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 …

Organic Foods: Are They Worth The Hype

The World is Going Crazy about Organic

A food which is produced under strict standards laid down by government is called ‘Organic food’. This kind of technique produces crops without harming either environment or the animals, thus protecting our natural reserves for the next generation. The word ‘Organic’ actually depicts a way farmers grow and cultivate different produces like grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy products.

Today who has not heard of an Organic Food? They are everywhere, from specialized health food stores to your local super markets; the aisles are full of organic products with different labels. One aisle is full of traditionally grown fruits and another with organically grown fruits. They both look fresh, colorful, nutritious and good. One might get in dilemma about which one to choose.

Let’s go in detail of Organic Foods to understand this.

Organic Foods

  • Now days, people don’t leave a single stone un-turned when it comes to their health. Often foods produced non-organically has harmful antibiotics which are injected in livestock.  These antibiotics create adverse effects on our body. Eating organic food ensures that farmers have not used any antibiotic on the animals and the crops.
  • Farmers use large number of pesticides and chemical fertilizers which keep pests away but weaken our resistance power. Such methods of producing crops are hazardous for our health.  Food made organically just uses natural manures and compost and doesn’t contain a single trace of strong chemicals thus reducing pollution and protecting mother earth.
  • The use of pesticides by the ignorant farmer has resulted in growth of a lot of disease especially cancers. Farmers want to protect themselves in every possible way from pests. No chance to be taken. In the process, they spray more than required amount of pesticides on the crops. There is no proper awareness program conducted by the authority. Organic food takes away these possibility.
  • Often people say that organic food retains the original taste and texture of vegetables and fruits. They even look fresher and colorful compared to food grown non organic way.
  • Organic food doesn’t contain the harmful toxin deposits. Hence they are nutrition rich compared to the non organic food. According to one study, Animals which were not given dose of antibiotics produced healthier dairy products compared to traditionally generated dairy products.
  • Eating organic food ensures that one is eating healthy and this protects from the potential dangers of catching bugs and infection.  This in turn keeps us healthy and in good physical shape. One becomes happier and feel energetic after eating such food.
  • When someone purchases locally grown, organic products direct from the farmer, it provides enormous support to the local community. The purchase creates jobs for many people and this ensures financial security for the farmers.
  • Fertilizers and pesticides have adverse effects on new-born babies and young children. A recent report had established a connection between different disorders and non organic foods. Eating organic food ensures that our children will be saved from possible risks of ADHD, leukemia and other defects.  If pregnant women and young children go organic, they can benefit most.
Section for the Affluents: Separate Section of Organically Grown Foods

Drawbacks of Organic Foods

Yes, it’s true that organically grown foods have many benefits. But lets’ have a look at some of the drawbacks of using this kind of food.

  • Organic food doesn’t contain any preservatives. Hence, they don’t have a long shelf-life. On the other hand, traditional foods can be stored for many days. As they use various additives to keep it fresh for days. Customers don’t have to visit the market often as they can store non organic food for long time. This saves time and money.
  • As the farmers don’t apply chemicals and other dangerous drugs to his crops, he might have to invest more time, money and energy in growing and cultivating organic crops. Moreover getting Organic certification is not cheap. Sometimes these organic farms are too small and can’t receive financial help from government. This increases the overhead costs and makes raising organic crops an expensive affair. This makes organic foods more expensive compared to their non organic counterparts.
  • A new research has found that cow’s milk is harmless for kids and there is not much dissimilarity between the traditional and the organic one. Pediatricians all over the world recommend to drink skim milk. It can be either organic or the conventional.
  • There might not be much choice in organic food products in local market. Most of the time one gets a limited variety of products.
  • One might have a difficult time in finding a restaurant serving organic food if planning to eat out.
  • Still majority of farmers grow traditionally cultivated crops as they want more profit with less effort from their side. If they use fertilizers and pesticides, it helps them to boost the crop and volume of their products.

Organic or Traditional

As we can see from the above discussion, eating organic food might be good for an individual. It provides many health benefits and who don’t want their family to be fit, healthy and happy? However, in the long run, going organic is a costly affair and everyone can’t afford it. Organic food products are almost twice the price of conventional food products. One who is cautious about their household budget can’t pay for it on a day-to-day basis.

