Examination – Has It Killed Education?

Don’t Let Examination Kill Students

Fourteen year old Raju looked at the ceiling fan. He started sweating and thought of cancelling his plan but that was not possible. He went ahead, threw the string around the fan and before he could change his mind, hanged himself using the same rope. Later on, it was discovered that Raju was under stress due to coming exams. He felt pressurized and didn’t know whom to talk with.

The above incident is not alone. In India, daily average twenty students use various methods for committing suicide. They all have different Modus Operandi but the same reason. Some have Stress of not getting admissions in esteemed institutions, others fear of not performing well in the exam.

Why students are taking such drastic steps? Have the authorities ever thought what is wrong? Is there any drawback in our education system which is putting pressure on students?

Students are not mentally grown-ups. Many still don’t know how to handle pressure. The students assessment is done based on their performance in few hours. In the examination hall, they have to give their best to do within the given short duration and then accept their destiny when the results come. You may be a scholar but if you fall sick during exams, no one is going to rescue you. I know a son of my friend, who gets so nervous during Mathematics paper that he literally forgets whatever he knows during the tests.

Life is uncertain and even the topper can get depressed and forget everything under the exam pressure. Is it good to leave one’s fate based on the performance in few hours?

What is Education?

Education develops the thinking of a person. It develops the thought process. Education is not about passing an exam or getting good grades. It’s also not about getting a good job after being educated. It’s an enlightening process. In schools, we are taught subjects viz Social Sciences or Poetry not as one day we will earn due to knowledge of such subjects. Social Science grows our knowledge about this world and Poetry enhances us in expressing ourselves. We start earning due to our interest or proficient understanding of a particular subject. Examination is there to assess the knowledge we gained at a particular time.

A person is referred as an Educated Person when he is humble, intellectual, knowledgeable and kind. Being educated and being financially successful is different thing and totally unrelated. However, examination has become a very important link between the two. Examination certifies a person’s knowledge at every step of learning process. It’s very easy to distinguish who is grasping the knowledge quickly and who is intellectual by way of examination. Those who excel in these exams have more chances to achieve success in life and do better in career. They are approached readily by organisations for jobs. They have been certified by examination that they are intellectual and they possess the knowledge well enough in a particular field which enable them to do requisite work swiftly.

However, as in our current education system, the biggest issue is that it has become exams oriented, instead of being education oriented. Today, nobody is interested in training students and to really measure their knowledge and understanding on the subject.  Everyone is just focused on grades and marks. As a result, today’s exams are not a good criteria to assess their genuine education skill, but they have just become a measurement of one’s retention skills. As a result, students have only one goal of how to perform professionally in the examinations. Nobody pays attention to actually gaining knowledge. They are not inclined to go an extra mile and do research which may give them better understanding of the subject.

It’s a sad reality that this kind of system prepares students for materialistic success and monetary gains. The fundamental education has gone in the background and students have lost the focus of learning.

What is the use of making them remember things which they are not going to use in the future? The education system should allow them to learn the subject and understand the fundamentals. Instead, the system emphasizes on how much students mug up and write during the exams.

Protect You Kid From the Pressure of Education

A very important thing to understand here is those who are not excelling in these exams are not actually dumb. Many of them are really very smart. They just don’t have the sharp memory to mug-up things. They might not act quickly and perform well in short duration of exam time. But, can perform well in real-time demand of life situations. Many of my schoolmates who used to score 40-50 % in schools are successful managers. Many who are good in mugging up the things are left behind after school, as they lack the power of analyzing.

Enhancing Our Education System?

There are two major types of learning process that is used world-wide for education.

  1. Rote Learning Method
  2. Critical Thinking Method

Rote Learning is a method of memorizing by way of repetition. Critical thinking method is to educate someone by developing their thinking. Both have its own uses in the education system. Rote learning is used in early stages of our education to learn the basic things like counting, basic mathematical operations, memorizing alphabets, names of fruits,  flowers, birds, etc. Once the child is at a stage when they can analyze, think, act. Critical Thinking method is used to develop their intellectual skills.

In our education system, Rote Learning method is used even after the kid is grown-up. Like I remember in 7th standard, the one who could write each and every step of an experiment given in chemistry book or biology book used to be given full marks. I was unable to memorize well so I used to score poorly.

A balance of both the methods depending on the growth level of the kid should be applied to enhance the learning. The motto should be to impart the education rather than score more.

