Jeremiah (4) indicates that the main purpose of education is to ensure that students come to it respecting human rights laws and fairness. The purpose of education is to prepare learners to be positive contributors to the development of the society and be able to acquire attitudes of adaptability, patriotism, self-reliance, nationalism, cooperation, self-respect and a sense of purpose. Human intelligent according to Jeremiah (5) is determined by the acquired environment and innate talents. Today the general education system has buried its principles on examination rather testing their knowledge and preparing them for the future. Students are forced to take exams in order to show their retention powers but not their actual knowledge and capacity. It has become a culture that students' knowledge and intelligence is decided and rated by their performance in the exams (Van, Kees-Jan, and Denny, 13). Those getting more in their exams are given priorities and considered limiting others from gaining the same educational opportunity. The main aim of this paper is to prove that exam-oriented education is not the right approach to the education system.
Kirkpatrick and Yuebing (37) indicate that in the modern times, exams are used to control the education system in an unbiased and scientific manner. According to Kirkpatrick and Yuebing (37), examinations are used as a way of teaching efficacy and evaluating learning. Their existence is for the purpose of reinforcing and creating the identity of the state, allocate and select individuals to tasks and roles that benefit the collective, increase the state sense of belonging and also introduce hyper-accountability to ensure standardization and uniformity.
An educational system that is only focused on exams does not take knowledge as a priority. The current education system is primarily focused on examination rather than concentrating on training students for the future and the reality of testing their knowledge. With this kind of educational system, students will only be forced to take exams and tests that show their retention powers but not their actual knowledge and capacity (Jeremiah, 7). For instance, doctors do not give services to those who need them most but rather those who can afford to pay for this services. The education system has transformed students to become professionally oriented, and they take exams for the same but not for them to gain knowledge. Even when we look at the universities, most of the facilities are available regarding infrastructure and competent faculty, but students lack the motivation to engage in research because everything is on examination and job orientation (Van, Kees-Jan, and Denny, 13).
It is due to an exam-oriented education system that students are forced to cram in order to pass their exams. Krishnan (16) indicates that exam cramming should not be termed as learning because students do this purposefully to pass exams and within a short period they will forget what they have been taught. It is true that cramming has become part of the learning process in schools without the realization that memory and retention are the key learning ingredients. It seems like the educational system is programmed to acknowledge students who only pass exams. The only measure of a student's success or intelligence is through success in exams. Krishnan (16) presentation that exam cramming is not learning is entirely right, but his conclusion on discouraging students from cramming is not a well-provided solution to this problem. The blame on students tendency to cram should not solely be placed on them but instead, blame the educational system. An educational system that is exam-oriented will never change the character of students cramming during the exam period (Popham, 9).
Krishnan (16) submits that repetition is what improves learning retention which is not quite a convincing idea in enhancing students' knowledge. There is a need to design an instructional strategy for each training course because what is done before training plays a significant role in transferring the learning to improved performance. While it may seem fair to bring out the focus of repetition, students will learn best if they can have a clear correlation between what they are learning and real life. A study carried out by Kirkpatrick and Zang (39) indicates the exam-oriented education system result in students losing creativities and imaginations. Since the examination culture has been embraced as a crucial determinant of student's future, then the public has already accepted the exam-oriented model as the determinants of better future. The exam orientation education system distorts learning and motivation by stressing the importance of scores as measures and outcomes of the student's abilities (Popham, 9). This education system creates worry for students on their low performance, so they always make attempts to mitigate the risk of failing examination by either cramming or even cheating in exams. The pressure that the students have is on getting good grades in their exams making them study without thinking.
The education methods in schools according to Krishnan (16) need to take into consideration the short-lived nature of memory. The education methods should focus more on deploying right systems that can test for ability and intelligence. The education methods should not start in schools but rather from the people who are responsible for regulating and making policies. When an education system deteriorates to the point that a culture of examination has substituted, it means that policymakers and regulators have failed to act in time to correct this anomaly. The idea is not just having this rules and regulation but rather implementing them (Van, Kees-Jan, and Denny, 13). Government bodies have been unable to control institutions which is their most important priority. For the institutions that are promoting real learning, they should not be supported more by the government.
In conclusion, Learning is not all about examination and students should not be confined to passing examination rather learning should be viewed as a holistic education experience that imparts desired attitudes, practical skills, values, and knowledge. An educational system that is only focused on exams does not take knowledge as a priority. Since exams are used to measure success, this culture allows students to engage in cramming for them passing the exams. It is true that cramming has become part of the learning process in schools, but the idea of changing students perspective will not work if the system of education still prevails. With this kind of educational system, students will only be forced to take exams and tests that show their retention powers but not their actual knowledge and capacity. The education methods should focus more on deploying right systems that can test for ability and intelligence. The government through policymakers and regulators need to step up and revolutionize the current education system culture.
Jeremiah Gawthrop. Measuring Student Achievement: A Study of Standardized Testing and its Effect on Student Learning. (2014): 1-42.
Kirkpatrick, Robert, and Yuebing Zang. "The Negative Influences of Exam-Oriented Education On Chinese High School Students: Backwash from Classroom to Child." Language Testing in Asia. 1.3 (2011): 36-45. Print.
Krishnan, Ranga. Exam cramming is not learning. Memory and Forgetting. Today (2013): 16.
Popham, W J. "Why Standardized Tests Don't Measure Educational Quality." Educational Leadership. 56.6 (1999): 8-16. Print.
Van, der M. H, Kees-Jan Kan, and Denny Borsboom. "Intelligence Is What the Intelligence Test Measures. Seriously." Journal of Intelligence. 2.1 (2014): 12-15. Print.
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