Thanks to grades, fewer Distress calls

The grading system being used to announce the SSLC results seems to be helping students deal a lot better with examination blues.

Maithri, a suicide prevention centre at Kochi, reports getting far fewer calls for help from students in distress when its time to confront their performances now.

A lot of students heaved a sigh of relief after the grading system replaced the marks and ranks system in 2005.

Says administrator of Maithri, advocate Rajesh R. Pillai, “ In the old system, individual ranks and marks were given too much importance and those who failed to achieve them became depressed.

The grading system has helped lessen this pressure and students are not being driven to suicide anymore after the results are announced.

Also as more schools now have plus two courses, admission to the higher classes is not as difficult as before."

“Parents are now aware about the emotional stress their children undergo and does not lose time in giving them some counselling,” he adds.

Grades are for strength, weakness

The grading system for SSLC exams is the correct method of aassessment, says educationist R.V.G Menon.

“It is unfair to fail a student after 10 years of study. The grading system is aimed at evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the student and it is a fair method. It is a record of their achievements,” he says.

Just because a student is weak in any one subject, he or she should not be discouraged from going ahead with studies.

It may turn out that the student would excel in some other field, could even be music. It would be the most unscientific thing to fail a student on the basis of not being up to the mark in a particular subject, he adds.

Regarding disabilities in learning, he says the grading system is essentially one that assesses the abilities and disabilities of students.

The grading must be on the basis of strengths and weaknesses. “If a student is weak in learning a subject like mathematics, it must be recorded.

That is what the system of grading is about. It is not aimed at giving higher marks for that particular subject,” he adds.

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