Schools should have regular meetings with parents to keep them updated about their child’s performances and interests. The pressure of study comes on a child by their parents. Parents wants their child’s future to be easy and secured. A simple way for this is to score high. Get certified that you are intelligent and you will be taken with both hands by companies after completing education. However, showing anger, frustration and admonishing to score high even after being in top ten in the class is quite common in our society.

Apart from this, the people who regulate the rules and make education policies should understand their responsibilities. Due to their ignorance, today our education system has become another name of rat race where learning has no chance to win! And even if the rules are changed, it’s a duty of every institution to see that they are implemented properly. Those in power should make proper changes in the policy. And the parents as well as teachers should make sure that the students do what they love to do instead of compelling them to learn what they don’t like. If the subject is beyond their capacity, they are hardly going to succeed. Letting them do things they like and letting them select their own destiny might be helpful. It might reduce the pressure from young students and reduce the suicide rate.

Hopes Beyond IIT

Students of 10+2 mathematics are crazy about IIT. May be you are one of them too who desperately want to be a part of IIT. But, let me tell you. There is life other than IIT which can be as good as a life with IIT. Here, I’m giving list of …

How Good Are The New IITs

Proposed Main Building of IIT Bhubaneshwar

In 2008, Government of India added eight new Indian Institute of Technology (IITs). There were earlier seven IITs before. Out of these eight new IITs, six started function in 2008 itself and two started operation from 2009. IT-BHU was converted as IIT (BHU) Varanasi in 2012. I’m summarizing the establishment years of these institutes in chronological order below:

  • 1951: IIT Kharagpur
  • 1958: IIT Bombay
  • 1959: IIT Kanpur and IIT Madras
  • 1963: IIT Delhi (founded in 1961 as The College of Engineering & Technology)
  • 1994: IIT Guwahati
  • 2001: IIT Roorkee (Founded in 1847, renamed as Thomason College of Civil Engineering in 1853 and University of Roorkee in 1948)
  • 2008: IIT Bhubaneswar, IIT Gandhinagar, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Jodhpur, IIT Patna, IIT Ropar
  • 2009: IIT Indore and IIT Mandi
  • 2012: IIT (BHU) Varanasi (Founded in 1919 as BENCO; renamed as IT-BHU, by joining three institutes BENCO, TECHNO and MINMET running under BHU)

The eight new IITs were started within an Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-2012) to develop Higher Education and Research in India. During this period five IISER, an NISER, seven IIMs, ten NITs, six AIIMS, seven NIPER and many other institutes. All these are getting huge funding from the Government of India. Established with a vision to develop India as a Super Power.

As per new IITs are concerned, all new IITs are awaiting completion of their permanent campus construction work. However, they are running full-fledged within limited strength from their transit campuses taken on rent. All are being mentored by old IITs.

Academics

Even though they don’t have permanent campuses these institutes have healthy infrastructure and running like any other engineering college. Initially, these institutes were getting faculties from their mentor IITs. However, with time they have full-time faculty. But, many of the post of full-time faculties at these institutes are still vacant. But, the lack of faculty is not the problem of only new IITs. Even old IITs have vacant positions of full-time faculties.

The academic standard of new IITs is better than any just opened engineering college. They have many faculties from old IITs or NITs.

Courses started at new IITs are still not as vast in numbers as old IITs. Most of them have started with B Tech courses in Computer Sciece, Mechanical, Electrical, Civil and Chemical. However, once they shift to their permanent campuses both several courses and intake per courses will increase.

Infrastructure

Standards of new IITs, even though they are running from transit campuses are not compromised. Some of the new IITs are exception, rest are giving healthy environment in rented accommodation in some institutes. However, it is expected most of them will shift to their permanent campuses within next two to three years.

Student Life

IITs are popular in developing a student at its best. They not just excel in the regular career. Instead, they excel in other fields too. The craze for IIT is so much as it develops the personality and boost confidence of students to do well in their life.

All the new IITs organize cultural or tech fests and activities just as regular IITs. Still, a lot of development will see once they get their own auditoriums at permanent campus.

Placements

Placement is the most important section that you would be looking for. The good news is new IITs are doing well in this section. Even though they don’t have the facilities that many not renowned but established colleges have. They have the most important thing, quality students. Students at new IITs are being selected from the premier exam earlier IIT JEE and now JEE Advanced. So, even though these institutes are yet to set up themselves, companies are coming and giving healthy package.

As per Times of India, I’m presenting the placement conditions of these institutes in 2013. It also presents faculty condition at these institutes.

