Flawed Exam Policy

Flawed Exam Policy
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The private school business in Kashmir has mushroomed over the years. This largely reflects the demand for education here as people, cutting across classes, feel (rightly) that education is the key to success, social and economic mobility. The poor and shoddy supply of government school education has meant and entailed the proliferation of private schools. While, in the main, provision of private schooling, is sheer business ( even though, in theory, it remains a not for profit proposition), but private operators must and should ensure quality of provision and delivery of education. This amounts to stating the obvious but there are obvious and glaring issues with these. One specific issue pertains to the mechanics of education among which holding exams is an important one. It has come to notice that private schools examination practices are random and ad hoc. That is, they take and hold examinations randomly. This obviously has implications and consequences on students as well as parents. The impact is largely on the students psyche and psychology. They have to be ready and prepared all the time , a condition that can only be stressful and cause other allied and related issues. In all fairness, perhaps private schools take recourse to this practice because of the political uncertainty that defines Kashmir. But, this amounts to shifting the onus onto students. Education, in general terms, must be a relaxed and stress free endeavor. It is only under these conditions that students can learn substantively and copiously. The onus actually falls on schools to provide this stress and tension free ambiance and atmosphere. This holds a special salience in Kashmir where there is already extant environmental stress and tension. Holding exams randomly merely adds to the stress for students. It therefore becomes incumbent and even imperative upon private school authorities to make the exam policy coherent and in consonance with the psychic and emotional needs of students. If private school authorities do not take cognizance of this, then the administration must take note of the issue and issue ordinances that regulate the holding of exams. In the final analysis, stressed students who are made to cram and rote learn under the threat and pressure of exams cannot have a great , effective and efficient education. Through and by virtue of this approach, learning outcomes can only suffer , and endpoint that actually defeats the purpose and rationale of education.