A while back, I was called a grade-chaser. And I took it as the biggest insult ever thrown at me. In retaliation, I wrote a piece (below) to articulate why I took that 'tease' very strongly. I think I rest my case in the article.
What are your thoughts about education?
The piece below was originally published on the jakartapost.com here
Although it isn’t formally acknowledged as having a negative connotation, I feel that being called a “grade-chaser”—someone who will do anything for a good grade—is a great offense to an individual, as well as to education as a whole.
As a scholar, I value the essence of education—of my education. Being called a grade-chaser undermines the effort and passion I’ve poured into my work. The fact that people assume I am working hard just for the report card or for the award is a jab to the core. We do need a decent report card to serve as a passport to the next stage of our lives. But obtaining good grades is a byproduct of solid concept understanding and skillful synthesis of knowledge.
The concept of grade-chasing is detrimental to the education culture we cultivate among youths nowadays. Just as black-inked letter grades stain the pure-white A4 paper, the element of examinations taints the essence of education.
Understandably, there needs to be a standard to qualify a student’s learning. But what is learning if students are memorizing and regurgitating information? What is learning if the homework answers are searched up on Google? What is learning if the student doesn’t recognize its worth?
When we emphasize grades as the sole end of education, then students will always treat it as a duty or a chore; we are not encouraged to discover the joy in learning
As a growing nation, the education culture in Indonesia must keep in mind that Indonesia’s youth will represent it on the international platform in the coming years. It is necessary to equip them with a passion for learning and encourage their curiosity to deepen their scope of knowledge, to explore alternative solutions, to expand their horizons.
If education means working “toward the exam” instead of working toward understanding concepts, then students won’t fully appreciate the learning process.
And at the end of the day, all we will have is generations and generations of grade-chasers.