January 08, 2005

Academics and beyond..

Something drove me to get my name enlisted in the sports-meet held recently in our college. If I could call it ‘intuition’, then it is something which I should feel proud of. But, I had to satisfy myself with a bronze in 100 meters. Though, I started off very well, I could not manage to do so at the end of the track. My participation and the medal that I won, gave this ‘extra-curricular’ tag to me which, is of a great value nowadays. May be, my participation was just for the sake of the certificate they would provide me with and quite unexpectedly, I won a medal for that. But, I considered winning, seriously, once I was on the track, ready to take off.

Gone are the days when academics were considered as everything for a student. The present scenario reflects the changed attitude of the people toward the concept of ‘beyond academics’. Today, even the corporate houses want to employ candidates who were actively involved in extracurricular activities during their college days. A day might come in the future when academics would be completely brushed aside to make space for these ‘extra’ qualifications.

The academic standards are in danger of becoming useless. Most of the students, nowadays, do not find it sensible enough to attend lectures and take exams just for the cause of proving their talent. Now, how many will agree with me if I say that a student cannot be judged by a year/semester-end exam which he/she takes. The year long sincerity and efforts put in by the student should not be judged in just two or three hours. This system would account for the performance of an individual only on that particular D-day. Then, who will consider the efforts that went in, for the sake of the exam. Though, academics are important, the method of judging a student’s academic value needs to be revived. But, then how many students really appreciate the need for acads in their (student-) life? They just blame the system for not being able to impart value-based practical education to them. There are very few cases where a student would try to mould oneself into an ideal-student, who is well acquainted with one’s responsibilities. How many students would like to get into these norms? The standard of an individual would never get affected by another. It solely depends on the individual, whether to raise it or let it fall. As it is said that a person gets value for what he/she does, in the same way, a student gets value for his/her knowledge which, will come to him/her only by studying what he/she is taught. One hardly finds an ideal-student, today.

Students can be grouped under two categories. First, students who study for knowledge, to be able to build a better future for themselves and for others too and, second, those who study just because they are students. The first class of students love what they do; studying. The second class of them study just for scoring marks and they hate what they do; again studying. But, one cannot differentiate this class of students from the other. Even, a student from the second category would score high marks just by mugging-up all the lessons. The prevailing methods of evaluating a student are not acceptable as they cannot differentiate an ideal-student from the rest. Now, talking of academics, their standard rests on the shoulders of students only-of both classes. Every student should raise his/her own standards to raise the academic standards.

Many of you may not agree with most of my views which, you might call, dogmatic. They are not something which I intend to make universal nor am I trying to preach anything. It is merely an agglomeration of views, based on my observations and conclusions.


  1. in india our acads are more book and rattofying batti driven. the subjects are actually very interesting if only the zeal is there. how many other countries anywhere else can boast of such in depth knowledge? but on the flip side.. the practical knowledge is nill. while we understand how a machine's priciple of functioning is... give it to us, can many of us actually make it work effectively? we know where all the components of a car are, but can we really fix our car?

    another point is... with all that ratto.. we forget to live a life, so this forceful extracurricular fills up those gaps. and i am thankful. though i like studying, i wouldnt want an insipid life with only text books for life. i want a chance to participate in all the book clubs, arts, sports activities... everthing. and i love it that when i do all that i like, apart from acads, it actually counts! im not saying that acads are unimportant, im just saying that if not in our youth, when can we be as vigourous?

  2. another point i saw that i missed out, extracurricular and group activities give the corporate future employers a chance to get an idea of our group skills, rather than mere knowledge. and activities help in blossoming such qualities. so at the end of the day, its not just knowledge, but also attitude. i have seen so many toppers falter because they dint know how to handle themselves in a group, with co-operation, or their effective communication and interpersonnal skills are missing. such ppl can do well at a technical independant stage, but the need of the hour is working as a team.