I have questioned the necessity of tests, grades and attendance ever since I was a student!
I have always thought of tests and grades as especially oppressive and unnecessary, and I still believe that to some degree.
I never liked measuring myself against a unalterable standard, and that's probably because I feared that I wouldn't outwardly meet the standard. However, in my whole life, I've never failed a test, so that fear has been unfounded, really.
So, what was it in general that made me so apprehensive about tests, grades and attendance?
I believe it to be a measure of how many students that I witnessed being failed unnecessarily and inevitably being left behind by society, which was very hard for me to accept.
Unfortunately, my own aversion to these institutions is that so many are failed while I seem to pass.
Schooling and education is meant to empower and uplift, not to degrade and demean. It should be designed to relay useful skills to the youth, so that they might apply them in their future lives, or evolve their abilities to create new and exciting advancements.
The concepts of tests, grades and attendance implies that a course of study is built around a student - implying that lessons are student centered.
To advance, the student must meet a set of criteria or requirements; if not, then the student is unable to advance to a higher level.
But, what if lessons are specifically designed around the teacher?
Specifically, that would entail lessons that incorporate a teacher's skills and abilities into a specified course of study, skills and abilities that the student is obligated to replicate.
Would that entail a rigorous examination of the teacher as well?
In most western educational institutions, there is a mix between student-centered and teacher-centered lessons, leaning towards a teacher-centered environment with a focus on student performance.
However, in most Asian countries, all students must pass a rigorous examination in order to advance to higher levels of education, and prove their competency within a theoretical context.
This specific framework implies that the final judgment is not based on a teacher's matter-of-fact opinion, or the record of a student attending the required lessons, but on a procedure that ensures students are judged on equal standards.
Undoubtedly, a teacher's job is to encourage students to do their best within their capabilities, to think beyond the world that they can see and touch, and to broaden their vision to see the world as a set of infinite factors and infinite possibilities.
A teacher must consider the emotional background of the student and push them to overcome the challenges that the student will encounter in their life. To allow students to give up is a professional failure.
However, teachers do encounter certain students who refuse to be improved, students who oppose any measure of education. Teachers often ignore these students rather than confront them, and ultimately, these students fall behind in society - to their own detriment.
And, that leads to a particular paradox of education in general - the need to judge students, the necessity be judged or the imperative to offer no judgment whatsoever.