Sunday, 3 March, 2024

Mounting SEE Pressure

With the date of Secondary Education Examination (SEE) drawing closer, schools in the Kathmandu Valley and outside are busy preparing their students for the examination. The major part of this preparation consists of providing intensive study to students through extra coaching classes. While running such classes, these schools keep students at their designated hostels for an extended period of time. It appears that the schools are always hell-bent on the extended coaching so that the students would pass the SEE with good grades. The higher grades by students mean better credits for these schools.

As a matter of fact, schools in the country have been turned into close camps for the students, where they have nothing to do but read, write and learn their chapters of all subjects by heart so that they would be able to write answers during the SEE without any hiccups. Though the idea of keeping students at schools and hostels for an extended time to enable them to answer well in the examination sounds nice, it has several drawbacks. The major drawback being the students may feel over stressed and burdened by the same repeated activity of studying for a long period, without getting a break for extra curricular activities or getting time to visit their relatives. It may even prove counter-productive for the students during the examination because over stress might take its toll on their capacity.

A report in this daily quoted educationists and psychologists as saying that coaching culture has been killing creativity, vision and open mindedness of students, who cannot remember the things they have learnt for long owing to the stress and slashing of all extracurricular activities due to the upcoming SEE. Schools have actually forced their students in a jail-like situation, forgetting that such pressure may result in exam-phobia, which may incapacitate them in doing things they are good at. Teachers are delivering readymade matters, techniques and methods only targeting the certain kinds of examinations in the name of preparation. Such ''learning by cramming' often turns students into robots or machines, prohibiting them in gaining knowledge and becoming creative. There is a need of ending such pedagogic habits to allow students to learn in open environment to make them more creative and receptive.

The system of providing education at schools has indeed deteriorated lately. School operators frequently focus on providing education with the sole motive of helping students get good grades. The coaching culture has two basic benefits to the schools- they can charge extra fees in the name of providing special coaching to the students and hostel facilities for an extended period. On the other, the school's popularity as a better education institution will also rise after higher number of students pass the SEE with better grades. But the same culture has proved detrimental to the students whose creativity and ability to ask questions or become inquisitiveness has been curtailed a lot. The education stakeholders and the government should pay an urgent attention to curb this growing coaching culture in the name of SEE preparation.