Name Posts for faculties Posts vacant Placement last year Lowest package Highest package
IIT Bhubaneswar

90

17

92%

3.5 L

11.5 L

IIT Gandhinagar

90

14

91%

Didn’t disclose

Didn’t disclose

IIT Hyderabad

105

4

85%

3.5 L

34 L

IIT Indore

90

13

85%

4.5 L

17.58 L

IIT Jodhpur

90

42

79%

3.75 L

17 L

IIT Mandi

90

41

88%

4.75 L

18 L

IIT Patna

90

19

87%

4.5 L

16.3 L

IIT Ropar

90

38

88%

3.75 L

63 L

This year the placement are going to be little bad as market condition is bad and PSUs are not coming for campus recruitment. But, these are going to affect both new, old IITs and other colleges too.

These institutes are better in placement than many regional level good engineering colleges. But, not better than NITs now. They are well established and have good connection in industry. Gradually, it will develop.

Final Verdict on New IITs

In my last article, Good College or Good Branch. I kept the ranking of these institutes in Tier 3 colleges. It is to be taken into consideration after old NITs for admissions. However, once these shifted to their permanent campus. Sooner or later it is going to surpass many old NITs.

If you like the above article, I’m giving links for articles written on similar topic by me:

  1. Good College or Good Branch
  2. When Should I Start Preparing for IIT?
  3. JEE: Should I Take A Drop?
  4. How to Prepare for JEE Mains After Appearing for 12th Board
  5. Most Suitable Date for JEE (Main) Online Test
  6. New Pattern: What is JEE?
  7. IIT JEE: What should be Strategy for Partial Droppers?
  8. How to Prepare for IIT JEE?
  9. Kota: Paradise for IIT JEE Aspirants
  10. Role of Coachings in IIT JEE selection
  11. Hopes Beyond IIT
  12. IIT JEE: What should be the strategy for repeaters?

Good College or Good Branch

Decision Time: Counselling at the Time of Admission

Should I go for Good College or Good Branch. It is a dilemma which is faced by every single student after clearing engineering entrance examination. Even if student gets selected for admission to any IIT. This dilemma is faced by them. Whether they should go by best IIT or best branch at average level IIT. Ever since I have started giving tips to engineering aspirants, every year after entrance result. I get query related with this dilemma.

There are 119 different courses available in JEE Advanced 2014. Some of these are very much popular and known. But, most of us don’t know scope, syllabus, use of most of the courses in the list. Every person has different opinion about best and worst IITs. The dilemma comes as it is going to decide the future of the student. Parents want their children to study the best possible stream once the results are out. Definition of best possible stream would be “A Stream which will let their kid to a secure, easy to find job, with a handsome salary and have growth opportunity”. Only problem is very few persons know in detail about each stream and depending on the interest and ability of a student, which could be the best stream for a particular student.

Yes, ranking of stream will change for every student. Some may find computer interesting, some may find aviation interesting. One can’t do well without having an interest. But, here there is one more problem. I’m not referring towards interest as passion towards something. I’m referring towards a branch whose syllabus may suit the interest of a student. It may happen that someone who is brilliant in chemistry and comparatively weak in Mathematics have passion to be aeronautical engineer. But, aeronautical may not be a better branch for him/her to excel in his career.

It is very hard to find such a person who can guide a student perfectly, taking into consideration likes and dislikes of student for a particular topic. It is advisable to talk to as many counselor as possible to know about choice of course and college which you can get in a particular branch. But, just take advise, decision about order of preference should be of student. For admission into IITs, the following attached PDF file (Jee Advanced Counseling Brochure 2013) is send to successful candidates. It have a major part giving details about each and every branch or courses available in IITs. It should be read thoroughly to understand structure, syllabus, applicability and scope of a branch. Depending on the strength, command and interest of a student and its use for a particular branch, ordered list of branches with college should be made.

Some streams are good or specialty of a particular IIT. This would mean you would get best faculty, resources, lab instrument and scope. So, once you have understanding about your preferential list of branches or streams. Get information about best IIT to study the course from. You can get such information by getting in contact with few IITians.

For Non-IIT Candidates

Till now, I gave course selection tips only for those who are successful in JEE Advanced. Now, for those who have to select course and college after clearing JEE Mains or state engineering entrances, the path is not so easy. They can either go for best possible college with not-so-popular branch or best branch in an average college or below average college. It is a general consensus to go for the best branch and not best college. However, I always believe to go for the best college in a good city for whatsoever branch one can get. I’m going to explain various reasons why I believe so. First, let me explain how branch is less important and college is more.

