Number Game!

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Once again, after the 12th class results are out the focus is back on the numbers. Newspapers proudly feature students who have secured almost cent percent marks, leaving no scope for improvement.

If one scans minutely, over the years, 10th and 12th class results show a new trend – rather a disturbing one.

While the pass percentage of students has gone down noticeably (52 per cent), the number of students securing almost cent percent marks has increased. This year too, the topper duo bagged 491 marks out of 500, pushing the upper limit of perfection even further for aspiring toppers. With two students bagging more than 98 per cent, does it mean the standard of our education has gone up dramatically over the last few years? Or does it show, in order to stay relevant and in competition, the state board of school education is deviating attention from its failures by giving us reasons to rejoice! Numbers in any case excite us all. If one looks closely and tries to understand the numbers thrown so randomly at us by men at the helm of affairs, it is mere eyewash. With more than fifty per cent government schools lacking basic infrastructure like classrooms, black boards, toilets etc. the government wants a common man to believe that all is well. The percentage of teachers against students in rural areas is dismal to say the least. In last few years a number of new schools were opened in rural areas to garner votes. But when it comes to equipping these schools with infrastructure and staff, nobody cares. There are reported instances where government schools are run from tin sheds and in open sky. But these things hardly garner as many headlines as a few success stories does. It is like focusing on the pie only while neglecting the cake and its ingredients!

Our modern education system which helps a student turn his dream of securing above 98 per cent marks into reality needs crutches like commercialised coaching to walk steadily. And the toppers proudly boost how taking coaching has helped them achieve their goals. But if numbers are taken as an indication of states booming education sector then why do students need to seek external help at all? Why cannot we have such an education setup where students from all walks of life, irrespective of their financial background, have access to quality education? Why students living in rural areas, particularly from weaker economic sections, end up depressed rather than inspired by numbers like 491 out of 500. Education is beyond numbers, too.

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