to take your children out of school and not let them waste their time and effort and peace of mind on this anachronism that we call school?

Not convinced, you say? Not yet, you say? OK Bhai, your choice.

But wait wait… Don’t get bored and stop reading this document. Within a few more questions this FAQ gets really very interesting you know. Lot of masala- like an Andhra Pickle or a bollywood movie or something you know.

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