Ofcourse nearly all students knew that the internal valuation which counted for 25% of the score in the three science exams was directly propotional to the students personal relationship with the teacher. This system or theory is still valid now in any part of India. This bugs me so much. Someone has to stand up for this injustice and stop it. In my opinion, a fair system should clearly allow a student to disagree strongly with his teacher and still be graded only on his performance in the exams. Why? because the 100 or 200 points for which the student is graded does not factor in his relationship with his teacher. There are 20-30 questions that appear in the theory and practical question papers. Each question carries its own weightage. The sum total of the weightage of all questions is the 100 or 200 points. Now if there was a section which specifcally asked the grader to evaluate the students relationship with his teachers then the grader ( who invariably is the teacher) can deduct ( or add, which is rarely the case) points. Otherwise the grader should only be interested if the student had answered the question asked. Period. This logic is so simple and plain that it does not need any special explaining.
But, that is not the case. The teachers and school administration do the following to keep students under leash.
1)Academically weak students: Threaten them that they won't be given hall tickets. So students who have studied 2 years in high school are not guranteed a spot in the examination hall. This I feel a school normally does to protect it 100% pass statistics. If a school has been claiming that 100% of its students pass the common examinations, it only means it has been denying weaker students a spot in the exam hall at the last minute. My take on this is - unfair. If a student after 2 years in that school still sucks. Then the school is incompetent. If the school feels the student is a born-moron and cant study to save his life, it should not have admitted him in the first place ( so its the school's mistake). Admitting students based on the money they can donate makes the student pool look like drawing cards in a casino. Plus the school had two years to deal with the student if they can't get him to pass (seriously! merely passing a public exam is not that tough) the exams they they don't deserve a 100% pass claim in the newspapers.
2)Students who are academically sound but are sports or cultural enthusiasts - Normally these students were reputed to freak out with the opposite sex or have a primadonna image in high school. Boys who fell under this category weren't liked by the teachers. Girls who were in this category were almost treated like prostitutes. No kidding! This is true. I have seen and still see many academically sound girls suffer as a result of this. If you are a good looking chic and your name starts doing the rumor rounds linking you with some boy, inside or outside of the school -- you have a really tough time ahead. These students are tamed in a different way. The 50 points for the practical exams are used as the blackmail tool to make these people "behave". Students who had the balls to disagree with the teachers on this practice ( or any of their other stupid practices) were also tamed the same way. If I had anything to do with school administration, I would look at dismissing these teachers on the spot. What they are doing is wrong. On the question of "how to find if a salt is lead nitrate in 2 steps", they have no right to deduct points because the student was rumored to have had an affair with a person in his/her after-school tuition class. It is simpy illogical.
Items #1 and #2 usually intersected in a big way. I am not claiming that school kids are saints in uniforms. They may not be. But this is not the solution to deal with them. This really affects fringe people like me. Until VIIIth grade or so, I was the kid who belived in fighting for causes. Sometime in IVth grade which my mom and aunt still remember with great fear, I created a record in P.S Senior Secondary school, Mylapore by securing 23 blackmarks ( there was a blackmark chart in each class and students was given a blacknmark if he did not behave well. 10 blackmarks - u had to stand out of class a whole day; 20 - a visit to principals room; and 30 - u are out of the school). A big bully ( name arvindh) was tearing my anaemic, thin, fragile friend ( i think his name was srikanth) to pieces during a class break and when I stopped him, he made fun of my glasses (in some distant past, I used to wear glasses ) and threw them to some corner of the class. When the teacher came in I was standing on arvindh's face .. and jumping ..with the whole class baying for his blood. It was my moment of childhood glory. I got a record 10 straight blackmarks in a single shot. Nobody had ever got so much for a single offense before ( Later, I had high school students seeking me out and asking me the reason). From then on I earned a blackmark even if I sneezed, 5 blackmarks if I farted. Srikanth got none from that incident and arvindh 8. So the bottom line was I'd get my behind in trouble standing up for some stupid thing and then watch other students slither away ever so silently. Ya! its true some people just had a knack of disappearing and becoming part of the background and some people had the knack of stepping out of the bathroom and walk into the spotlight - naked.
So, I learned to keep my ass shut the hard way. But still, tolerating this perversion in high school was a big thing for me. What made things even worse for me was to put up with the "Lick Ass" clan. This system of student threatening has led to the "Lick Ass" group of students. They lick the teacher's ass at the drop of the hat. These are average students whom you could outwit outbeat out-excel hands down in a theory subject but in turn they would beat you by N Thousand light years in Practical subject, where internal evaluation counts for a lot. Its because they ran behind the teachers continuously. Got them chalk pieces, gave them "Happy Teachers Day" Bouquets. When a question was asked in class, they repeated the right answer loudly to the teacher, milliseconds AFTER the brightest boy in class had spelled out the answer. Volunteered to borrow a textbook from the next class whenever the teacher wanted it. They wouldn't give you a pencil if you wanted to borrow one in the last minute, whereas we would sharpen a pencil both sides, break it into 2 just to share it with a friend. These were the gang of students whom I hated passionately. I blame the 2 items I listed above for the rise of such students. Why? because if there is a system in place for teachers to give students an unfair disadvantage over other students, then the same system can be used ( as opposed to misused because you really cant miuse whats already being misused) to gain an unfair advantage over other students. So this gang figured that if you can do the lick ass and improve your score why not? Of course the public exams, which was ( and still is) graded by neutral people ( and the answer papers were anonymous with no identity linked to it - thanks to the system of dummy numbers and blind correction) levelled these dorks to the ground.
hmm... I actually started out to write something about college ...but look how much I have digressed.. I will make this is a 2 post double-bill and continue about college in my next post.