This peice is written to appreciate and applaud the effort of all students who sat for their AL exam. Yes, you heard it right, we applaud your effort not your results.
While there are students who are capable of somehow adjusting (I doubt it is by choice) to the education system in Sri Lanka that is in many ways flawed, there are those who cannot conform to it, those who would rather be doing something else than straining themselves for a couple of hours to repeat chunks of information on a piece of paper. And that is NOT a humane way of assessing students` knowledge and skills.
Repeating information on a paper doesn’t determine how educated a person is because “information” is freely available everywhere at a mere click of a button.
So what is important for us as a nation to know is that, we need to focus on the set of skills a child acquires through education like selecting relevant information among heaps of others, synthesising information, and applying them in day to day life.
We need to give prominence to the set of skills a student acquires and not the test score which does not account for anything other than painful and unnatural memory power.
I wrote these sentences down sometime ago, from a video I watched on YouTube. The following are some of the key statements that knocked some sense into me. I hope they bring some insight into your perspectives about education too.
“Human beings are naturally different and diverse”
“Usually education systems encourage not diversity but conformity”
“The dominant culture of education does not focus on teaching and learning but testing”
“Testing is important but they should not be the dominant culture of education”
“Testing should support learning, it shouldn’t obstruct it!”
“Kids prosper best with a curriculum that celebrates their various talents”
Ask yourselves this, is our education system testing our kids for the sake of testing? Does it recognise, appreciate, and celebrate the differences in our children?