Just done with (hopefully) the last exam of the Bachelor’s Degree Course in Computer Engineering, I am thinking what is going to be changed. The few very obvious things that come into mind which you might also be thinking. But along with them a very weird thought came in my head, there will be no Ratta hence forth when I’ll be learning anything.
Ratta (For those who are still wondering it means to “Mug Up”) is a very bad curse (loophole) our education system has got. You don’t need to understand concepts to pass the exam, just rattafy everything (or just enough to score 40) and if you are not unlucky, you are thru. Seriously you don’t even need to be lucky !
Another thing, if you want to rattafy something you’d need to pick out only relevant contents from the textbooks prescribed by University, which (generally) happen to give a very detailed description of the subject, and it is not humanly possible to rattafy all that as it is. So first some summary is required on that matter. This summary is provided by the “Local Author Textbooks”. These books are the ones almost* everybody follows for university exams. These books infringe several (I’d say all) copyright laws of Pearson, PHI, Tata McGraw Hill, etc. to provide students an easy medium to pass exams (No, don’t compare them with Robinhood !).
I don’t understand since when did gaining knowledge become equivalent to passing exams. (I guess it started with a brilliant idea of making money by “mass-education”, but that’s a different topic). Exams were supposed to test one’s knowledge. They were taken by teachers to make sure that students are taking their lessons correctly or to judge how much a student has learnt. So why today’s students are thinking that they can cheat all this exam system to prove that they’ve learnt things, which they can hardly define !
To help do this, the universities today are expected to tell force a syllabus on students, tell exam dates and timings well in advance and on top of that tell the pattern of the question paper. Dronacharya didn’t tell Pandavs that he’ll be taking a test on Aiming Bird’s Eye after 2 months and they’ll get a PL to study. He didn’t even tell that he’ll be testing their concentration. He wanted to teach a lesson. Ofcourse the students wanted to pass, but the teacher wanted them to learn. He was not worried about his reputation because only 1 of 5 students passed. Here is where our colleges differ. Along with students, all they care about is the percentage of students passing out (or getting a placement). Yes, there are a few teacher’s who really want there students to excel in the subject, understand it thoroughly and then pass because they know the concepts and not just because they’ve prepared well. I truly respect them for this, (and wish there were a few more so that I wouldn’t have to write all this ) but these are only few and don’t matter much because at the maximum they have is 25 marks of “Term Work”, which anyways they are (unofficially) not allowed to fail any student by the college authorities to increase passing percentage.
Not just colleges, this trick of rattafication is taught to little kids from right when they are in school and by nobody else but there so much loving and caring parents and some of the very brilliant kids excel so much in Rattalogy, they can rattafy any book in just few hours. These students become toppers (Sincerely, every topper is not ratta king, please don’t get offended) by pure rattafication skills. Rattafication has gone so deep in our system that we rattafy traffic rules, pass the test, get a license to drive and drive like we have license to kill !
Ok, I have done a lot of criticism now. But what are the consequences of this (as above mentioned) curse.
First one can be that, we hear people concluding this: “Marks ka knowledge se kuch lena-dena nahi hota”. I say why ? Aren’t marks supposed to measure one’s knowledge ? If not, what do they really measure ? If you thought, the answer is Ratta, then be really ashamed of being graduated from an Education system which measured your rattafication skills. Be ashamed of spending so many years to achieve a degree in Rattafication.
Another bad effect that happens is on “Quality of Education”.This is very important thing, which people hardly talk about. This phrase can always be found in a college’s prospectus, but nobody actually seems to care about this. Few days back I read an article about “Employability of students”. It said a very less percentage of the Indian Graduates are actually employable. The companies need to train them on basics before they can risk depending on them to do actual projects.
Having said all these, what are the possible solutions for this ?
I don’t know the feasibility of these solutions, but i think they can work, perhaps with few modifications.
Merciless Universities. Yes, universities today are very merciful to the students. The university in which I studied, has a few very student helping rules (or should I say culture). They produce question paper’s containing 12 questions, 2 from each unit of which only 1 had to be solved. So, 1 or two connected topics from a unit students could easily drop for option, because not everything can be rattafied. Another very awesome culture is of grace marks, if a student scores 34 (40 is the minimum marks required to pass), he is granted grace marks to reach 40. I never saw anybody getting more than 33 and failing a subject.
Self Control. The origin of ratta comes from here. The simple urge to pass no matter what leads to ratta. If somehow we can control ourselves and believe passing is not important and understanding is, our problem will be solved.
No Exams, No Degrees, No Certifications. This one seems very crazy idea, it actually is ;-) But if there are no exams, nobody will rattafy anything. No Degrees and Certifications to show off will means a lesser urge to take admission in a college for that big fraction of students, who come only to take some degree because that will help them secure a job. Universities and Colleges would only mean a place to learn and educate. Students to be allowed to learn whatever they get guidance from Universities and Colleges. By the time a student reaches college, he is about 18 and he should understand what is good for him and should be allowed to make his own choices. The syllabus should not be forced on him. Nobody needs to certify that this student is and Engineer or not. So how will companies hire students ? This part I think companies would have to take some care themselves, that’s why I said this Idea is crazy. But I’m sure they can come with a solution. This idea can be applied to any profession except Doctors and Pharmacists. Who by law require some Qualification to be Doctors or Pharmacists. But no law says that one has to be a BE in Computers or BCA or BCS to write some code !
This is a very short list and I accept is not a very good list. But you are always welcome to give more suggestions. I am not the best problem solver in the world. These views are based on my experience while completing my education from a very esteemed chain of schools, a moderately esteemed college and university. If your school, college or university differed please let me know, I’ll be grateful.
Having said all of the above things, I confess that I have rattafied a lot of concepts from Local Author Books, which I shouldn’t have. I regret that, and I’m sure time will make me regret more :-( . So to make sure the meaning of learning never changes in college or out of it, help me throw ratta out of the world.
If you also think ratta is a curse please blog about this topic and share this on socials networks, our system needs to get rid of this curse. If you contradict, comment and we can have a discussion.
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Thank You !