Surviving School Exams: How The Education System Becomes A Cheat

By Hasan Tariq, Parent Herald October 19, 07:47 am
Aeronautical University students Lucas Frost and Daryll Quismorio work on homework at a public shelter set up at Mainland High School, October 6, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida. With Hurricane Matthew approaching the Atlantic coast of the United States, the governors of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have all declared states of emergencies.
(Photo : Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The stress that emanates from students during the school exams phase can be fairly regarded as maniacal. High school students cut themselves off from society and starve themselves, crying through sleepless nights to vent out their anxieties.

Such situations can equally be stressful for parents as it is for their children. But what can be done about this? Is it completely normal and expected as one must find ways to cope with this phase of life?

Amid all this hysteria, how can parents help their kids cope with exam pressure? Perhaps this is the wrong question to begin with. Instead of finding ways to reduce this pressure than to cope with it is to conform with what's being set for an individual regardless of what the subject thinks of it independently.

The Guardian remarks that parents often console their children by saying "you are more than a number" or "we just want you to do your best," but to no avail. These words might hold some meaning if they didn't blindly oblige to a system that resolutely drives their children toward a defining ordinary number on a report card.

But what can be done? Aren't the academic standards fixed for everyone for their betterment? Earlier studies have already shown how school education instrumentally kills creativity and that self-learning is the only form of learning there exists. However, this doesn't undermine the importance of schools at all.

Schools are mere means to an end. But nowadays they have become the end. The number on a child's report card does indeed decide narrow down his options as to in which colleges he is eligible to apply. Abusing this 'standard' and setting it as an end itself is where the education system has taken a faulty turn.

It all starts even before school begins. The popular idea these days is that children should be "academically prepared" before being sent to kindergarten so that they get an edge over others to leap forward in the race that education has sadly descended to.

According to The Atlantic, the idea propagates itself in what's called "academic streaming" where parents ought to do whatever they can to get their children enrolled in some of the most talented educational fields there are. At the end of the day, a child is just a mere number whose fate is decided by the tag he is labeled with.

It's important to understand what this kind of twisted logic achieves. When independent schools become businesses that desperately want to climb on top of the education tables in order to retain their expanding client base, outcomes become the first priority while genuine engagement is shirked aside as a premature conception to education.

It's too difficult to challenge these preconceived notions everyone lives by and these blindly accepted wisdoms about what actually is good education. Since business flourishes and life goes on, notions of success have been pinned down to trivialities which in turn packages bombs of anxiety piled up one after the other for students.

It mustn't fall on a student's shoulders to cope up with such increasingly mounting pressures. It's up to parents, teachers and most importantly policy makers to let loose the strained chains of academic outcomes and broaden the conception of success. Having said all this, changing education's status-quo is like turning around the Titanic.

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