Conventional food does contain pesticides and harmful chemicals. But, the harm can be minimized by washing the fruits and vegetables under running water before using them. Keeping view of the budget, it might be less expensive method to make sure healthy eating. Middle class spends most of its spending on foods only. Taking preventive measure in traditional foods can definitely be a better idea to keep the budget balanced with healthy diet.

If we see the wider picture, organic food is nothing other than naturally grown food product. No harmful chemicals, no fertilizer, no pesticides. A little pesticides or fertilizer can’t be harmful. However, taking it in heavy dose along with food product could be dangerous. If regulation is implemented along with awareness for the use of these chemicals, traditional foods could become healthy too. Farmers need security in adverse situation. Once it is given to them by way of insurance or protection of their chance of loss. They will use minimal required fertilizers and pesticides. The food products could be produced naturally and at a lower cost.

Government can’t just make regulations for the affluent only. Organic foods give healthy food to rich people only. Not to the masses. Its their duty to devise plan to give healthy food for whole society not just few. Society is not run by affluent family. The backbone of society is farmers, artisans, laborers, house-hold helps, small technicians. These drive the production section of the society. Healthy food is a right of everyone. One can’t divide this right based on income or affordability. Traditional or Organic. It should be healthy and available for everyone.

Friendship and Socialization at Workplace

Friendship and Socialization are two different things though they may sound as the same. Friendship is more personal and informal thing where one seeks care, love, affection and a strong sense of connection. Whereas socialization is not so personal but more to be in a group and is formal.

Normally, in companies when people are hired, they are put into training to learn about the organization, its people, system and processes. All these things start very formally as socialization but with time it may forge friendship with few. Even companies prefer team members to know each other before they start working together. They want a sense of bonding among its workforce to have a productive and better work environment.

What causes friendship in office

Do people go to work for friendship? Of course “no” will be the answer. However, still when they start working, they make many friends in the office. Things start out formally, like meeting and interacting while in training or in team hurdles or outing organized by the company, but within no time they find many of the colleagues have become friends. The causes of office friendship is due to similar stress on the group due to which employees start sharing their work woes and applauds. Initially everyone is careful and formal while speaking but after some time the conversation becomes casual and sometimes personal.

What are the effects of friendship on the employees

Employees are expected to work in office and not to forge friendship. However, a better understanding among its people does help the organization. People are motivated to work better when they are emotionally satisfied and friendship gives such emotional satisfaction to workers. An informal chat with your boss does make you happy. It gives a feeling of joy and motivates you to work better.

At times of hiring, the Human Resource Team considers recommendation from its employees and gives incentives too. We find people asking their friends to join the company. It helps in retaining workforce. When you have lots of friends in office, you would think twice before leaving the group.

The long working hours together in the office brings people close to each other and even choosing themselves as life partners. The workplace, its environment and stress bring them together.

Do friendship forged in office last long

Though, everyone would want the friendship to last forever. Leaving a side a few exceptions wherein there develops a strong friendship. Most of the friendship loses its charm after leaving the organization. New organization means new social groups, new pressures and new colleagues, which may become friends someday. Social networking sites like “Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter” keep them connected. They keep sharing their lives. The friendship, however, fades away with time and distance.

Demerits and Side-effects of office friendship

Office friendship and socialization though sounds good it has its ill effects too on the individuals. At the time of promotion or appraisal, friendships are tested. Promotion of the friend may not be a happy or pleasant moment. It ends up making you compare and ridicule people.

For an organization, too much friendship may result in less attention towards work by its work force. It even sometimes divides the office in many small groups indulging employees in office politics.

As we know, office is a place to work. Most of the time, there is lack of common work-break to share things with your friends as everyone is busy with work responsibilities. At the time of meeting with the client, you cannot end-up chit-chatting with your friends and show a casual and non-professional work environment to the client. Bosses don’t want team members wasting time instead of productive work.

Employees don’t only make friends from same department or team. They tend to make friends from other departments, floors or even building, which results in more non-productive hours of work.

Socialization and friendship at workplace is good when it is part of work and contributes towards improving the quality of work. After college, best friends are found mostly in office. However, till the time, friends are in same office, aim should be less non-productive chit-chat at work. It should be to ease the work-pressure, not to deteriorate the quality of the work.