If you are a 90’s person, you would probably be the best person to relate to this scenario. Back in the days, we used to recite the answer of a question for numerous times, so loud that even our neighbor wakes up even without an alarm until we make sure we don’t forget even a single word of that answer. Now fast forward, in a world filled with digitized form of education and creative ways of conveying one’s idea, a person who struggles to memorize a paragraph can find new and alternative ways of remembering. The open sourced nature of the internet provides boundless amount of knowledge that one can seek and attain.
With this scenario, we narrow the student community to two personas : the memorizer and the deep learner. The article revolves around the comparison of the two personas, how they stand out in the race towards the peak, where they lag behind and whose method in the end is more effective.
When it comes to competitive exams, entrance exams or even in the mock tests of colleges and schools, the memorizing technique proves to be effective, as time constraint becomes an unavoidable factor and so even if a person has the capability to solve a question just by thinking from the moment of witnessing his objective, he may solve but will fall short in the long run of the exam due to the time factor that we saw before. On the other hand, the person who becomes the all India topper and comes out in flying colors cannot be shown as a testimony of success as his marks, in most cases, aren’t a true reflection of the person’s intellect. So it can be concluded that the person be referred as the one who cracked the exam and not an educated one.
With quality learning techniques and equity in providing education to all is still a milestone to be reached in the upcoming years, people in order to get through their struggling phases of their lives, still depend on the idea of rot learning and placing grades and marks as their highest priority, whether they agree with this interpretation or not. This dependency on rote learning and memorizing a concept is a by-product of the will to get through an exam and get a grade that will get them their seat in their dream university and their dream jobs, whereas in reality, they do not see the bigger picture. This compulsion driven mentality omits the need to learn a concept to its roots, on how a phenomenon affects them and their surroundings and how one can find an alternative to a pre-existing solution.
Some might argue that one cannot get the most out of a rough theory or a derivation of a formula that has no proof. This is one of the few exceptions (obviously you cannot learn the binomial equation which contains bizarre terms of its own) but the core proposition is learning requires time and that time cannot be uniform for a given number of students. One could interpret it in a matter of minutes while some could take days depending upon their fields of interest and the people who teach them.
The people who act as a person between the student and the concept, they have the power to catalyze the process of learning in both the possible directions and so teachers should be bestowed upon with immense responsibilities of providing the ambient environment for a student to nurture himself and learn at his own pace. The reality, unfortunately is against us, where the stress to prove one’s worth is breaking the roof and the only option that a student can resort to is to scan whatever that is available in their books and printing them in their papers without missing a single word, which in my opinion is not worth of a single penny.
Every system can have flaws and one cannot guarantee that it is ideal and so the old tradition of rote learning could take a rest and be replaced by techniques that provide the student to do some exploration of their own. Memorizing is, like I said, is not a method that student find it convenient but a method that they choose without an option because of compulsion and pressure. Unless the external strings that pose this scenario to select memorizing as their only tool to survive, deep and fruitful learning will be a long marathon.
Expectations, is not a word but a pile of emotions, hatred and love placed upon us by different persons so that we would answer to it in any way possible. The pile becomes the heaviest when a teen is about to enter into an enormous platform like a college or a university, where they are forced into a race to “glory”, “fame” and “success” as the conventional 70’s mentality would frame them. In some cases, they achieve it, miraculously whereas most do not and get dejected. Multiple factors are a reason, but what if a person is not allowed to even enter this race? What if this rejection was because of his low marks in the competitive exam or due to the limited amount of seats that were available and he missed it by a very small fraction?
A student who doesn’t get through solely on the reason that his/her marks weren’t enough will have to choose one out of the two:
- Convince him/her to pursue a stream something similar or even irrelevant what he/she initially strives for.
- Be stubborn and strive again and again so that one day, he strikes it and proves others wrong.
