Ranks and Prizes
It is now commonly known and understood that the education system puts a lot of undue pressure on small children, forcing them to struggle to get good marks/grades/ranks.
To address this issue, many schools have taken a lot of appreciable efforts, including introduction of grades on a wide scale (many grades to assess the different aspects of a subject and not a single grade), elimination of marks and ranks in the primary level, some schools also take an extra step to avoid even exposing children to any kind of competitive exams. Even sports day have fun activities thus avoiding the children to get pressurized to win the race or other games.
With the children growing, when they come to Grade 6 or higher in some cases, eventually they are exposed to ranking, marks and the need to perform is so suddenly thrust on them. Well, my question is, is it correct to just protect them in a shell when it will definitely explode one day, eventually hurting them one day?
The child does not learn to accept defeat which in turn makes him/her very sensitive, thus leading to unforeseen and unpleasant consequences. Though it is perfectly correct to allow the children to enjoy the process of schooling with no pressures of competition at all in the primary level, the world outside is definitely competitive and we end up with the child not taught how to face failure gracefully.
Not having any kind of competition for small kids makes them all feel stress-less, no doubt, but the child eventually has to understand that there are people who perform better. This also kind of gives them an insight into their strengths and weaknesses. After all, most of us are not Jack of all Trades!
When the time comes for them, the performing children will perform and there could be a significant number of children who get inside a shell and never come out due to lack of confidence. The problem with our system is we prepare children to get pressurized but never teach them how to face/cope up pressure.
With advances in the methodologies of teaching, there should definitely be a strategy to build the child's strength to accept defeat/failure and carry forward with confidence. Make the child understand that she/he will definitely shine in his/her area of interest/expertise. After all losing or not performing up to the mark in a science competitive exam is not going to hinder the progress of a child who is too good at sports.
Elimination of any form of competition or ranking just in the primary level is not going to equip the child to face the future competitive world with confidence. Parents and teachers have an equal role in shaping a child's mindset to see failure and success with the same state of mind.