Youth For Youth

Are grades an accurate measure of merit?

Jabin Tasnim Joyeta | Update:

Reading habitThe value of our lives all too often is measured in terms of our education qualifications. Education certainly has its value in every sphere of life. If the system of education is not as precise as it should be, then how can we think of a better life? Most persons who have left their footprints on planet earth are not surprisingly toppers in their exams as one might otherwise expect.

So how come they emerge much better than the 'toppers'? Researches have shown that despite having bad marks in school, college and university, many persons become more successful than those did great in the exams.

In fact, many dropouts are leading the world into other dimensions. These dropouts are well-known persons. That’s why in most of the countries of the world, students are encouraged to study subjects of their choice so that they don’t have to struggle in their later life.

Why is it so different in our country? We all agree that our government has made noticeable changes in our education system. Then why it is so hard for students to get a chance in public universities? Why we are falling behind in our educational development?

Recently, the results of the SSC (Secondary School Certificate) exams were published. This year a higher number of students passed the exam, but the number of those scoring the top GPA-5 grade decreased compared to other years. This proved that our government has emphasized that simply getting a high GPA-5 score won’t necessarily be beneficial for our educational development. But has this decreased level of GPA-5 really uplifted the value of this grade? No, unfortunately not. Many students got GPA-5 just having A+ in not more than 5 or 6 subjects among 13.

Again, students, especially from the science group, didn’t get A+ in Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Higher Mathematics. There are students who got A+ in their divisional subjects and as well as high marks. But they got GPA-4. On the other hand, some students failed just because their practical marks or the marks they got from school didn’t add up.

Again, a student with GPA-4 has higher marks than the student got GPA-5. How can we say that those students' grades are not comparable to GPA-5? After publishing the results, the board announced that students, who feel confident they deserve better results, can apply for re-scrutiny.

Some parents say that it won’t do any good for them to apply for re-scrutiny because unless they have someone they know in the board office, their child’s paper won’t be re-checked. Like every year, the three famous colleges of Bangladesh will take admission tests while others will select students grade-wise. But for the admission of a certain famous college, only GPA-5 can apply.

But when the students of GPA-5 are not as comparable to the students who got GPA-4, then how the test can truly be taken? We have seen that after securing GPA-5 in both SSC and HSC, students struggle to get admitted in public universities. So the question of the standard of education will always relay. Philosopher Plato said, "Only an examined life is worth living." But in today's context, when there is a big hole in the education system, what really is an examined life?

*The writer is a college student.

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