‘Grading or Degrading???’

I had always have some negative thoughts about the educational system, and how it pushes us to get the good grades. Grading system, while we look at the one side, looks just right – because, yes we need a scale to weigh the IQ, skill and brain (or do we?). But the other side of it have many unassumed victims…

In schools, the students are categorized based on the grade they get – if you get a good grade, of course, you’re intelligent (and no one can say the opposite) and the one who get the below average grades, there is a stamp labelled over them – Unintelligent, slow, obtuse and even sometimes, ‘stupid.’

Are they??? Are they, really???

Does the grades assert to their stupidity or wisdom? What if these so called ‘stupid’ guys are the one who’d one day shine above all? What if they have a greater potential than just memorizing (that most population of students do) and can have the possibility of achieving greater heights?

But by grading these special, intellectual intelligence, we are, in fact, degrading them and lowering their confidence. We are forcing them to believe that they have no way of shining or reading success in their life. We are pushing them to think they’re indeed ‘stupid’ and they really don’t have a way to go through their life.

I, in my school life had seen many teachers yelling at my fellow friends…

‘How will you achieve anything in life, if you can’t even get passed? You’re going to be a waste. Useless…’

And in my college days…

‘You’re wasting your parents’ money. How will you get a job, if you have arrears over arrears? Try to get a good grade or your life is going down the drain!’

These words cut. They will get engraved deeply in the heart of the one who got yelled at, and as life brings him to the different phase, he’d still remember the words. He’d tell himself that he’s a waste, that he’s useless. (Or maybe, he’d want to break their assumptions and achieve big. But not all of them has that kind of positive mindset or strong attitude!)

These kind of words will tear the self-confidence, and break them from within.

Is this kind of words we want to say to a student? To the future generation?

Not only teachers, though, who sows poisonous weed of uncertainty, doubt and lack of belief in hearts of younger kids… Parents also do their considerable job in doing so, and this start at the earliest stage in life.

This, they do, for the sake of their children, they say… But it does more harm than any good.

Report cards and the grades have gotten more importance than the underlying skills the children might have… Because nobody is ready to look beyond the red ink, marking F…

Grading in education is the process of applying standardized measurements of varying levels of achievement in a course. – Wikipedia

But… These achievements as often than not will be closely interconnected with the school books and the capacity to retain every single word in the book.

Some students have more capacity to memorize, some have greater understanding.

When grading these two, in the school life, the student who have more capacity to memorize and retain will get much better grade. Does that mean the one who can understand, analyze and ask smart questions on the subject is ‘Stupid?’

I was often asked by teachers during my high school days to write as it was in the book and not to write as I understood it. Am I a xerox machine?

Our society is so influenced by the grading (% system) system and we give greater significance to the report cards, that we refused to believe an F student is anything but stupid.
If getting A+ is that great, how could the people who had failed school become the greatest of geniuses this humankind have ever seen and could discover things to help those A+ students from the school they dropped out???

Seriously I don’t know!!!

I believe that A+ or F don’t assert to the students’ competency and skill.

Learning is a difficult process and it is difficult to master it. A+ doesn’t promise that the guy/ the girl have mastered it, and a D does not warrant that the student has not learnt properly and no skill whatsoever to learn anything. Because the lower grades does not prove that he is NOT smart.

These bait of %%% has been laid before us way too long, and we have bitten the hook and taken the bait. It will take another thousand decade to change the mindset. Will take too long to come out of this net.

But when we come out of this GRADING net and stop degrading based on a number (1 or 6) or letter (A or F) , I trust, there’s a greater possibility to reach a different level in education. To see the true dimension of learning and teaching. To reach the real level of understanding the subjects.

Yes, it will take too long, or only forever will remain as a dream. But before that… At least please don’t call them F or D graded students stupid and don’t yell at them or scold them for their stupidity…

Because, maybe, there will come a day when you’ll see him in the television and say… ‘THAT IS MY STUDENT.’ With a proud smile.

And that day you’ll feel ashamed of ever saying anything otherwise to him/her.

So please!!!


Who: Ada Wiam
What: “Grading Or Degrading?”
Tangy: Our educational system is such that we are taught to believe that tagging is a way of life and defining yourself. This makes the kids do everything except learning and understanding themselves. Their psychology is almost negative and they don’t know what positive attitude by keeping just ‘the self’ in the picture means. Ada brings important issues to light.

© Ada

2 thoughts on “Grading or Degrading???

  1. Some sort of assessment is needed to find where one stands. What’s required is not elimination of assessment but making it comprehensive and relevant by including the multiple intelligences Gardner spoke of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, but then, the system of ours don’t include multiple intelligences.

      A future musician will be called ‘failure’ if he failed chemistry, and that’s our system…


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