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Change it. Stop it.

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JR Ang
Member since January 26, 2018
  • 3 Posts

Just a few years ago, I was sitting for a public exam in school. Some of my friends were busy getting exam tips from teachers (and those tips happened to be quite accurate). I was busy preparing for the exam and took every second to just revise one more time and my classmates were like, “Huh, why are you studying so hard when you could just get tips from the teacher? Trust me, this chapter isn’t going to come out in the exam, I’ve asked the teacher….’

I was so annoyed and frustrated at that time. Maybe I seemed like an idiot to them, working hard but not smart but what’s wrong with studying and getting my knowledge tested and seeing where should I improve more? What’s that point of getting high marks with all the tips given when you yourself know that without the tips, you wouldn’t have scored something like that?

It is obvious that for most of the students, their aim in school was not learning new things and gaining knowledge but rather scoring high marks with every method they could think of, even when they know that it is something wrong.

In my country, history is one of the “must-pass” subjects in order to get the certificate. And for me, history was never my favourite, partly because I hate memorising facts. If there was no need for me to memorise historical facts for examination and tests, I’m pretty sure that I would enjoy learning it and know things that happened before I was born. I feel like understanding things makes you gain knowledge but memorising it makes it becomes a fact. And I could never figure out how memorising those agreements signed by leaders of a country and the date they’ve done something big could really help in preventing us from doing the same mistakes again. Rather than having those facts stuck in our minds, aren’t we supposed to know what happened before in the history, what caused it to happen and understand the whole thing in order to prevent some similar mistakes from happening again?

There is a joke saying that maybe the “Are you smarter than a 5th grader” isn’t meant to see how stupid an adult can be, but rather to shows us how much useless information we are teaching a 5th grader that is not applicable in life. How many of you felt that you were a failure because you failed in a subject? How many of you cried because you worked hard but couldn’t get the marks you wanted? And how many are you are having doubts about yourself because you are labelled “weak students” by teachers when you would give everything to become one of the top ones?

Most of us, either teachers or parents or even ourselves, are putting our attention on marks and results and comparing these to one another. But what we need to know is, around us, there may be a person with a bright future whose academic results don’t show anything. He may be someone who is full of creativity and imagination and the education system that requires memorising just doesn’t suit him; he may be someone active in learning new things but all the theories and lessons bore him; he could even be someone who fails his exam but succeeds in other aspects of his life. But what makes us overlooked it?

We doubt ourselves when we don’t get good marks like others and we get depressed because we think that failing a subject means that we will fail in life. We are stressed out, we are depressed and we begin to lose interest in learning new things for the fear that we might not be good at it. Is that the point of education? Every school, every teacher and parent has to let their students and children know that even if they are not good at studying, they may be good in other things. Encourage them to find their interests and their purposes in life instead of asking them to get the result that you want.

Stop putting stress on us, stop asking us to study hard and get an A+ for you, tell us to try our best and don’t make us feel useless if we fail to be the top students that you want us to be...

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