Sunday, March 26, 2023

Learning outcome

There is no denying that teaching and learning is a two-way bridge. While teachers impart necessary training, transmit knowledge and develop prescribed skills, and expertise to their students, the latter must reciprocate with added innovative inputs, creative insights and analytical perspectives. While learning is a never ending quest, assessment and evaluation are significant milestones of this journey; but not the destination. However assessment and evaluation is the logical conclusion and fitting culmination of an effective teaching-learning process without which this transaction remains incomplete and consequently effectiveness of this process remains inconclusive. Learning outcomes of teaching cannot be sufficiently accomplished and ascertained unless students are adequately assessed and evaluated for the same no matter what kind of means and methods are adopted for that purpose. Assessment and evaluation ethically, epistemologically and statutorily binds a student in an uncompromising commitment to learn, fulfill the set criteria and acquire necessary knowledge outlined in the curriculum. Once this binding is scrapped, teaching-learning process becomes rudderless and student’s commitment towards learning is rendered entirely personal rather than obligatory in nature. It is no hidden secret that in our scheme of things, only a small percentage of our students remains personally committed and sufficiently self-motivated towards learning while unfortunately a vast majority of them, practically speaking, enter educational institutions merely to earn their degrees and subsequently seek jobs to earn their livelihood. More than the students themselves, our education system needs to be blamed for this debacle. Worldwide, focus of education is rapidly shifting from imposed teaching to self-learning, from obtruded knowledge to self-exploration, from stringently packaged-learning to free and creative thinking but it will take some time in our settings to inculcate that kind of mental attitude, creative ideals and constructive mindset among our students owing to our meager exposure to the best practices followed in the developed world and therefore at this juncture we cannot completely give away our conventional methods overnight. Our transition towards this kind of enlightened thinking has to be gradual and well-calibrated; nevertheless sooner or later this kind of transition has to happen. We have to liberate our education from the shackles of monologous and monotonous teaching. That said, there is now a call from students for mass promotion without exams as an aftermath of the lockdown enforced by the government. It is a fact that due to the prolonged lockdown our education sector has suffered immensely. As a result of disruptions in class work during this period, students are demanding that they be promoted without facing any examinations. But such mass promotion is a dangerous trend fraught with disastrous consequences upon our budding generations. If we accede to their demands we would be aiding and abetting churning out of graduated illiterates and uneducated graduates from our colleges and universities. This way we would be paving way for a long-term deterioration of our society since this act amounts to slow poisoning, because mass promotions will lead to graduates sans any knowledge, skills and competencies. People will be holding degrees in their hands without any aptitude and know-how about their area of expertise. Such graduates can hardly be expected to contribute significantly towards nation building. There is no denial of the fact that due to the lockdown, students are finding it hard to receive knowledge from their teachers, building more pressure upon them to study on their own and explore educational resources. Though some online teaching had been started, due to poor internet connectivity students have been finding it hard to attend online lectures without any disruptions. In fact the biggest lesson learnt from the ongoing lockdown has been that all educational institutions must create and strengthen their online teaching platforms. Education must not be allowed to suffer under any circumstances. At the same time, the main focus of our students should always be on learning rather than on passing examinations and gaining degrees. They need to introspect what and how much they have learnt at the end of the academic session. If we try to appropriate the system to our advantage we will be fooling ourselves and not the system. While pushing for mass promotions we need to make a hard choice whether we want to develop ourselves as knowledgeable graduates or educated illiterates. It is time that we strengthen our resolve and commitment towards gaining knowledge.