Is Branch Really so Important

Would you go to any college for a Good Branch

Every Field Has Good Scope

If we talk about scope of the course, nearly all the field or branch have good scope, leaving behind newly introduced branch. Student from every branch can excel to top and get high salary. Not so popular branch like aerospace or marine has very high average salary compared to a mechanical or electrical. Most popular branch computer science have a very less average salary as it is over-crowded.

Future is Unknown

No one knows till when the job opportunity will be flooded in IT sector. Right now, even pass-outs from other branches are joining IT sector as supply of quality engineers is less than demand and it is not so hard for engineers from different stream to switch to IT field. Do you know in 90’s Mechanical or electrical were much more popular branch than computer science? Many engineers who could not get in mechanical and get C.S. in 90’s get to the top position in their company after IT boom.

Love of Student for a Branch is Illusion

I already explained this point above while explaining for IIT counselling. If a student loves to work on computer, it does not mean he can find interest in Computer Science. Computer Science requires sound logical and analytical ability. Many a times students desires to choose a branch just for sake of affection to its applicability.

Sector Change

My brother is a Mechanical Engineer from IIT Kanpur. But, he is working in a Top IT company. Many of my friends with various streams of engineering are with me working in Insurance Company. Many bureaucrats are engineers with no use of their engineering knowledge. The point is you don’t know whether you are going to work in the same sector you are choosing as your engineering branch.

Importance of Better College

Better Resources

Getting education from NIT Trichy is always going to be better than NIT Jamshedpur. One will get better professors, better labs, better environment at a better college. Quality of education always play better role at key positions in life. It gives value to your résumé.

It may be given examples that a college which not even comparable to premium IIT like Manipal has alumnus at key positions of Microsoft and Nokia. However, both of them Satya Nadella or Rajeev Suri are at Managerial position which is a skill not honed by Manipal. On an average, a student from a better college have much more chance of achieving successes quickly.

Better connections

Even if one gets not so popular branch in a better college, he/she may have on an average better friends or better connections from college. I’m not saying it helps in progressing in life. But, it do help in tough times. Every one wants influential friend network.

Better Environment

Better college may give opportunity for better opportunity in extra-curricular activity. Even many prepare for civil services GATE, GRE, CAT etc. while being in engineering college. This gives them better ambiance for preparing for such competition.

Chance of Better Branch Change After First Year

Nearly every college has an option to change branch at the end of first year based on their performance in first year. This is a very huge benefit. My brother got 2400 AIR in IIT JEE 2002 and got 5 years integrated MSc Mathematics and Scientific Computing at IIT Kanpur. Based on his excellent performance in first year, he was able to shift his branch to B. Tech Mechanical after first year.

So, one have a chance to upgrade the branch if he/she is not satisfied at the end of first year if he/she went for average branch in better college. Those who went for best branch don’t get the chance to upgrade to better college ever.

Ranking of Colleges

I’m just giving an outlook about college ranking. However, actual ranking may differ the pattern given by me.

  1. Premier Ones: Old IITs and BITS Pilani
  2. Tier 1: NITs and State Bests
  3. Tier 2: New IITs
  4. Tier 3: Have a name
  5. Tier 4: Not so popular

As already told, it is just an outline, actual ranking may not follow the same pattern.

You can go for not so popular branch till Tier 2 colleges as better college. Till Tier 3 you may look for branches like mechanical, electrical, electronics as better college. If you are getting Tier 4 college, which gives some placement, go for only Computer Science. These colleges gets very less core companies other than IT for placements.

I’m sure the my view point would definitely help a lot towards easing your dilemma about Good College or Good Branch. It would be good to share your ideas and queries by giving comment below. I’m you would like to share your thinking.

If you like the above article, I’m giving links for articles written on similar topic by me:

  1. How Good Are The New IITs
  2. When Should I Start Preparing for IIT?
  3. JEE: Should I Take A Drop?
  4. How to Prepare for JEE Mains After Appearing for 12th Board
  5. Most Suitable Date for JEE (Main) Online Test
  6. New Pattern: What is JEE?
  7. IIT JEE: What should be Strategy for Partial Droppers?
  8. How to Prepare for IIT JEE?
  9. Kota: Paradise for IIT JEE Aspirants
  10. Role of Coachings in IIT JEE selection
  11. Hopes Beyond IIT
  12. IIT JEE: What should be the strategy for repeaters?