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Not naming top examination scorers: right or wrong?

Updated on November 24, 2012

I have been wondering what the buzz is all about, and how it managed to catapult to a hot button issue. The education system is a monolith, and with the thousands of frenzied teachers and principals who abound, it is taxing to introduce radical changes somehow, because the school has the leeway to decide whether or not to disclose their top students' scores amid the mire. You cannot expect all the teachers to be obsequious though, unless the fact that demurring the authority would make them lose their remuneration has become so threatening. Unfortunately, the authority is not yet prepared to take such compelling actions.

In order to mitigate unhealthy competition among students, the education ministry has finally instigated all the schools to refrain from disclosing their top students' examination results, no matter how startling they are. In a bid to save students from further stress, or even having suicidal thoughts, most of the schools have assented to keep coy about the examination aftermath, leaving some prominent schools to flaunt their achievements brazenly.

You might argue that by publicizing top students' results, students who have not yet taken their examinations will be emboldened and will strive to work harder. But I don't think so. The undeniable fact that there are still a plenty of students who are advised to go to the less academically-gifted stream supports my stance. Listening to and watching a hundred broadcasts of triumphant students would not help our children much. It is merely just one aspect of a student's overall development, which is to keep abreast with the news, and there is nothing that information could do to spur them if they do not have the diligence or the paraphernalia to do so.

It is human nature to compare whose results are better, cry when you fail, and beam when you achieve. This has always been happening since more than ten years ago, and nothing hitherto has been said about the stressful education system. The newspaper and the media did not receive such a barrage of jeremiads, advising the authority to change their way of thinking, until now. And it has been too late. There are innumerable students who had already experienced the examinations and had left their alma matter with their certificates, and the solutions that the authority has come up with are tardy. They would not even help the aforesaid students in any way.

If naming top scorers are vital, then why would there be any school in the first place? Are they merely money-making machines? Are they emotionless? Are they callous? Do they titter in a corner because they know that they are going to earn extra revenue? Do they ignore their students' overall development?

I hope not so.

Examinations cannot be scrapped wholly. There has to be a barometer whereby people can gauge a student's ability, much like gaming. You wouldn't want to fraternize with a level 3 person when you are level 100. Similarly, employers do not want to engage substandard workers in interviews.

However, there are also predicaments that associate with examinations. You will get stressed, you do not know how to swot effectively, and you will be deprived of some career opportunities if you fail to get that achievement. However, that has always been happening since the inception of the country's independence. We have to accept examinations. It is the epoch of anxiety; it is the epoch of motivation. We are all heading towards the right direction; we are all heading towards the wrong direction. Situations always have two facets. If there were any discontent, then it should be raised earlier, not now, because the disadvantages are always discernible.


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