Teacher asking questions to her students
The process of grading – based on assessments – formative or summative; and the pattern of representing them in either alphabetic or numeric scale of various permutations and combinations has been at the forefront of many nations as a ‘benchmark’ of mapping success in education or learning.

For many, the difference of a miniscule decimal has proven to be the ‘last straw that broke the camel’s back’ and they have caused themselves physical harm, even ended their young lives in sheer agony and frustration. The answer ought to be a clear ‘NO’, but it does not come resoundingly loud when it comes to ‘walking the talk’. Grades do matter, though they may not define who you are.

learners and parents today
What needs to be understood by both learners and parents today is that despite some apparent flaws in some mechanisms of assessment and grading, they remain the rock-bed of standardising talent and have largely stood the measurement of learning. What counts more, not just in the immediate, but definitely more in the long run, are attributes to have an inherent passion for learning, to be able to encompass oneself with empathy, compassion and service to community, the evolution to look beyond ‘self’. As the first set of millennials come into their prime, their needs are being defined less by material needs and more by focusing on self enhancement and possible ‘self-actualisation’. This is the first time ever that society is viewing education as an end and not just a means to an end. What also needs to be processed is that as a learner you ought to focus on now what you aspire for, but what your true potential is....and work backwards to plan how you can attain your optimal best. In this process, it is essential to prepare students for exams so that they can navigate through the assessment and grading systems effectively. So long as one is able to do that and can remain disciplined and firm on the steps required to get there, the journey is worth pursuing and very satisfying, breaking a sweat is not counter-productive, is it!!!

Mr. Sumit M. Dargan - Principal
JBCN International School, Chembur