How does one decide to accept a student to a university or school? Is it the marks they get, their past academic achievements, personality? What is a “fair” process to evaluate a student? The answer to me is not simple at all. Educational institutions are places of learning, and to say that one person deserves it more than the other is, for lack of a better word, unfair. It is the most difficult decision for any individual to make and whether they realise it or not, they are deciding the future of individual. This is more so when it comes to schools as the individual is still very young and malleable.
Schools are entrusted to educate children, and if a student has low marks in his past performance is that not reason to accept them? to teach them how to improve themselves? You could argue that students who do not do as well as some of their counterparts have more reason be admitted to good schools, rather than those who are already doing well. To bring the world to a more level playing field, we need to provide a high standard of educate even to those who are not the highest achievers; provide them with high standards of education that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Education is not for the elite, rich or smart, it is for anyone and everyone. It is the one place left in this world where every individual is equal.
Most of the education systems today reward the successful and punish those who fail. To get into the best institutions today you need to have an immaculate track record and over achieved in every arena. There is no place for an mediocre student. Does this not create a greater divide in society? Does it not create a world where one section of society get better jobs, more opportunity and earn more money while others are left behind?
You could argue that this actually breeds a competitive spirit for everyone to do achieve higher goals, but it could also breed an unhealthy culture. The competition we see for some of the institutions in India such as the Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs) are so bad that students start tuitions for the entrance exams as early as the 7th and 8th standard. They go for these classes every morning after which they attend their normal school. I’ve heard that some of these tuitions which start at later stages (10th and 11th standard) are so competitive that they attend tuitions in order to get into “better” and more reputed tutoring classes.
Does this not sound like madness? We seem to be in a world that is becoming increasingly competitive. A competition that is growing in an unhealthy manner in some areas and one we need to keep in control and steer in the right direction.