‘Aptitude’, Not Marks, Should Be The Sole Criterion For Admissions In India

Posted on July 8, 2011 in Education

By Shefali Saxena:

In just five years from now, and parents will suffer greater setbacks, students will stop believing in the Indian education system, maybe we can expect an eye opening percentage of unemployment in the nation. The so called, “irrational”, “crazy” and impossibly possible cut-offs at the Delhi University this year have almost swept away all hopes and wishes of parents as well as students who aspire to study in the best colleges of the country.

SRCC, one of the top colleges of DU declared 100 percent cut-off for B.Com (Honours) this year, failing which there was only one student in the entire admission process who had 100 percent marks in 3 out of 4 subjects. We wonder had she been awarded 100 marks in English, she would have been the new Shakespeare of the 21st Century. And for sure, today if Shakespeare was to apply for admission in DU, he wouldn’t have even been eligible for the best colleges, or a pass course.

The primary and burning question that arises here is that, “Can only high scorers make it to top colleges in the country? Don’t the average students have a right to study in the best university or best college, who may not be equal in grades with the topper, but might be intellectually sounder than the toppers?” Even the second cut-off list hasn’t really risen the sun for the ones who were eagerly illumined by the fake promises or consolation which the Vice Chancellor and the HRD Minister, Kapil Sibal gave them on National Television. The admission in most of the colleges for the most coveted courses is CLOSED!

The students are baffled and struggling between the course they want to choose and the college of their choice. The very procedure and foundation of the criterion of admissions is completely ruining the future of the student. A student is willingly doing away with the course of his choice for a top college which is offering him a pass course at the cost of an Honours course. The youth of the country is still unaware of the future prospects of all the courses, even the course of their choice. While choosing the courses and colleges, the students are still attracted by the glamour and brand name of the colleges and not their professional future. Students are not practically and rationally analyzing the fact that a course of their choice would increase the probability of their successful future when they’ll apply whatever they have learnt during graduation. Merely studying from a famous college will not do the needful. They might easily get a good job but a person from a less famous college but who has studied the course of his choice will outshine him soon at the work front too. This does not necessarily mean that students from famous colleges don’t possess the potential for becoming good employees, but this also doesn’t deny the fact that it all depends on the hard-work and will of the student which will make him excel in every genre of life.

Coming to the present education system there are a few points that need to be immediately attended to and essential amendments are needed. They are as follows:

  1. The diverse educational boards, CBSE, ISC, State boards like U.P. Board, Maharashtra Board are not at par with each other in terms of marking and their syllabus. Each board has different kinds of subject combinations with absurd syllabi. A U.P. board topper cannot score more than 86 percent at the most, whereas in CBSE students scoring above 95 percent have risen astonishingly. ISC on the other hand is purely subjective and detailed in approach and highly informative, but it is not at par with the competitive patterns. And most of the universities and colleges give more preference to CBSE board students. Hence there should be one All India Board for all students to have a fair basis for all.
  2. At the high school level in class 10th, most of the Indian students are undecided about the fact as to what do they want to take up as a career. Right from childhood children are drained with the aspirations to go to the IITs, IIMs and best colleges but the parents and students hardly give a thought to which subject are they really interested in? And they are puzzled between their actual aptitude and interests. For a student to choose his subjects at intermediate level he should be very clear about the compatibility of their interest and aptitude. If a student has interest in Mathematics and both interest as well as aptitude for English, the student should go for English not Mathematics.
  3. Parents in India are still clinging onto the obsolete thinking that medical and engineering are two prestigious professions and all other fields are less respectable. In today’s scenario every field has its imperative scope and prestige attached to it.
  4. Every university should hold national level common entrance tests according to the subjects and give a fair chance to all the students irrespective of their percentage marks, because a student might have not done well in boards but he might be able to prove his mettle and study his desired course with all happiness.
  5. Students with lesser marks should be provided a chance to give improvement examinations in all boards which might eradicate their fear and guilt of not performing well at an instant in a subject.
  6. Marks are not the actual reflection of a student’s caliber, mental poise and intellectual level. So all round development, active participation in extracurricular activities should be given preference. There have been umpteen cases where students who score well do not take part in extracurricular activities and hence are devoid of personality skills.
  7. There are many CBSE students who join dummy schools in 11th standard to prepare for engineering entrances at coaching institutes who are awarded full marks in internal examinations in boards which make them score higher than the regular and sincere school going students. The hype of getting selected in the first attempt has eaten up the schools. Such a system keeps the regular students at loss. There is no legal action against such business centers nor does the education ministry oppose such practices.
  8. Children are compromising with their talent for the better packages available in stereotype professional courses. The parents also neglect the potential of their child just in order to make him earn money but not job satisfaction.

Today many students switch over from Science to Commerce and Arts at undergraduate level because the pressure of their parents at school level made them opt of Science in which they were not able to do well just because lack of interest. There are numerous instances of students who have been average at school level and have become the university toppers at undergraduate level, only because they chose the desired field, making a wise decision. We need to rise above marks today and explore the hidden talent in today’s youth which is indeed a power house of talent. An ISC board student topped her state with 97.6 % marks, got selected in IIT in the first attempt, and was an excellent orator at school, a passionate writer, with a pleasing and smart personality. Students like these are very few in this country. We need to amalgamate the right traits and subjects for students belonging to all categories and instill confidence in them that even they can make it to the best college with a little effort and a fair Common Entrance Test.

‘Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, because the biggest fool may ask what the wisest man cannot answer.”

Not marks but a just education system must be brought into implementation to discard the fear of marks from within the students, eradicating the inferiority complex in them for scoring less.