In my opinion, both of the options are morally correct and it boils down to the individual’s mentality and their circumstances. There is no shame in choosing a field that he/she has very little knowledge about and have a learner’s mindset and continue to survive in that area. Similar to that, one should not misjudge a person who is stubborn and wants what he/she is worthy of for being arrogant. Competitive exams can provide another gateway to his dream, but this should not be misinterpreted that competitive exams should be the only way that colleges should take in students.
The real problem arises when a student confuses that he could not get the seat because the seats were limited and reserved so that he had to compete only for a fraction of those seats. He will come to a conclusion that it was because of the marginal amount of seats that made him to lose and if he has access to compete for the entire availability of seats, he could and eventually would have got his spot in the college that he dreamed of.
This brings us to the basic concept of supply and demand with an extra exception. The benchmark of the seats is finalized based upon the marks secured by the students in the previous years and eventually a student has to cross the benchmark to a have a seat. As the demand for the seats increase, the notion of limited seats arises. This notion could be of several factors; from varying threshold cut-offs in different quotas to a large number of students competing for very few spots.
The exception here is that the regulation of the number of seats for a stream in a given college should be determined by the government, who has the authentic number of students who graduated and are competing for the seats. If a person claims that the number of seats is very little and they should be increased so that one who falls short by a very little margin would not get dejected should appeal to the government to increase the number of seats proportional to the number of students competing for it.
On the contrary, in recent days, some claim being misled by the masses that removing the reservation based upon one’s caste can be the ONLY solution to this problem. For instance, an individual would get the opportunity to get one out of the 100 seats that are available if the reservation is removed. The probability is very clear and one would come to a conclusion that one out of hundred is fairer than one out of 20 or 30. This is where one fails to understand the equity over equality of education that the Indian constitution provides.
Reserving a particular number of seats for a certain community does not strip away one’s right to get a seat, who does not belong to that community as he should be informed that even he has a reserved position in the number of seats that are available, as the pie is split in a way that everybody gets their share. Or in other words, it is split so that every person should get the share they deserve. The reservation of seats that people often misinterpret is not a poverty alleviation program, to throw away a certain percentage of seats to people who are poor but a program of representation of one’s community. People who feel that this is not fair will have two claims:
- “The poor and undeserved get into colleges very easily whereas those who are capable and worthy get rejected in the name of caste.”
- “This system has not supported the country in any way whatsoever and in fact is promotes the caste mindset in a different way.”
The first claim is filled with ignorance and from the word “undeserved” it poses two meanings, they either say that they belong to the lower castes and hence undeserved or it is because of their low cut-off marks and yet their ability to get a seat makes one to call them undeserved. If it is the former, it is utterly pathetic to see that the conventional caste mindset has not faded away even in the 21st century. If it is the latter then one must remember that, these are the same people who flaunt that, “Grades and marks do not matter in life” and yet they advise the students of other communities to get high marks to prove their worth in the race.
The second claim is from a partial perspective of the country’s development over the years. The system even though has not been implemented to its full potential yet, has still provided the means of representation of the communities in every sphere of the society.
The notion that limited seats limit the opportunities of a student to reach stardom in his life is a misleading claim and is because we do not see the need for limited seats from a social perspective, fail to have a liberal mindset and are selfish when the arrow is pointed towards us. We take a different stand when we face the problem, whereas in reality even our brothers of different communities feel the same. This mentality of seats being limited by reservation affects every individual from every community and develops hatred in their minds against the other communities. Is there a solution to this? Of course yes.
The government, as I mentioned before needs to revise the amount of seats for every stream based upon the number of students who come out of schools, whenever there is a contention for seats arises. Without the intervention of the government and propagating the truth about the need for reservation and limited seats, the hate and thought that “unworthy” candidate snatched away their opportunity that he didn’t deserved will infest the mind of an individual and prevent him from building himself as a responsible social being.
ProTeen’s 21st Century learning gives the better aspect of learning.
Author – Yuvaraj R.